Finding the new home of Western Costume was only the first step of their monumental task, and in April of 1990, they moved all 2 million costumes and props, plus the more than 15,000 books from the library, to their new home in the San Fernando Valley. Both locations remained open for business as usual during the day; at night, truckloads of costumes were packed and moved to their new home.
Two years later, after successfully orchestrating the move to North Hollywood, Marks replaced Abramowitz as president of Western Costume. Then, in 1995, Bill Haber bought out the other members of the Trinity Group to become the sole owner of the company. Marks immediately took steps to modernize the business and ensure that it would continue into the next century.
As budgets and production schedules continued to shrink, costume designers depended more on rentals than on custom-made. Marks met their needs by becoming the beta customer for Rental Tracker Pro, to digitally track Western’s rentals and speed up the rental process. Previously, every item had to be written up by hand before being rented. Starting in 1998 as items were rented, they were given a barcode and put into a database, making rentals easier to track and quicker to get out. RTPro is now the industry standard. Meanwhile, Marks has also taken steps to refresh the rental inventory. He has purchased eight private collections of vintage clothing, including the collections of Helen Larson, Parry Norris, and Dorothy Weaver. One of these collections, the Dykeman-Young Collection, necessitated six fifty-three foot containers to transport the costumes from Jamestown, New York, to its new home in North Hollywood.
An Indespensable Resource for Costume Designers.
Today, Western remains an indispensable resource for costume designers. It is the last one-stop shop costume house left in Hollywood, housing everything costumers need. Marks continues to make Western the go-to business, recently expanding Supply Store to make room for more products costumers depend on, as well as renovating the fitting rooms. It still boasts the best costume research library in the world, and houses a fabric store with a huge selection of vintage and modern fabrics and trims. They have four made-to-order workrooms: a men’s tailor shop, women’s clothing shop, hat shop, and shoe and leather shop.
a top resource for both period and modern production
Rentals include four major departments: the uniform department (which has expanded into the newly renovated Annex), men’s, women’s, and The Collection, which features designer garments and premiere pieces. Office space is available to rent for prep and wrap, and Western has an on-site shipping department to help costume departments get their costumes where they need to go. In 2012, the Costume Designers Guild presented Western with a special Service Award for a century of contributions to the industry..