Outrage Over Fashion Show at Paradise Cove

Longtime city staffer Craig George will retire in August.

“The fact that the brand manipulated the city in the film permit process is a bad look,” Council Member Skylar Peak said, railing against a fashion show that occurred in Malibu last week.

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) made a splash in Malibu last Thursday, June 6, with a nighttime fashion show on the beach at Paradise Cove overlooking the ocean. According to fashion bloggers, the venue was meant to serve as “a stand-in for Marrakech”—a totally land-locked desert city of nearly 1 million. But according to neighbors and council members, the irony didn’t stop there.

The show, which celebrated Malibu’s beauty, also may have done serious harm to local wildlife, as it encroached on a Marine Protected Area (MPA).

Among more than a dozen phone calls about the event fielded by Mayor Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner, he reported, was one from an official at the LA County Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“The woman at fish and wildlife indicated that there were a number of violations and that the photos that she had and the information that she had received about the violations for the MPA, the pushing of the sand into the lower high tide line, and a number of issues including the plastic sand bags, were part of her jurisdiction,” Wagner described during the Monday, June 10 council meeting. “She’s not going to let go of it. So we now have another badge looking into the YSL debacle.”

All four council members in attendance at the meeting complained about the event. Council Member Skylar Peak also pointed out pollution.

“The amount of light that was going into the air was uncalled for,” he said. “The amount of waste on the beach was uncalled for.” Peak added that, although there are many responsible people in Hollywood, the city should be reconsidering its permitting process to ensure issues such as this don’t arise again.

“There’s a lot of very, very, very good players in [the film industry] and it employs a lot of people, but it’s a shame when someone takes advantage of that,” Peak said.

Mayor Pro Tem Karen Farrer said the event was a result of “manipulation” on behalf of the design house.

“My understanding is they did ask for an event permit, they were turned down; then they came in the side door with a film event permit,” Farrer described. 

Film event permits, unlike conditional and temporary use permits, are issued by a contractor to the City of Malibu.

Longest-serving Malibu city employee to retire in August

Beginning in early August, Malibu’s rebuild process will be without the aid of 24-year employee, current Building Safety Director Craig George, the longest-serving staffer at City Hall. George announced his last day with the city would be Aug. 3.

City Manager Reva Feldman said George’s departure would be “very bittersweet for me and, I think, will be for our community,” adding that he “probably knows more about everybody’s houses than everybody [themselves].”

“I’m personally very happy for him to be moving on into retirement, but very sad to have him be leaving the city,” Feldman said.

According to the city manager, George would continue to contract part-time with the city throughout the Woolsey Fire rebuild process.

“It’s going to be difficult to replace you,” Council Member Rick Mullen told George later in the meeting. “Sorry to see you go, but … you foolishly offered to do a part-time thing—you think they’re ever going to let you go? If you only have one limb, they won’t let you go.”