The District is known to be one of the best places to shop for clothing, accessories, cosmetics and shoes. Many clothing companies manufacture their clothing in the Fashion District, such as American Apparel and Andrew Christian.
The Fashion District also features Santee Alley, a heavily populated "back alley" shopping path between Maple and Santee Streets, stretching from Olympic Boulevard to Pico Boulevard. This alley is notorious for being home to a large concentration of counterfeiters trying to sell a variety of faux designer goods, ripped DVDs, and other stolen or bootleg items. Similarly, the alley is also known for its illegal trade in live animals, which has been criticized by animal rights activists as cruel. Despite this, there are also many reputable and honest merchants in the alley.
The LAPD routinely raids the alley to arrest counterfeiters. During a two-day raid in 2006, authorities seized $18.4 million worth of counterfeit designer brand merchandise from two downtown locations. On May 23, 2006, police raided a swap meet located at 500 South Los Angeles Street and found fake Tiffany jewelry worth about $6.4 million and arrested two adults. On May 24, 2006, police also raided and seized 12 million worth of counterfeit handbags, clothes, sunglasses, shoes and wallets etc. from the Fashion District Santee Alley between 12th Street and Olympic Boulevard.
California Market Center is centrally located in the Fashion District, and similar to the Cooper Building and the New Mart. It is home to the offices of many of Los Angeles' aspiring clothing designers, sellers, and buyers, as well as the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, popularly known as FIDM, in the adjacent South Park neighborhood. Otis College of Art and Design has a satellite campus in the California Market Center.