How do you attract attention in the hotly competitive, nearly $50-billion-a-year mail-order business? Try a little imagination. Camp Beverly Hills's catalogs look like magazines that celebrate Southern California's obsession with fitness and fame. "We're selling a style of life and an attraction to that style," says Jeff Stein, president of the $8-million retailer of trendy active wear for men and women. Recent catalog covers have featured scenes from Hollywood movies, the Los Angeles art world, and, as shown (left), the surfing set. What's next? An ode to the palm tree, no less.

"There's a love affair between palm trees and L.A.," says Stein.