WASHINGTON — Designers Yeohlee Teng, Nanette Lepore and Stan Herman arrived here Wednesday night to raise political awareness about efforts to preserve New York’s Garment District.
The group met with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) and staffers from the offices of several congressmen, including Rep. Tim Ryan, (D., Ohio) of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus. Along with Ryan, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.), who represents Garment District neighborhoods, attended a panel where the trio spoke about the importance of the district to the city, the future of U.S. manufacturing and designers.
“We need for everyone in our government to support the idea that you can make a decent profit [manufacturing in the U.S.],” said Lepore. “I don’t make the same profit I could if I manufactured in China, but I’m proud of what I do and that I manufacture in the U.S.”
They also screened the HBO documentary “Schmatta: From Rags to Riches to Rags,” which focuses on Manhattan’s apparel industry and includes a segment about the push to launch the “Save the Garment Center” campaign last year. The campaign is lobbying to protect the area from proposals to change zoning laws that were established to protect manufacturers in order to allow commercial and real estate development in the area. Landlords have sought to change the zoning to more lucrative office space.
The moment is right to focus attention on the plight of the Garment District, the designers said.
“We have a very sexy industry now,” Herman said.
The buzz around the fashion shows in New York and volume of fashion people coming through the city is greater than ever, he said, but “what do you do with that excitement when you’re losing the other side of the see-saw, which is the manufacturing piece?”
The movement to fight zoning changes in New York has included rallies this fall, but the organizers are working to bring more political pressure to bear on the issue.
“The important thing is to explain to the politicians that the height, the pinnacle [of the industry] is supported by a base, and the base is the workers, the manufacturers, the contractors and the people who sew,” Teng said. “I feel we’re very fortunate to have Mrs. Obama know the names of every new designer that she wears. I think it would be wonderful if she could articulate where the clothes by these designers are made.”
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)