Racks of dresses might not be clogging the streets of Seventh Avenue like they used to, but it’s still called the Garment District.
Different industries have set up camp in Manhattan’s fashion hub in recent years, from technology to advertising agencies. And while more of these businesses are taking up residence in the fabled district, there’s a movement to keep fashion production in the neighborhood. One such initiative to preserve the area’s flavor is called Made in Midtown, a comprehensive study on which the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Design Trust for Public Space partnered to evaluate the fashion industry’s presence in the area. The aim was to keep it zoned for garment manufacturing.
The initiative is led by Yeohlee Teng, who serves as the liaison between the CFDA board and City Hall. Its first phasereviewed the public spaces in Midtown with an eye on what the future Garment District could look like. A second phase, due out this fall, will offer recommendations on revitalizing the area and staying focused on entrepreneurship and fashion production. “It was a foregone conclusion that we need the industry to thrive in the city for identity reasons and for economic reasons,” Teng says, noting that phase one had a big influence on the city. “I think it gave them pause and made them rethink land-use issues, job issues and the value of fashion to the city.”
A “Save the Garment Center” campaign began in late summer 2008 in earnest via a T-shirt conceived by Anna Sui and circulated during fashion week that September. The grassroots campaign grew from a recognition that zoning in the area was no longer working to preserve manufacturing and production there, allowing for the redevelopment of what was once factory buildings into luxury lofts and hotels.
The fashion industry in New York employs more than 173,000 individuals and generates about $10 billion in wages, according to data from the NYC Economic Development Corp. As for how big the garment industry is for the city, according to NYCEDC, the total employed in fashion here represents 5.7 percent of the city’s workforce and generates nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually. The fashion retail market is growing at a pace that the city projects will increase employment in apparel and accessories stores by 17 percent by 2025. A June 2012 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects tailors, dressmakers and custom sewers to grow by 2 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Andrew Rosen, cofounder and chief executive officer of Theory and and “angel investor” inemerging designer firms, is working on the Fashion.NYC.2020 initiative, a program of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NYCEDC. Launched in January 2010, the program analyzes the state of the fashion industry ecosystem as well as strategies to enhance New York’s position as a global fashion capital. Among its key goals are to attract more young managerial talent to the city, and to enhance the city as a hub of retail innovation.
Rosen has been working to modernize manufacturing in the city. Programs being eyed to help young entrepreneurs include loans and tax incentives. As part of the initiative, the Fashion Production Fund is expected to launch before yearend to give emerging designers access to production financing, requiring that they use local factories to make their products.
@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)
Discovery is collaborating with British pop artist @philipcolbert on a new line of clothing and accessories called Discovery Shark. The collection, which will launch next summer for Shark Week’s 30th anniversary, features a whimsical line of women’s and men’s bomber jackets, sweatshirts, bags and more. #wwdfashion
“I’m always a big champion of a female rapper, and I’m glad to see a new voice that feels unique and authentic that’s coming up, and I think we’re going to see more great things from her,” said @itsjeremyscott about @iamcardib, who performed at @moschino’s Art Basel Miami Beach party last night. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@janellemonae’s “What’s Your Frequency?” room in @refinery29's #29Rooms made its debut this week at the opening of the Los Angeles art exhibit. “It’s about the ongoing conversation around mass surveillance, the weaponization of technology and cultural uniformity. My space was created so that we can come together and talk about the complexities of our humanity,” said Monáe. #wwdeye (📷: @bucknerphoto)
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)