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.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@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