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.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews