FIT, CON ED JOIN FOR PROMOTION AT BOBBIN SHOW

Byline: Arthur Friedman

NEW YORK--As part of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's push for a "Made in New York" program to boost manufacturing here, the Fashion Institute of Technology has joined with Consolidated Edison Corp. of New York to promote the industry at a special booth at the 1995 Bobbin Show & Exposition.
Nina T. Kurtis, dean of FIT's Business & Technology division, said her department has solicited about 200 New York wholesalers to participate in the booth, which will be centrally located on the show floor. The Bobbin Show is set for Sept. 12-15 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. For a $50 fee, vendors will be listed on a display register, and FIT staff will distribute their promotional material.
So far, 12 manufacturers have signed up, and Kurtis hopes to have at least 20 firms participate in the program.
Kurtis said the booth is an extension of FIT's "New York Quick Response Center for the Textile & Apparel Industries," which serves as an incubator for start-up QR initiatives or to improve existing programs.
"Everything we do goes into promoting New York," Kurtis said. "So, we are definitely tied into what the mayor and the city's Department of Business Services are trying to do with 'Made in New York.' So far, we're pleased with the response."
Allan F. Hershfield, FIT's president, said he and the college have been serving as adviser and supplier of information to the Department of Business Services. For instance, the school has provided City Hall with a list of fashion companies and has explained the interaction between factors and manufacturers and the potential of local, fast-response manufacturing.
"The program can be a great way to bring jobs back to New York, and as the city's largest fashion educational institution, we're willing to provide whatever resources we can to help it succeed," Hershfield said.
As reported, the Department of Business Services is coordinating the "Made in New York" effort.
The first stage of the project is expected to link New York retailers with local manufacturers to produce private label merchandise, the bulk of which is currently produced in the Orient. Such foreign sourcing has seen apparel manufacturing employment in the city drop to about 80,000 from more than 225,000 20 years ago.
Terry Lundgren, chairman and chief executive officer of Federated Merchandising, has said the retailer is interested in the program, but would like the city to provide incentives to produce here.
The city had set a deadline of June 23 to announce more details of the plan. But on Friday, Sarah James, director of new initiatives for the Department of Business Services, said only that some details have yet to be worked out. She said City Hall hopes to finalize the plan in the next two to three weeks.

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