Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD 100 issue 11/01/2010

On January 8, 1986, WWD reported on the rampant—and devastating—use of cocaine on Seventh Avenue. “[It is] the drug of choice among employees at a wide variety of fashion firms, from smaller manufacturers to multimillion-dollar designer houses,” noted the paper. “Sources reported cocaine being delivered by messenger and money from samples sales being used to buy drugs. Others remembered a designer who swore his inspiration came from cocaine; some recalled one or two firms left crippled as profits went up management’s nose.” The investigation, which included a number of interviews with anonymous industry addicts and users, led the paper to a cocaine dealer called Alex. “Most times, Alex’s customers do the deal right in their offices at 1407 Broadway,” WWD wrote, adding that many other small-time dealers work directly in the industry as rack men, loading men, maintenance men or elevator operators. In fact, according to drug abuse expert Dr. Mark Gold, there were two groups of heavy users in the city—“Wall Street traders and people in the Garment District.”

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