NEW YORK – In advance of what will be the city’s first public presentation of proposed zoning changes for the Garment District on Wednesday, the New York City Economic Development Corporation has responded to a letter from elected Manhattan officials regarding the situation.Wednesday’s meeting is being organized by the Land Use Committee of Manhattan Community Board 5 and will be held at the SGI Cultural center at 7 East 15th Street. At play is about one million square feet that have been earmarked for apparel manufacturing and another one million set aside for support purposes. With Broadway and Seventh Avenue as the main throughways, the district runs from Fifth to Ninth Avenues stretching from 35th to 41st Streets. New York’s fashion industry sustains 900-plus companies generating $98 billion in annual revenues and creating more than 180,000 jobs.Several industry executives involved with preliminary discussions have voiced concern about initial suggestions that could lead to Manhattan manufacturing being transferred to Brooklyn. The $25 billion new Hudson Yards project under way and Penn Station’s $2 billion overhaul are two other factors that have some Garment Center tenants feeling hemmed in.NYCEDC president James Patchett has mapped out some of the city-led efforts in a letter dated March 17 to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY-10), State Senator Brad Hoylman, State Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, Council Member Corey Johnson, Manhattan Community Board 4 Chair Delores Rubin, and Manhattan Community Board 5 Chair Vikki Barbero. Patchett noted that over the past 18 months the city and the Council of Fashion Designers of America reached out to garment manufacturers, designers, showrooms/suppliers and industry leaders “to better understand the challenges the industry faces today and discuss practical, long-term solutions to address them.”In a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dated Feb. 15, New York City Council member Carlos Menchaca, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, Nadler and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams noted that “we wish to better understand how the city will support Garment Center jobs in the Garment Center in Manhattan and how the $136 million ‘Made in New York’ campus at Bush Terminal will fit in with broader planning for Sunset Park especially South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and future port expansion.”Patchett’s response highlighted how interviewing and holding focus groups with more than 100 companies, individuals and industry organizations helped to identify:· Key barriers to operating in New York City, and especially the Garment District.· Information on New York City’s unique fashion ecosystem and supply chain.· Opportunities to support and fill critical gaps in the industry.· Interest in relocating or expanding to other fashion clusters.Brewer still voiced concern via e-mail Monday. “I’m glad the EDC is finally starting to reach out to more stakeholders and provide new information, but I remain concerned that this plan is half-baked. The garment and fashion industries in New York are an ecosystem, and many of these businesses thrive because they are within blocks of each other. Lifting the Garment Center’s zoning protections now, especially when much of the targeted Brooklyn space won’t be ready for years, is asking for a crisis.”To try to get a better understanding, city officials are meeting directly with additional garment manufacturers, fashion companies and other stakeholders “to ensure their input informs the continued development of the city’s initiative,” Patchett said. “The Garment Center remains the historic home of the fashion industry, and the city and industry expects that many manufacturing businesses will continue to flourish there. Today, there are approximately 830,000 square feet of garment manufacturing space located in the Garment District’s preservation areas. Through our outreach to date, we understand that manufacturers in the district are operating on varied lease terms, ranging from month-to-month to more than 10 years. For those manufacturing businesses that have been successful in the Garment Center, the city is exploring an expansion of our programs to help them stay competitive, and creating opportunities for them to expand. We are also exploring tools to help mitigate real estate pressure from competing uses like hotels.”But Patchett noted that for other manufacturers that have “struggled to find a stable real estate solution in the Garment Center,” the de Blasio administration has committed to “creating new, affordable space in city-owned assets in Sunset Park, which has organically become New York City’s second-largest garment manufacturing hub.”He pointed out that the Sunset Park neighborhood has 2.4 million square feet of available industrial space on the private market. After the $100 million-plus renovation of the Brooklyn Army Terminal, NYCEDC will have more than 500,000 square feet of industrial space available for lease starting this fall. NYCEDC, “as a mission-driven nonprofit entity, will offer garment manufacturers long-term leases at affordable rates in state-of-the-art newly renovated industrial buildings,” he said.Patchett also said that this is in advance of the city’s $136 million investment in 200,000 square feet of dedicated space for garment manufacturers at the Made in NY Campus at Bush Terminal, which is scheduled to come online in 2020. “We believe strongly that the way to ensure the Sunset Park waterfront remains an affordable, job-intensive industrial center is to invest in modern manufacturing spaces. We are proud of the work this administration has done to ensure that. We believe that garment manufacturing, a historic sector in the area, will fit well within Sunset Park’s industrial landscape well into the future,” he wrote.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.