Coach Inc. has pledged $500,000 to the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative.
Further, Victor Luis, Coach’s chief executive officer, will also join the 2015 FMI selection committee. Coach’s pledge, through Coach Foundation Inc., matches previous commitments by founding partner Andrew Rosen and and it joins Ralph Lauren as co- premier underwriter.
“Since our founding as a loft-maker of leather goods in New York nearly 75 years ago, the city has been part of the Coach culture, and its spirit is central to all that we do. We have long-nurtured craftsmanship and continue to employ sample-makers at our company headquarters, maintaining our manufacturing heritage and hand,” Luis said, noting that his firm’s sponsorship will enable FMI to expand its focus to include accessories and leather goods production in the city.
FMI is a $3 million public-private program aimed at supporting local fashion manufacturing. The City of New York has pledged $1 million to the program, through the New York City Economic Development Corp. The Council of Fashion Designers of America Inc., through program chair Rosen and other partners, has raised $1.9 million to date in both financial and in-kind support for the program.
FMI’s funding assists NYC fashion firms in manufacturing in updating outdated facilities, training new workers and finding locations to produce.
FMI is in its second grant cycle. It has allocated grants totaling more than $1.1 million to 13 production facilities. For its second 2014 grant cycle, seven firms will receive grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000.
The winning firms, selected from 37 applicants, include: sample and product development firm Design Incubator; fabric dyeing, painting and printing firm Dye-Namix; full-service apparel production firm Dynotex; full-service embellishment firm New York embroidery studio; product development firm Oomaru Seisakusho 2; leather printing and embossing firm Rainbow Leather, and high-end sample and production firm Sunrise Studio.