LONDON — Stefan Siegel is teaming with the New York mayor’s office to take fashion made in Manhattan — the Bronx and Staten Island, too — directly to consumers via a pop-up shop at the Waldorf Astoria, WWD has learned.
An announcement is expected today.
The pop-up will be the first retail space in New York City for Siegel’s Not Just A Label, an international B2B and B2C digital platform that promotes emerging design talent. The project is in cooperation with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Made in NY Initiative.
It is also the first New York City-sponsored pop-up of its kind. A press and VIP opening will take place on Thursday, Dec. 3, and the NJAL, Made in NY store will open to the public on Dec. 4, with a party that evening hosted by the 150 designers taking part.
NJAL, which is based in London, will operate the store and sell merchandise that has been designed and manufactured within New York City’s five boroughs. The pop-up will run until Dec. 13 in a room off the hotel’s ground-floor lobby.
“It was really important for us to underline that you can buy garments from young designers who are based in New York City and who can also guarantee that their items have been made in the city. I think it’s one of the only fashion capitals in the world where manufacturing and design happens in the same city,” Siegel told WWD.
“That’s a huge opportunity in terms of providing an answer to the fast-fashion industry. It’s basically saying: ‘Hold on, we can create valuable items, authentic luxury all in one city,’” he continued.
Siegel and his partners from the New York City Economic Development Corporation said they received about 300 applications via a public callout through the NJAL Web site, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Parsons, Pratt and FIT, as well as other organizations.
One of the reasons they chose the Waldorf was for its historical ties to fashion, and because of the enormous footfall in the hotel, which has 1,600 rooms and clocks 900 check-ins per day during the holiday season.
Names that will take part in the pop-up include Chromat, Bliss Lau and Study NY, and some 400 products will be available for purchase across the men’s, women’s, jewelry and accessories categories. Each of the 150 designers taking part will sell up to three one-off items.
Siegel and his partners in the mayor’s office said no rent is being charged or commissions taken, and that the money earned will go straight to the designers. Prices range from less than $100 to $9,000 for some of the jewelry. “The message is that handmade goods do not come priced at $1.99,” said Siegel.
Katie Rosman, project manager at New York City Economic Development Corporation, said during a call the project is meant to help designers “reap nearly 100 percent of the profits they earn through the shop. Typically, the cost for the Union Square market in particular can run upwards of $20,000. From the city’s perspective, we really want this opportunity to propel the labels forward and enable them to grow their customer base, the visibility within their industry, and influence and appeal of their brand.”
The project will also feature workshops led by industry figures, educators, designers and brands, such as Parsons Dean Burak Cakmak; fashion consultant Julie Gilhart, Thom Browne, Kenneth Cole, and Rag & Bone, as well as representatives from Pratt and FIT.
The workshops are for the public and will take place at 6:00 p.m. each evening from Dec. 7-10, with topics including the future vision of the Made in NY initiative, production innovation and fashion education.
NJAL will also showcase “Fashion and Fantasy,” a curated selection of film shorts from an array of New York City designers that present an in-depth look at the historical influences and fabric of New York City’s creative culture.
The New York project comes of the heels of NJAL’s other retail, trade and educational ventures, including a multidisciplinary showcase during Berlin Fashion Week, a space at Dubai Design District and a concept trade fair in Venice, where the Italian government asked the NJAL team to help revive local Italian luxury manufacturing.
The Made in NY program was created for the city’s fashion industry in early 2015 to acknowledge the economic importance and influence of the sector, and support early thriving companies and designers. It also aims to bridge the gap between the industry and those who come to New York City in order to start their careers, according to a statement.