Manhattan’s shrinking Garment District has been a center of concern for fashion designers, manufacturers, and the like. Proposals have been made to transfer production to other states or even to concentrate it in a single building, but no one has considered expanding the Garment District and revitalizing it to make the fashion industry a more prominent and important economic and creative source for New York City – until now.
On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, the Design Trust for Public Space, in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), released results from their three-year study of the Garment District’s impact on New York City at the CFDA’s Incubator Space in Midtown Manhattan. Guests and speakers included fashion designer Nanette Lepore, Dao Yi-Chow and Maxwell Osborne of the label Public School, Barbara Randall, president of The Fashion Center BID, Joe Ferrara of Ferrara Manufacturers, Adam Friedman of the Pratt Center for Community Development, and Yeohlee Teng of her eponymous label, YEOHLEE.
Making Midtown: A New Vision for a 21st Century Garment District is the “first comprehensive effort to include all key stakeholders to create a shared vision for the Garment District.” It is also the first effort, based on empirical hard data, to present real estate dynamics, a timeline of zoning code development and its effect on the district, and make a compelling case for why the Garment District continues to be an indispensable asset to the city’s production and manufacturing sector. These findings provide strategies and recommendations for how the city, civic leaders, and the entire industry can strengthen the Garment District as a significant source for fashion and creative production.
The fashion industry in New York City is a large component of the city’s economy. Apparel manufacturing represents 28% of New York City’s manufacturing sector – the highest of any industry. The Garment District also employs over 7100 people and generates approximately 2.1 billion dollars in revenue for the city. As Simon Collins, Dean of Fashion at Parsons New School of Design, said, “People want to come to New York because they want to be in fashion and fashion came to New York because people wanted to be in fashion.”
The Design Trust for Public Space’s Major Recommendations Include:
These recommendations can only be achieved through a public-private partnership over the next 10 years, but efforts must be performed immediately. Despite the economic recession, investing in these recommendations can help New York City truly become an epicenter of cutting edge fashion not just to the city itself, but to the rest of the world.
written by Alexandra Sarabia, Contributor
Alexandra Sarabia is a recent graduate from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She lives two lives – a life of art, design, and fashion and a life of Biology and research. Despite having immense experience in the scientific research realm, she has always been interested in fashion in all her life. Her solution is to marry the two different worlds: eco-design, sustainable design, and fair trade. In addition to writing for Quality Control, she also works for KOTOBA, a knitwear brand solely created with WholeGarment® technology from Japanese knitting machine manufacturers, Shima Seiki.
Tags: 21st Century Garment District, Adam Friedman, Apparel manufacturing, Barbara Randall, cfda, cfda incubator, Dao Yi-Chow, Fashion Center Bid, Ferrara Manufacturers, Joe Ferrara, Making Midtown, Maxwell Osborne, Midtown Manhattan, Nanette Lepore, NYC Garment Center, Pratt Center for Community Development, Public School, The Button, YEOHLEE, yeohlee teng