2010 November 2
New York City's Grand Fashion Plan
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(NEW YORK) Whether he’s renaming the 1 subway line “The Fashion Line” or presenting Ralph Lauren with a key to the city of New York, there’s no doubt that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a dedicated supporter of New York’s fashion industry. Today, the mayoral administration announced plans to implement a six-part initiative to strengthen the industry, securing New York as a global fashion capital. “New York City is the fashion capital of the world, and the factors that drive that success---the creativity and expertise of our talented workforce---present us with competitive advantages we want to capitalize on,” said Mayor Bloomberg in a statement. “Industry leaders like Diane von Furstenberg, Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren and others helped us develop these initiatives to nurture the next generation of fashion talent in New York City and to help make it easier for fashion entrepreneurs to make turn their ideas into reality.”
Seth Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corp., said Monday that with the massive growth of online retailers and with production increasingly moving overseas or out of the city, New York’s status needs a boost. “The industry obviously is changing significantly, both in terms of production and the sales model,” he said to WWD. “In the new global paradigm—whatever that turns out to be—we want New York to remain the fashion hub it has been for the past several decades.” The fashion industry (which employs 5.5 percent of the city’s workforce) is responsible for generating $2 billion in tax revenues and $9 billion in wages annually—both figures the initiative hopes to increase.
The six programs, which will be presented today at the Plaza Hotel, are the NYC Fashion Fund, Project Pop-up, New York City Fashion Draft, Fashion Campus NYC, New York City Fashion Fellows, and Designer as Entrepreneur. Each will have a manager and a corporate partner. NYC Fashion Fund will aid up-and-coming designers and small manufacturers with finances, production, and business development. Project Pop-Up will be an annual competition where winning concepts will get the chance to open a pop-up store. The New York City Fashion Draft will give students training and a chance to win a full-time position at a participating company. Fashion Campus NYC will be a series of business seminars. New York City Fashion Fellows will award 30 “rising stars” mentoring and networking opportunities. Designer as Entrepreneur will be a boot camp-type workshop teaching financial management and e-commerce, among other business skills.
“Now, with the market changing so quickly, just because something succeeded for Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger does not mean it will work for someone today,” said Pinsky. “Now it’s not a matter of which department do you sell to, but do you have an online presence and how connected are you to production overseas? We’re trying to exploit the new sales models as best we can. The key to the future of this industry is to make it more agile and flexible.”
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