New York City mayor Bill de Blasio kicked off Made Fashion Week on Wednesday by announcing the city will triple its investment in fashion initiatives to $15 million in 2015. As part of the “Made in NY” program, funding will directly support and highlight the city’s manufacturers, emerging designers, aspiring designers and students to help bring the latest technology to New York’s fashion industry.
According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the fashion industry accounts for 5.5% of the city’s workforce and pays $11 billion wages. The sector generates nearly $2 billion in annual tax revenue.
“Fashion is incredibly important to New York City, not just because it helps make us the most creative and exciting city in the world, but because of the hundreds of thousands of jobs and links to economic opportunity it creates,” de Blasio said. “ We are determined to ensure that New York City’s working designers and manufacturers — and those aspiring to join that community — have the support they need to make it in New York City, and continue to grow NYC as the fashion capital of the world.”
The initiatives will be largely comprised of public-private partnerships, spearheaded and financed by NYCEDC, with additional funding from a diverse set of industry partners. The program includes a two-year, $5 million creative marketing campaign launching in 2015 that will spotlight the city’s fashion companies. Additionally, the city has launched MadeInNYFashion.nyc, a digital hub dedicated to promoting local designers and manufacturers, showcasing New York City-made products, and providing the fashion industry with valuable resources and information.
This year, the city will also launch the NYC Capsule Collection, operated in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The Capsule Collection will allow city-based designers to create a small collection of items and facilitates their production in city-based factories to sell through city-based retailers. Participating designers will be announced in the coming months and collections are anticipated to be in stores this fall.
Milk Studios founder Mazdack Rassie said, “New York has a long history of embracing artists and creatives, which is part of what makes this city so unique. The funding and resources provided by Made in NY continue this important tradition by supporting designers and even the industry as a whole.”
Milk Studios hosts Made Fashion Week, which runs Feb. 12-18. The F/W 2015 edition spotlights the intersections in fashion, sports, and technology. Presenting designers include: Wes Gordon, KTZ, Astrid Andersen, Brock Collection,Thaddeus O’Neil, Joyrich, Ammerman Schlosberg, Marissa Webb, Sandy Liang, and Sons of William, along with Chromat, Jeremy Scott, The Blonds, Baja East, Cushnie Et Ochs, Patrik Ervell, Tim Coppens, and Dion Lee, and offsite shows from Nicopanda and Public School.
On Feb. 14, Made will present Fast, a fashion, sports, technology experience in collaboration with Carmelo Anthony and Stuart Goldfarb’s venture capital company, Melo7 Technology Partners. Melo7 will showcase ten of the next greatest innovations in wearable technology. The event will also include a panel moderated by Accenture’s Brent Blum, leader of the company’s Wearable Tech Practice.