New York City is arguably the world’s fashion capital and has at its centre the world-famous Garment District, a midtown west neighborhood encompassing one square mile of densely concentrated fashion design and manufacturing businesses including some of the world’s most renowned labels. Read on to learn more about this vibrant historical landmark.
1. The New York Garment District, so-called because of its dense concentration of fashion design and manufacturing businesses, is also referred to as the New York Garment Center, New York Fashion District, or New York Fashion Center.
2. New York’s Garment District is located on the west side of midtown Manhattan, between Fifth and Ninth Avenues and between 34th and 42nd Streets and is home to the majority of the city’s showrooms and major fashion headquarters.
3. The New York Garment District is world-renowned as the center for fashion manufacturing and fashion design, within the city that is lauded as the fashion capital of the world with a revenue stream of $15 billion per year. New York’s Garment District boasts countless major design houses and fashion labels within a one square-mile radius.
4. New York’s Garment District caters to all aspects of the fashion process–from design and production to wholesale selling—and has the densest concentration of fashion businesses in a single district of any in the world.
5. Over the last 50 years, New York’s garment manufacturing sector has experienced a decline within the Fashion District due to increased use of less costly foreign labor which has taken a dominant role in manufacturing in the district.
6. New York first assumed its role as the center of the nation’s garment industry by producing clothes for slaves working on Southern plantations. It seems plantation owners found it more efficient to buy clothes from producers in New York than to have the slaves spend time and labor making the clothing themselves.
7. The need for thousands of ready-made soldiers’ uniforms during the American Civil War helped the garment industry to expand further. The fact that more and more Americans were buying their clothing rather than making it also helped the garment industry and by the end of the 1860s most Americans were buying their clothing rather than making it themselves.
8. By 1880 New York produced more garments than the next four competitive cities combined and by 1910, 70% of the nation’s women’s apparel and 40% of the men’s was produced in New York.
9. Members of the New York fashion industry, including designers Nanette Lapore and Anna Sui, created Save the Garment Center to preserve the concentration of fashion industry-related businesses in the district. They say real estate pressures are driving apparel businesses out their homes in the district where they’ve set up shop for over a century. They are also opposed to the easing of New York’s zoning laws which will allow more offices into the area.
10. The New York Garment District is home to the Fashion Walk of Fame, the only permanent landmark dedicated to American fashion. Modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, the Fashion Walk of Fame celebrates excellence in design by honoring the New York designers who have had a significant and lasting impact on the way the world dresses. Inductees to the Walk of Fame, located on 7th Avenue, include designers Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Halston, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Betsey Johnson, and Diane von Furstenberg.
New York Fashion Center Fabrics is located in the heart of the Garment District and offers a consistent source of the finest first-quality fabrics available. Passionate textile experts cover every aspect of the industry, from dyeing and finishing to fashion design and merchandising.