New York—Fashion and creativity aren’t worth anything without business smarts behind them.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is committed to keeping New York’s star shining bright as the center of the fashion world. And to keep those fashion wheels churning, Bloomberg just outlined a six-part initiative to ensure industry growth going forward, and while creativity is vital, business skills are everything.
This is no vanity project, however. The $55 billion fashion industry employs 165,000 people, which is 5.5% of the city’s workforce. In addition, the city reaps $2 billion annually in tax revenues.
The plan was developed in conjunction with Seth Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Robert Steel, deputy mayor for economic development. The program grew out of FashionNY2020, where the city and fashion veterans examined the challenges facing 7th Avenue.
While retail initiatives such as Fashion’s Night Out create a single night of shopping uptick and media buzz, they target the consumer. The mayor’s new proposals target those hoping to break into the industry and those already in it. Key initiatives include engaging the next generation of fashion entrepreneurs with networking opportunities, seminars, mentoring programs and more,
- Project Pop-Up: a competition seeking new store concepts
- New York City Fashion Fellows: a program that will name 30 rising stars in fashion management
- Designer as Entrepreneur: a program to teach budding designers the business side of fashion.
In a New York Times article, Bloomberg was quoted: “The creativity and expertise of our talented workforce present us with competitive advantages we want to capitalize on.”