New York City is a style capital of the world, but, besides for small-batch garments, it's not known as a manufacturing powerhouse anymore. What was once a bustling city in regards to clothing production has witnessed a steady decline in its world-famous Garment District. It's easier and cheaper to produce clothes overseas, and in a uber-competitive market, the bottom-line is often the most important factor to producing new collections.
Yes, there's been a re-birth of small, quality-oriented brands who are now making clothes within the Five Boroughs, but larger brands outsource a good majority of their clothesâ€”until now. Theory CEO Andrew Rosen is looking to re-establish NYC as a manufacturing capital, WWD reports. Rosen, along with the CFDA, is starting up the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative in hopes that more and more American fashion brands will make their clothes domestically.
Surprisingly, it's not just the costs of producing in the U.S. that makes designers shy away, it's also the outdated machines and technologies that are found in the factories. Which are great for producing classic, high-quality clothes, but not much else. Fortunately, Rosen has received $1m dollars in funding from the New York City Economic Development Corporation to update the district and rebuild the fashion presence in the city. Which is certain to entice fashion brands to start sewing away in Manhattan.