Mayor Bill de Blasio today marked the beginning of Fashion Week by announcing the inaugural round of winners of the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI), a $3 million public-private program designed to support and promote growth of small businesses in the city’s fashion and manufacturing sectors. At the CFDA Fashion Incubator in Manhattan’s Garment District, the mayor highlighted the city’s commitment to preserving and creating more jobs, as well as helping support local fashion manufacturers by making them more competitive in global markets.
“Fashion is an important and iconic industry in New York City, which is why we are partnering with CFDA to strengthen and grow small businesses in the fashion manufacturing sector,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This initiative will help increase business capacity and will generate economic growth—while creating and preserving jobs within the fashion manufacturing industry, in turn supporting local designers who rely on manufacturers.”
Through the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the City of New York has pledged $1 million toward the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, while the CFDA, program chair and President and Founder of Theory Andrew Rosen, and other partners have raised $1.3 million to date—including $500,000 from Theory and its parent company Fast Retailing, and $500,000 from Ralph Lauren. Other contributors include Rue La La, rag & bone, Precision Custom Coatings, Alvanon, CIT, Lectra, Save the Garment District, and Project Gravitas.
“The FMI is an important investment program that strengthens the relationship between designers and manufacturers,” said CFDA president, Diane von Furstenberg.
Seven local manufacturing businesses are the inaugural winners of the FMI. They will receive grants ranging from $46,000 to $150,000 for infrastructure and equipment upgrades and for workforce training, increasing business capacity, generating economic growth, and creating and preserving jobs within the industry. Each award will be matched by the winning business with an investment of the same amount.
The seven winning manufacturers, which collectively employ nearly 300 people, were selected from a pool of nearly 40 applicants through a rigorous process of evaluation conducted by a panel of industry experts. They are:
- New York Embroidery Studio is a full service embellishment factory. The FMI grant will help support embroidery machines with laser capability, a digital fabric printer, and workforce training.
- Martin Greenfield Clothiers is a Brooklyn-based manufacturer of hand-tailored men’s clothing. The FMI grant will help fund new Lectra work stations and other capital improvements.
- Werkstatt is a pattern service and sample room specializing in well-constructed garment development. The FMI grant will help support computers and CAD software, new Alvanon dress forms, and worker training.
- In Style USA is a full-service production facility, with services including fabric sourcing, cutting, and sewing. The FMI grant will help support state-of-the-art machinery, focusing on fusing and cutting.
- Create-A-Marker is a leading computerized grading and marking company. The FMI grant will help support new plotters, computers, and employee education.
- High Production is a sample-making and sewing factory that caters to contemporary brands and that specializes in denim products. The FMI grant will help support new sewing equipment for waist bands, pant hems, button holes, and belt loops.
- Vogue Too specializes in all types of trimming. The FMI grant will help support new embroidery machines with laser capability, as well as design and product development training.
To read more about FMI: http://cfda.com/programs/the-fashion-manufacturing-initiative