January 22, 2010, New York, NY – The Design Trust for Public Space and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have announced the selection of Project Fellows for Made in Midtown, a comprehensive study of the fashion industry’s presence in New York City with a focus on the Garment District and its place in the city’s creative economy. This landmark study will demonstrate the importance of manufacturing and supply to the fashion industry, and guide city policy on land use and zoning in the Garment District and throughout the City.
The Design Trust Project Fellows include Sarah Williams, co-director of Columbia University’s Spatial Information Design Lab; Interboro Partners, an award-winning architecture and urban planning firm; Jordan Alport, an independent video producer and director; and Tom Vanderbilt, an accomplished journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us).
These experts, selected by the Design Trust, will interview and film key stakeholders – from designers to garment workers, landlords to suppliers – weaving these stories together with accessible, engaging info-graphics and maps that illustrate how fashion industry businesses are tied to each other and to the buildings and public spaces of the district. The team will then identify how this complex ecosystem produces the Garment District’s unique identity, how it connects to other manufacturing hubs in New York and how manufacturing in New York City might evolve, expand and be strengthened, drawing from examples of successful fashion districts around the world.
“While the garment industry has been intrinsically linked to the cultural identity of the city, its inner workings have never been transparent. This is an opportunity for the public to understand and appreciate the process of how clothes are created and how they end up on our backs,” says Yeohlee Teng, founder YEOHLEE Inc and General Secretary of the CFDA.
“The extraordinary team we’ve assembled will articulate a convincing vision for the future of creative industries in New York City,” observes Deborah Marton, Executive Director of the Design Trust for Public Space. “Examining the fashion industry through an urban design lens will reveal the network of people and places – trim and button stores, pattern makers, elite design ateliers – that support innovation and enable our city to retain its identity as the fashion capital of the world.”
Made in Midtown will be completed at the end of March, 2010, and will culminate in a booklet and interactive website which will enable users to follow the journeys of designers as they move through the neighborhood, illuminating the many vendors and service providers whose goods and expertise are fundamental to innovation. As a result, the Garment District’s industrial ecosystem will become more visible to a broad public audience, including New York City officials, and the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who pass through the Garment District every day.
About the CFDA
The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc, (CFDA) is a not-for-profit trade association that leads industry-wide initiatives and whose membership consists of more than 350 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry, and accessory designers. In addition to hosting the annual CFDA Fashion Awards, which recognize the top creative talent in the industry, the organization offers programs which support professional development and scholarships, including the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the Geoffrey Beene Design Scholar Award, the Liz Claiborne Scholarship Award, and the CFDA/Teen Vogue Scholarship. Member support is provided through the Business Services Network, a high-profile group of companies offering designers strategic opportunities. The CFDA Foundation, Inc. is a separate, not-for-profit organized to mobilize the membership to raise funds for charitable causes. Through the Foundation, the CFDA created and manages Fashion Targets Breast Cancer; raises funds for HIV/AIDS organizations with 7th on Sale; addresses the issue of model health with The CFDA Health Initiative; and is a key participant in other programs such as the annual Fashion’s Night Out. For more information, please visit www.CFDA.com.
About the Design Trust
The Design Trust for Public Space (www.designtrust.org) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality, utility and understanding of New York City’s public realm – from parks and plazas to streets and public buildings. Since its inception in 1995, the Design Trust has successfully completed close to thirty projects, enhancing the urban experience for all New Yorkers.
Ibby Clifford (KCD for the CFDA)
Deborah Marton – Design Trust for Public Space
212-695-2432 x 10