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Press Release

NYCEDC and CFDA Announce Fourth Round of Fashion Manufacturing Initiative Grant Recipients

Apr 24 2017

Seven NYC-based fashion production companies set to receive nearly $750K in grants to purchase advanced manufacturing equipment and more

Over $2.3M FMI Grants Distributed to Date to Spur Technological Advancement and Innovation in Local Fashion Manufacturing

NEW YORK, NY—In partnership with The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the fourth round of grant recipients of the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI), a public-private grant program designed to support local fashion manufacturing and promote growth in the City’s fashion industry. Seven companies have been awarded nearly $750,000 in FMI grants in the latest round.

Each grant recipient will receive financial awards for equipment, software, infrastructure upgrades and workforce training to increase business capacity, generate economic growth, and to create and preserve jobs within New York City’s fashion industry. The production companies will invest the funds in equipment and technology acquisition to better enhance or expand their services, from 3D printers to pattern-making and cutting machines, to body scanning technology and more.

This year’s grant recipients are:

  • HC Contracting, Inc. – A full-production manufacturer located in the Garment District that offers a wide variety of sewn goods services to the fashion industry.
  • Joseph Ferrara, HC Contracting / Ferrara Manufacturing: "This grant is of particular interest since it invests in advanced scanning and fit automation, an area that represents a bold bet on new technologies for our industry. Were it not for the grant, this critical investment in R&D would not take place. This really shows the scope of investment and commitment our City has in the future of technology in fashion.”
  • Create-a-Marker – A computerized grading and marking companies that serves the apparel industry with state-of-the-art equipment and technical support.
  • Paul Cavazza, Create-a-Marker: “With new technology constantly emerging, it is important for our company to keep up with the latest industry tools and the CFDA enables us to do just that.”
  • Design Incubator – Design Incubator develops designs for several major fashion houses in New York City and helps many emerging designers launch their new creative designs.
  • Amy Fong, Design Incubator: “The Design Incubator team is thrilled about the new technology and equipment the CFDA FMI grant will provide us with. Garment makers form the essential foundation for starting a company, and we have anchor numerous billion dollar brands here in the heart of New York City.”
  • Funtastic Furs – An atelier that offers services to designers that seek to develop, sample, and produce fur accessories and apparel.
  • Tasos Karangunis, Funtastic Furs: “Funtastic Furs is a sustainable manufacturing company that sources certified skins and always uses the latest techniques to create unique, top quality products. Using the grant to purchase the right equipment is key to our success and will allow us to better serve our clients, vendors and stakeholders.”
  • New York Binding Co., Inc. – A fourth-generation family business provider of binding, pleating, slitting and trimming services for apparel and home furnishings industries.
  • Roger Levin, NY Binding Co., Inc.: “New York Binding Co will be able to expand the services we have been providing to our clients in the New York Garment industry for nearly a century. The grant will reinforce our ability to serve a wide variety of designers and brands right here in New York City.”
  • New York Embroidery Studio – A full-service textile manipulation and garment decoration studio that offers custom embellishment, trim, embroidery, and surface treatments.
  • Michelle Feinberg, New York Embroidery Studio: “This grant has allowed me to keep current as the latest fashion trends and technology unfolds. This new machinery will allow me to grow alongside the ever-changing fashion industry and continue to invent new and exciting techniques to influence embellishment.”
  • Zoila’s Sample Room –Zoila’s Sample Room offers precise alterations and samples for all different styles and shapes of garment production.
  • Zoila Cruz, Zoila’s Sample Room: “Thanks to CFDA and FMI, I will be able to buy machinery that further refines my work. Programs like this one help garment manufacturers like me improve their businesses and promote their locally made products.”


In an effort to grow local, sustainable, and successful fashion production and propel American fashion forward, the FMI program awards matching grants to eligible companies to help fortify local manufacturing by improving business services through innovation, advanced technology, and business development. The program also highlights these companies on the CFDA’s New York City Production Database, and includes industry networking events and collaborative partnerships.

“Marrying fashion and technology will help us grow garment manufacturing right here in New York City. We’re proud to partner with the CFDA to get these manufacturers the capital they need to reinforce and expand their businesses,” said Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development.

“As the governing body of American fashion, supporting New York City and domestic manufacturing is a core tenet of our organization,” said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA. "Over the last four rounds of grant funding, we’ve been able to significantly impact local manufacturers, aiding in the expansion of garment manufacturing, and we are dedicated to continuing the growth of the sector.”

Along with support from the NYCEDC, many generous partners and underwriters help bolster the FMI program, including founding partners Andrew Rosen and Theory, and premier underwriters Ralph Lauren and the Coach Foundation. Additional partners include Banana Republic, Barneys New York, Bloomingdales, CIT, ENK, Google, Lisa Perry, Macy’s, Pokémon, Premiere Vision, Rag & Bone, Rue La La, as well as our preferred vendors: Alvanon, Gerber, Lectra and Optitex.

Grant recipients were chosen by a selection committee that includes:

  • Steven Kolb, CFDA
  • Andrew Rosen, Theory (Founding Partner of the program)
  • Halide Alagoz, Ralph Lauren
  • Peter Charles, Coach
  • Steven Alan, Steven Alan
  • Jennifer Giffen, Zero + Maria Cornejo
  • Sass Brown, Dubai institute of Design and Innovation

Established in 2013, the FMI program has awarded over $2.3M in grants to twenty-two New York City-based fashion production firms to strengthen and scale-up their businesses. Learn more about the FMI program here.

New York City’s fashion industry accounts for approximately 5 percent of the city’s workforce, paying $11 billion in wages and generating nearly $2 billion in City tax revenue annually. The City’s semi-annual Fashion Week’s create a total economic impact of approximately $900 million in revenue to the City.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.