Over $1.1 Million in Grants Committed to Date Through Initiative to Stimulate Local Fashion Manufacturing
The Coach Foundation Pledges $500,000, Will Serve as Premier Underwriter of InitiativeOver $1.1 Million in Grants Committed to Date Through Initiative to Stimulate Local Fashion Manufacturing
NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) today announced the second round of winners of the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI) grant program, a $3 million public-private program designed to support local fashion manufacturing and promote growth in the City’s fashion sector. The seven winners will receive grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 for equipment and infrastructure upgrades and workforce training to increase business capacity, generate economic growth and create and preserve jobs within New York City’s fashion industry. Through its first two cycles, FMI has granted over $1.1 million to 13 production facilities, helping retain and create new manufacturing jobs in New York City. NYCEDC and CFDA today also announced that The Coach Foundation has pledged $500,000 to FMI and will serve as a Premier Underwriter of the program, alongside Ralph Lauren. Google joined the roster of corporate sponsors with a $25,000 commitment to FMI as well. The Coach Foundation’s pledge of $500,000 matches previous commitments made by Founding Partner Andrew Rosen and fellow Premier Underwriter Ralph Lauren. With The Coach Foundation’s involvement, the program will expand its focus to accessory and leather goods production in New York City. Victor Luis, Chief Executive Officer of Coach, Inc. will also join the FMI Selection Committee.
“We are making a holistic commitment to the City's fashion industry with investments that support and grow each element of this critically important sector, including helping manufacturers adopt new technologies and stay competitive in the face of global disruption,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen. “The Fashion Manufacturing initiative is a key part of our work to make sure that Made in New York signifies good jobs, economic security for small businesses, and a robust future for one of New York City’s most iconic industries.”
“The ability to adapt to the disruptions of technology and globalization is imperative for modern businesses, specifically in the fashion industry, and these seven winners of the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative will use their grants to do just that,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. “The Fashion Manufacturing Initiative provides the critical link addressing the unique challenges facing many of today’s fashion businesses. These companies will be able to update obsolete technology and continue to train their talented workforces, helping to grow the City’s fashion industry beyond the 180,000 New Yorkers it already employs.”
“The success of FMI depends on the collective ambition and support of the American fashion industry. The grant program offers important financial assistance to New York City's best and most deserving factories and the men and women who work in them,” says Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory and FMI program chair. “Its potential is significant and its impact far-reaching. I am thrilled to see an iconic American company like Coach assume a position of leadership in the initiative.”
“We are delighted to support the FMI grant program,” said Victor Luis, Chief Executive Officer of Coach, Inc. “Since our founding as a loftmaker of leather goods in New York nearly 75 years ago, the City has been part of the Coach culture and its spirit is central to all that we do. We have long nurtured craftsmanship and continue to employ samplemakers at our company headquarters, maintaining our manufacturing heritage and hand. We’re excited that our sponsorship will broaden the current program to cultivate accessories and leather goods production here in NYC.”
The seven winning manufacturers were selected from a pool of 37 applicants through a rigorous process of evaluation conducted by a panel of industry experts. The recipients of this round of FMI Grants are:
- Design Incubator – Sample and Product Development
- Dye-Namix – Fabric Dyeing, Painting and Printing
- Dynotex – Full-Service Garment Production
- New York Embroidery Studio – Full-Service Embellishment
- Oomaru Seisakusho 2 – Product Development
- Rainbow Leather – Leather Printing and Embossing
- Sunrise Studio – High-end Sample and Production Contractor
FMI seeks to address challenges New York City fashion companies face in manufacturing, such as updating facilities and technology, creating opportunities to train new workers, and providing support in advising locations in which to produce. In addition to providing financial support, FMI provides mentoring and educational sessions to help generate growth for the winning businesses, as well as resources to connect designers at all levels to local manufacturers. Each award will be matched by the winning business with an investment of the same amount.
Through NYCEDC, the City of New York has pledged $1 million toward FMI, while the CFDA, program chair and CEO of Theory Andrew Rosen, and other partners have raised $1.9 million to date in both financial and in-kind support — including $500,000 from The Coach Foundation, $500,000 from Theory and its parent company Fast Retailing, and $500,000 from Premier Underwriter Ralph Lauren. Other contributors include Rue La La, rag & bone, Google, Precision Custom Coatings, CIT, ENK International, Alvanon, Gerber Scientific, Lectra, Optitex, Save the Garment District, and Project Gravitas.
The FMI Selection Committee reviews all grant applications, evaluates the candidates, and then awards funds based on specific needs. The FMI Selection Committee is comprised of Andrew Rosen, CEO Theory; Steven Kolb, CEO CFDA; Steven Alan, Founder/ Designer Steven Alan; Robert Savage, CEO Nanette Lepore; Marcus Wainwright, Co-founder/ Designer rag & bone; Don Baum, Executive Vice Presidnet Global Manufacturing, Sourcing and Supply Chain Ralph Lauren; and Stacey Eisner Bendet, Founder/ Designer Alice & Olivia.
FMI is one of the City’s suite of initiatives to support the fashion industry, which includes the recently announced Manufacturing Innovation Hub for Apparel, Textiles + Wearable Tech, an innovative fashion manufacturing and design hub in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, as well as the NYC Fashion Production Fund, which offers short-term loan financing for City-based fashion designers to fill retail orders for locally produced apparel and fashion wear. The City has also provided seed funding for the CFDA Fashion Incubator, which offers professional mentorship in design and fashion management, and networking and educational programs in addition to a world-class design studio.
The City’s fashion industry accounts for 5.5 percent of the city’s workforce, paying $11 billion in wages, and generating nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually. New York City’s wholesale fashion market is one of the world’s largest, attracting more than 500,000 visitors per year to its trade shows, showrooms and fashion shows. Overall, the industry garners more than $18 billion in retail sales, $72 billion in wholesale sales, and $8 billion in manufacturing sales annually. The city’s semi-annual Fashion Weeks draw approximately 232,000 attendees to more than 500 shows, creating a total economic impact of $887 million.
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.