De Blasio Launches $15 Million Fashion Program for New York

by Harry Sheff

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during Fashion Week that the City would triple its investment in the fashion industry, from $5 million to $15 million. The Mayor said the money will go to “Made in NY” programs for local manufacturers, emerging designers, aspiring designers and design students.

“Fashion is incredibly important to New York City, not just because it helps make us the most creative and exciting city in the world, but because of the hundreds of thousands of jobs and links to economic opportunity it creates,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We are determined to ensure that New York City’s working designers and manufacturers—and those aspiring to join that community—have the support they need to make it in New York City, and continue to grow NYC as the fashion capital of the world.”
De Blasio’s office noted that the “fashion industry accounts for 5.5 percent of city workforce, pays $11 billion in wages [and] generates nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually.”

The programs will be funded in part by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), along with some private partnerships.

The $15 million in programs breaks down like this:

$5 million for a two-year marketing campaign consisting of digital and print media, highlighting local fashion companies. A website,, is already in place.

$1 million for fashion scholarships for local educational institutions and internships at fashion companies.

$5 million for programs aimed at manufacturers. Part of the money will build on the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, which has already given $1 million to help manufacturers upgrade equipment, train workers and keep local companies competitive. Part will go to seed funding for companies that want to get into new technologies or segments not currently offered in the City. And finally, part will go to a production summit for fashion manufacturers.

$4 million for design initiatives. This fund will help designers with event and trade show space and pop-up stores and retail partnerships. It will also continue the Fashion Production Fund, which has to date given 11 designers a total of $1 million to help fulfill purchase orders.
The City and the CFDA will also launch the NYC Capsule Collection this year, a program to help local designers manufacture and sell small collections in New York City.

A number of local fashion luminaries commented for the Mayor’s announcement.

“We both grew up in New York, attended local public schools, and share a deep connection with this city,” said Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne. “Our brand, Public School, is an ode to our childhood here and a reflection of what New York demands of you—having to stand out, to be authentic, to make a name for yourself. We could not be more pleased to support a program that highlights the spirit of this city and endows its designers and manufacturers with the resources to grow and thrive here.”

“When I started my business with my husband, Bob Savage, we sold my designs out of our boutique in the East Village,” said Nanette Lepore. “Today, I continue to produce a majority of my collection in NYC. New York’s local factories gave me the opportunity to handcraft my product and grow my business organically. I am proud to support Made in NY, and I encourage all emerging designers to invest in New York’s incredibly talented local artisans.”

Full details are on the Mayor’s website and