A Debate Over The Home Of New York’s Fashion Industry

by MR Magazine Staff

Forces fighting for the future of New York City’s fashion industry came to a head on Monday evening in the less-than-chic but nevertheless most fitting of places: the auditorium at the High School of Fashion Industries in Manhattan. On one side were those battling on behalf of the garment district, a neighborhood that takes up about a dozen blocks in Midtown Manhattan and is home to more than 400 clothing manufacturing businesses. Since 1987, the area has been split into two sectors that are protected by special zoning regulations that discourage landlords from converting space used for industrial purposes to residences, offices or hotels. Facing off against them were proponents of a plan sponsored by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio that seeks to strip the zoning protections and gradually shift the heart of the industry to Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a move supported by $51 million worth of investments in technology, jobs training, business development and costs associated with move. The plan is backed by the Garment District Alliance and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The two factions had gathered for a symposium organized by the Manhattan borough president, Gale A. Brewer. Read more at The New York Times.