For a man who admits to wearing only two pairs of shoes, Mayor Bloomberg has been exercising some impressive fashion savvy of late. Less than two weeks after the midtown-based rally to save the shrinking garment district, the city announced it will unveil a six-initiative plan to help sustain as well as boost the city's $55 billion fashion industry.
The purpose of the program, which will be detailed later today at the WWD 2010 CEO Summit, will be to reinforce New York City as a major retail and commercial destination, as well as nurture and support the talent behind it—the designers, managers, merchants, and the like. Expected to roll out next year, the program will include the following six initatives:
1. NYC Fashion Fund and Institute - Programs and instruction offered to young designers and manufacturers on the business and production front.
2. Project Pop-up - Winners of an annual retail-focused competition will receive mentoring and marketing support, and the chance to open their own pop-up venture.
3. New York City Fashion Draft - A weeklong event for American and international students to meet with members of the industry and score interview opportunites.
4. Fashion Campus NYC - A series of business seminars led by big names in the industry, which will also offer information about living and working in the Big Apple.
5. New York City Fashion Fellows - An opportunity for 30 up-and-coming individuals in fashion to receive mentoring and networking help.
6. Designer as Entrepreneur - A chance for designers to develop their business know-how, with workshops focused on finances and e-commerce.
Development of this extensive program came out of Fashion.NYC.2020's yearlong study, intended to pinpoint the challenges within the city's fashion industry, both locally and globally. While the jury's still out on whether or not the stalled talks over the rezoning of the Garment District will resume—the primary impetus behind the rally two weeks ago—it's clear that the city is certainly invested in keeping New York as one of the world's top fashion capitals.