More on the ever-shrinking garment industry in the city: Come August, one of the last of the East Village's family-owned fabric stores, Village Fabrics, will close its doors for good.
With little more than a month before it shutters, the store is hosting a liquidation sale to clear out the rest of its inventory. Owner Sadik Kokan expressed sadness and frustration over the futility of working to save the business his parents started 20 years ago. He anticipates the store will last until August, despite his persistent attempts to petition the city council and negotiate with landlords.
The Kokan family and Village Fabrics embody the very conundrum facing the garment industry today. While they feel a certain indispensability to the locals in need of fabric, trimmings and sewing notions that have grown increasingly rare (Kokan believes VF is the last place in the city to stock classic iron-on letters, so get them while you still can), real estate dictates a different tune, especially when larger wholesalers bustle in.
At this point, Kokan is unsure of what the future will bring for his family's business, and for the industry as a whole. After a long time bailing out a sinking ship, he's understandably exhausted and can only take it day by day. However, with a small business like Village Fabric, they became what they did based on a sense of resourcefulness and creativity this city is famous for. That said, we can only be optimistic for the next generation of garment industry scions to help foster and cultivate fledgling design talent (and service the sewing needs of the rest of us).