The mayor's year-long office initiative, Fashion NYC 2020 will open its efforts to bolster the city's global fashion foundation with a meeting of about 75 of the industry's biggest players at Macy's Herald Square tonight.
While essentially just a preliminary brainstorm, the meeting is intended to create an effective strategy to maintain New York's position as the epicenter of the world's fashion industry. Because, after all, more than 800 fashion business are based here in the city, more than twice as many as Paris, the closest competitor.
Tonight's proceedings begin with a panel discussion with retail luminaries like Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren, Diane von Furstenberg, and Gilt Groupe chairman and founder Kevin Ryan. Among those in attendance to contribute to the discussion: Anna Wintour, Millard "Mickey" Drexler of J. Crew, Hearst’s Cathy Black, Sir Philip Green of Topshop, the Fashion Center BID’s Barbara Randall, and accessories designer Philip Crangi. All in all, quite a varied bunch.
Though no concrete plan of action has been outlined and participants seem to be learning as they go, there are a slew of topics affecting the maintenance and growth of the fashion business over the next ten years that are expected to be addressed, from technology and sustainability to Fashion's Night Out.
It's a strong move that New York's governing body actively recognizes the significance of fashion to the local economy, and the proposed changes and issues faced in the initiative mark pretty huge developments within the industry. We expect some strong debate on the future of the Garment Center and the continued relevance of Fashion Week -- perhaps a continuation of the CFDA's open house debate last year.