“New York City is at the center of fashion, offering unmatchable assets such as a large pool of creative talent, retail space in highly-trafficked locations, and more headquarters of fashion designers and fashion retailers than any other city in the country.” (1)
On January 11th, 2010, Mayor Bloomberg joined forces with the NYCEDC to launch Fashion.NYC.2020, a strategic initiative to help maintain New York as a leading hub in the global fashion industry.
Products of this initiative include Fashion Draft NYC, Fashion Campus, and Project Pop-Up, a contest to reward the most exciting retail and fashion-related technology companies based in New York City. Some of the 2012 winners of Project Pop-Up included AHAlife, Shoptiques, Of a Kind (shop Co-Founder Erica Cerulo’s closet!), and Style for Hire. Winners were all given retail space in STORY, a unique retail venue located in Chelsea that changes every 4-8 weeks like a magazine, restocking its inventory, swapping out its designs, and changing its look to coincide with rotating themes. They also received mentoring from industry professionals, exposure to industry events, and services, including marketing and PR support.
Home to over 800 fashion-related businesses, the NYC retail industry employs 175,000 people, which is predicted to increase 17% by the year 2025. The city also attracts over 200,000 people annually to New York Fashion Week, held at Lincoln Center and Milk Studios twice a year. Fashion Week includes approximately 500 fashion shows and brings over $865 Million to the city.