From factories to runways, showrooms to sample sales, fashion is woven into New York City's cultural DNA. The heart of the industry is in the Garment District, the cluster of blocks spanning 34th to 40th Streets between Broadway and Ninth Avenue. Today's Garment District is a world leader in innovation, home to an extensive network of designers, manufacturers, and suppliers that provide a neighborhood-wide incubator for emerging design talent and a source of working- and middle-class jobs, all in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.
In Fall 2009, SIDL was awarded a fellowship for Made In Midtown, a collaborative research project initiated by the Design Trust for Public Space and the Council for Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Inspired by the news that New York City is considering a proposal to change the protected manufacturing zones of the Garment District, the project seeks to understand how the garment industry works and how it contributes to New York City’s economy, identity, and sense of place.
Working alongside urban designers, graphic designers, a filmmaker, and a journalist, the SIDL analyzed more than two decades worth of industry data in order to understand how changes to the Garment District would affect the industry, the neighborhood and the City. By mapping the fashion industry ecosystem – its trends, processes, and component parts – the SIDL was able to contribute to the creation of a compelling story about the Garment District’s past, present and future.
Contact: Sarah Williams
Research Associate: Minna Niova
Student Researchers: Brian Brush, Georgia Bullen, Kyu-won Lee