If there was ever any debate regarding New York’s status as the fashion capital of the world, a report prepared by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and the US Congress Joint Economic Committee should put it all to rest. The document, completed with the assistance of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), explores multiple aspects of New York’s flourishing fashion scene and describes New York Fashion Week’s economic impact. The event takes over the city twice a year during the months of February and September, and brings in nearly $900 million to the city, with $532 million coming from direct visitor spending. Each year, more than 230,000 fashionistas flock to the celebrity riddled events, bringing in more money than the New York City Marathon, last year’s New Jersey-based Super Bowl, or the U.S. Open.
The eye-opening report might have those who consider fashion a trivial interest reassessing their position. Even after New York Fashion Week comes to a close on September 17th, the city will continue to reap the benefits of the designer’s creativity. The fashion industry in New York City is a $98 billion business that employs about 180,000 people, equaling six percent of the city’s workforce. From more than $10 billion in total wages, the city receives $2 billion in tax revenue.
“The economic impact of New York’s Fashion Weeks is massive!” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Fashion is so much more than style; it’s big business that creates a vast array of good paying jobs. Fashion is one of the largest industries in the city, producing $887 million in economic activity. Approximately 180,000 people are employed in the fashion industry in primarily good middle-class jobs. Impeccable style not only epitomizes New York, but it also puts New Yorkers to work.”
Globally, fashion is a $1.2 trillion industry, with the United States’ spending accounting for more than 250 billion dollars. Apparel imports continue to enter the United States, predominantly from countries like China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Mexico, while the US increases its focus on high-end fashion design. New York is the headquarter for more than 900 fashion companies including respected firms like Anna Sui, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, J. Crew, and Marc Jacobs.
Not only is New York the largest retail market in the country, with $15 billion dollars in annual sales, it also serves as an important hub for elite fashion publications such as Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily. The city is also home to top-notch designs schools including Parsons The New School for Design, Pratt Institute, and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
While February and September celebrate the glitz and glamour of exclusive design with New York Fashion Weeks, style is a way of life, year round, for those enamored by the inner working of the fashion industry in the city that never sleeps. Read about the latest fashion trends: Luxury Becomes More Discreet. ■
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