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Manufacture New York hopes to revitalize the city’s fashion industry and prevent foreign outsourcing

Courtesy of Ole Sondresen, Architect

City Chic

New York Fashion Week is here, and we’re getting in on the action. So we’ve teamed up with men’s e-tailer Frank & Oak to bring you Fashion-Tech Week – everything you need to know from the intersection of tech and fashion.

With the entire city about to be overrun with glamazons and designers, it might surprise you to learn that New York City’s fashion industry is in decline.

Cheaper overseas production and restrictive zoning laws have shrunk Manhattan’s legendary Garment District. In 1990 there were 90,000 fashion manufacturing jobs in New York; today there are 16,300.

Enter Manufacture New York. Calling itself “Fashion’s Innovation Hub,” this design and production incubator seeks to provide mentorship, training, production facilities, and more for small designers. The team behind MNY aims to do nothing less than disrupt the way fashion is made, while enabling designers to continue producing domestically, and for larger audiences.

And the time is right to start hacking fashion. “When some people say ‘fashion’ they mean marketing and retail, but where the money really is, is process innovation,” CEO and founder Bob Bland said. “That’s where huge companies who have tons of money need these solutions and don’t have them.”

Originally located in the Garment District, they have since moved to another creative hub – Brooklyn’s Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Sunset Park. In December, the de Blasio administration included Manufacture New York in a $3.5 million funding contract to create a Manufacturing Innovation Hub in Sunset Park.

Manufacture New York currently hosts 15 designers, and they’re interested in expanding into the wearables space.

You can learn more about Manufacture New York here.

Now go forth (and create).

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