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New York Fashion, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 811

Essay

New York is probably the most ethnically-diverse city as well as the cultural capital of the world. Paris and Milan emerged as fashion centers of the world by giving birth to fashion designers who were masters of their respective trades. On the other hand, New York emerged as a fashion center of the world by giving birth to fashion designers who never lacked ideas, thanks to a multi-cultural environment that provided constant inspiration. In addition, the city has always inspired those who are not afraid to pursue bold ideas in their respective professions. Thus, it is not a surprise that the city is also the national capital of several industries including finance, arts, and print and electronic media. The vibrant population of the city is never afraid to experiment with new ideas and trends in fashion, just as they do in other aspects of their lives.

It may be that the rich diversity of the city also intensifies the desire in the individuals to stand apart from others. This makes the city an ideal experimentation ground for designers to introduce new trends because to New Yorkers, no fashion statement is out of the question. Unlike residents of many other cities, New Yorkers do not embrace fashion to only impress others but also to express their inner creativity. New Yorkers do not always let fashion designers dictate new trends but also force them to gather ideas from the customers. In New York, customers and fashion designers are not only commercial partners but also creative partners.

One cannot mention New York’s fashion culture without mentioning New York Fashion Week which in its early days played a major role in putting New York on the fashion map. Fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar primarily used to cover French fashion even though they would not always be available to the American customers. When WWII prevented fashion journalists from going to Paris, fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert sensed an opportunity and organized the first fashion week in New York which she called the Press Week. She even offered to pay for out-of-town journalists’ expenses who were willing to come to New York to cover the Press Week. The press coverage helped introduce American fashion designers to the world. The event is now officially associated with the automobile brand Mercedes-Benz who is the main sponsor of the New York Fashion Week (Skarda).

The fashion sector in New York employs 173,000 people which account for 5.7 percent of the city’s labor force. The total wage earned by the fashion industry workforce totals $10 billion approximately, generating $1.7 billion tax revenues for the city. The city is not merely a commercial hub for the fashion industry but also home to several leading fashion design institutions that produce future fashion designers as well as prepare students for other types of careers in the fashion industry. The prominent fashion design institutes include Parsons The New School for Design, Fashion Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, LIM College, and The Art Institute of New York City (NYCEDC).

Even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg understands the importance of fashion industry to the city which is why he and NYCEDC launched a study titled Fashion.NYC.2020 in 2010 which has led to the development of six initiatives in order to maintain New York’s position as the global leader in fashion. These initiatives include providing mentoring and financial support to emerging fashion designers, promoting innovative retail concepts, and  providing networking and career opportunities to students (NYCEDC).

One reason New York is the fashion center of the world may also have to do with its highly tolerant culture.  Unlike many other cities where homosexuality still has negative social stigma, New York has always been at the leading edge of social rights movements. The fashion industry is known to have several gay designers that are some of the most prominent names in their profession including Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, and Michael Kors. In New York, one always feel welcome irrespective of his sexual orientation which is why not only fashion but all kind of arts flourish in the city including theater and music. New York doesn’t only host all kinds of diversity but also celebrates it.

Since emerging on the global fashion stage around the time of WWII, New York has never looked back. Its diverse population and tolerant culture makes it an ideal source of inspiration to fashion designers and it is no surprise that many famous fashion brands originated in the city including Anne Klein, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Isaac Mizrahi, Ralph Lauren, and Diane von Furstenberg. Even the city’s government understands the strategic importance of fashion sector to the city and has taken several steps to ensure the continuous growth of the city’s fashion culture.

References

NYCEDC. http://www.nycedc.com/industry/fashion. 14 November 2012 <http://www.nycedc.com/industry/fashion>.

Skarda, Erin. A Brief History of New York Fashion Week. 9 February 2012. 14 November 2012 <http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/02/09/a-brief-history-of-new-york-fashion-week/>.

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