Mayor Bill de Blasio marked the start of New York Fashion Week Thursday by announcing the winners of more than $3 million in fashion manufacturing grants.
The Fashion Manufacturing Initiative is meant to spur local manufacturers who are working outdated facilities and have limited opportunities to train new workers. With sky-high rents, fashion manufacturers also have trouble securing spaces to operate in.
The grants range from $46,000 to $150,000. They were awarded to seven New York City-based manufacturers, picked from a list of 40.
Fashion is a $98 billion industry in New York City with more than 180,000 employees.
“This initiative will help increase business capacity and will generate economic growth—while creating and preserving jobs within the fashion manufacturing industry, in turn supporting local designers who rely on manufacturers,” de Blasio stated in a press release.
The city has pledged $1 million toward the initiative while the rest of the $3 million is coming from private partners. Fashion giants Theory and Ralph Lauren each contributed $500,000.