NEW YORK—Fashion Week doesn’t just bring fresh styles and glamorous models into town.
It also brings money.
The bi-annual event will generate $532 million in direct visitor spending this year, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and $865 million in total economic impact, up about 3 percent from previous years.
“The reason is that —[though] we’re largely at capacity— … as the years go by people continue to spend more,” said Seth Pinsky, president of NYCEDC. “They’re spending more on hotels, they’re spending more on restaurants, all of which is great news for businesses throughout the city.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Pinsky, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Parsons Executive Dean Joel Towers, and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg on Monday.
Both Bloomberg and Maloney touted New York City as “the fashion capital,” home to 800 fashion companies—more than double the number in Paris.
Bloomberg gave updates on six initiatives that aim to support the fashion industry, part of FashionNYC2020, and a comprehensive study of the fashion industry. One initiative, a mini MBA program will accept applications until March 31.
The program includes free classes for up to 35 emerging designers at the Fashion Institute for Technology, taught by institute staff and other industry professionals. Classes are meant to prepare young aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own fashion label. NYCEDC supports the program with $60,000.
“The program will culminate with each participant writing and refining a business plan with the help of industry. Participants who successfully complete the program will have the opportunity to present their plans to and receive feedback from a panel of influential fashion leaders,” according to Design Entrepreneurs NYC.
Fashion Draft, another initiative, will bring 25 college seniors from across the nation to the city Feb. 16 to Feb. 18 for a weekend of interviews with companies such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Gilt Groupe. Students also get a behind-the-scenes tour of a major fashion company.
About 6 percent of private-sector employment comes from the fashion industry, which generates nearly $10 billion in wages annually, according to NYCEDC.
The announcements were made at CFDA Fashion Incubator, 209 W. 38 St., which gives designers two-year leases below market rate.
Ruby Kobo, an accessories collection, counts Julia Roberts and Naomi Watts among its fans. Yuvi Alpert, one of its designers, is part of the Fashion Incubator.
“Anything you’re trying to work on, you can find advice from someone [in the incubator] who works in that field,” he said. “It’s definitely a very good deal.”