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PR- 460-09
October 19, 2009


Emerging Designers Will Have Access to Low-Cost Design Studio Space and Support Services in New York City's Garment Center

Helping Small Businesses Grow in an Array of Sectors is Part of the Bloomberg Administration's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) today launched the NYC Fashion Incubator to help emerging fashion designers grow and sustain their businesses in New York City. The incubator, which will be operated by the CFDA, will offer low-cost design studio space for up to twelve designers. A partnership lead by Newmark Knight Frank's Chairman Jeff Gural and Executive Managing Director Eric Gural will build out the approximately 10,000-square-foot space at 209 West 38th Street and lease units to incubator tenants at below-market rates, starting at $1,500 per month. The CFDA will also provide educational support and access to the essential resources key to nurturing the next great American designers. This is the fourth business incubator launched by the City since February, when the Mayor announced initiatives to support entrepreneurship and encourage start up companies to locate in New York City. In addition to developing the NYC Fashion Incubator, the City helped to relocate the bi-annual Fashion Week to Lincoln Center to accommodate future growth of the events, which are already attended by more than 578,000 attendees annually. And the City established to provide wholesale buyers with information on showrooms and Market Week calendars. The City also continues to work with stakeholders to ensure the future of the Garment Center as a core district for the fashion industry, which supports 175,000 jobs and annually generates $1.6 billion in tax revenue and $10 billion in wages.

"New York City is the fashion capital of the world, but we're not about to take that for granted," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The development of the NYC Fashion Incubator is the latest step we're taking to help fashion designers and their employees stay and grow in New York. Earlier this year, we announced that Fashion Week will move to Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center next September, which will allow the event to continue growing. And we're working with garment businesses, building owners, labor organizations and fashion groups to arrive at a long-term plan to protect New York City's historic Garment District."

"The Fashion Incubator represents the kind of resources needed to ensure and strengthen New York City's position as a fashion capitol," said Steven Kolb, Executive Director of the CFDA. "The CFDA is committed to working with private and public sector partners on the incubator and on other efforts that help American fashion designers compete in the global marketplace. The Garment Center is an historic neighborhood and its rich past and importance is well served and strengthened with programs like these."

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) will provide the CFDA with a three-year, $200,000 grant to establish the NYC Fashion Incubator. Next month, the CFDA will launch a competition to select designers to occupy space in the NYC Fashion Incubator for a period of up to two years. To be eligible for consideration, designers must establish their potential through substantive editorial coverage and orders from top retailers, be in business for a minimum of one and one-half years, and have paid and/or volunteer professional staff. Tenants will be selected by members of an advisory board comprised of fashion industry experts, including retailers, editors, and business leaders. Winners will be announced in December 2009 with occupancy expected in February 2010. Renderings of the NYC Fashion Incubator are available for download at:

Incubator tenants will receive business mentoring services and networking opportunities from the CFDA, along with monthly educational seminars that cover: developing a business plan, branding and marketing, production, sales, and raising investment capital and investor relations.

The City has allocated over $600,000 to cover costs and establish additional incubator spaces for entrepreneurs in sectors including fashion, new media, and emerging technology. This investment will leverage millions in additional funding from public/private partnerships. In addition to the 160 Varick Street Incubator run by NYU-Poly and the Kitchen Incubator at La Marqueta in East Harlem, the City is developing the Hive@55, a shared-work facility for media freelance professionals in partnership with the Downtown Alliance, at 55 Broad Street in Lower Manhattan.

"Maintaining and growing New York City's and the Garment Center's position as the foremost location for fashion designers is an integral part of our efforts to strengthen the City's economy," said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. "As part of our commitment to the industry, the NYC Fashion Incubator is being established in the Garment Center to provide emerging designers with direct access to thousands of wholesale buyers and the support services that are essential to the design process. At the same time, the initiative aims to establish successful new brands that will employ local manufacturers and retain and create vital jobs at factories located in the area."

"We have been waiting to do this for three years, so to finally see it happen is very exciting," said Newmark Knight Frank Executive Managing Director Eric Gural. "We look forward to working with the CFDA on the contest, and seeing the fruits of the hard work by Kliment and Halsband on the design of the space. We would also like to thank the City for supporting the project and the young people of the fashion industry."

"Workers United and the Garment Industry Development Corporation are pleased to work with the CFDA and the City to support emerging designers. GIDC has been working with emerging designers for over 25 years," said Workers United President Edgar Romney. "We welcome additional programs and support for labor designers. New York continues to be a fashion capital because of the vibrant designer community that we and the City support."

"The fashion industry innovation center is an excellent opportunity for young designers to gain a critical foothold in New York's Fashion District, the home of American Fashion. The Fashion District, with access to suppliers - from trim and fabric to sample making and production - is both a laboratory for emerging talent and a destination for buyers from around the world. This is precisely where the innovation center belongs," said Fashion Center BID Executive Director Barbara Randall. "This collaboration between Newmark, Knight Frank, the CFDA, and NYEDC is so important to recognizing the critical role that fashion has in the New York City economy and the vibrancy that the industry brings to our city. The Fashion Center BID applauds this collaboration for recognizing the importance of nurturing innovation, new talent and creativity to further the sustainability of the fashion industry in New York City."

The Bloomberg Administration's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth. To learn more about the plan, visit

Recent Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan announcements to help diversify the New York City economy include:

  • Five new initiatives to help strengthen New York City's cultural sector.
  • A marketing and tourism agreement to boost travel between New York City and London.
  • Broadway had its biggest season ever, selling 12 million tickets generating $943 million.
  • More than 800 retailers throughout the five boroughs participated in Fashion's Night Out.
  • Resources for workforce training to New Yorkers for jobs in a green economy.
  • ImClone will locate its research headquarters at the City's new bioscience complex.
  • A plan to create 11,000 permanent industrial jobs on Brooklyn's working waterfront.
  • Eight initiatives to strengthen the media industry in New York City.
  • New international cruise activity, growing New York City's 13,000-job cruise industry.
  • Steps to help New York City's bioscience companies compete for Federal funding.
  • Legislation that will green buildings and create 19,000 construction jobs.
  • Green projects at the Brooklyn Navy Yard are creating more than 1,700 permanent jobs.
  • Comprehensive initiatives to support the nonprofit sector and its 490,000 jobs.
  • New programs to provide training and resources for City's future entrepreneurs.
  • The start to construction of the International Gem Tower, which will house 3,000 jobs.

Other recent Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan announcements include:

  • Despite the downturn, the City placed New Yorkers in a record 6,800 jobs in 3Q 2009.
  • Stimulus funds to begin training for 90 new FDNY Emergency Medical Technicians.
  • An increase in MWBE contracts in FY 2009, bringing the total to more than $1 billion.
  • The City hosted a bilingual small business seminar for Latino business associations.
  • A $150 million redevelopment plan for the Staten Island Homeport.
  • The approval of Recovery Zone bonds to create 960 jobs in Queens and Brooklyn.
  • The City financed 12,500 low- and middle-income affordable units in the last year.
  • The start of construction of the $148 million East River Waterfront Esplanade.
  • The first housing projects to start using TCAP stimulus funds, creating 2,800 jobs.
  • The start of construction of an affordable housing complex in the South Bronx.
  • Steps to prevent a speculative purchase of Ocelot Capital Group sites in the South Bronx.
  • Plans for the first 120 units of the Seaview Senior housing project in Staten Island.
  • SecondMarket, Inc. will create 367 new jobs in Lower Manhattan through JCRP.
  • $1 million to create a shared commercial kitchen at La Marqueta in East Harlem.
  • The start of construction of a 600-unit mixed-income complex in the Bronx.
  • The start of construction of major improvements to Queens Plaza and Jackson Avenue.
  • $100 million for 14 infrastructure projects across Queens that will create 400 new jobs.
  • The adoption of the City's plan for Coney Island that will create more than 30,000 jobs.
  • New initiatives to help support Hispanic-owned small businesses.
  • The opening of China Construction Bank's New York City office.
  • 11 new initiatives to support the financial services sector and promote entrepreneurship.
  • $350,000 in NYC Business Solutions Training Funds awarded to small businesses.
  • Enhancements to the City's Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program.
  • The opening of a 125-unit mixed income housing development in the Central Harlem.
  • A record 10,500 job placements through the first half of 2009.
  • A plan to convert unoccupied apartments and stalled sites into affordable housing.
  • The opening of New Mount Hope Community Center in the Bronx.
  • The purchase of the Hunter's Point South site to create a new, affordable neighborhood.
  • A public campaign to help more New Yorkers get free foreclosure prevention services.
  • The start of services of the Park Slope 5th Avenue Business Improvement District.
  • A stimulus-funded bond program to spur commercial and industrial projects citywide.
  • The City will use nearly $32 million to train 10,000 New Yorkers for jobs.
  • New space for 20 small businesses in Bushwick, creating more than 80 industrial jobs.
  • City's Workforce1 Centers in Harlem and Jamaica received awards for innovation.
  • Food Retail Expansion to Support Health (FRESH) program to encourage grocery stores.
  • City-supported loans unavailable from banks to help small businesses stay in operation.
  • Three new Financial Empowerment Centers offering free, one-on-one financial coaching.
  • Stimulus funding to help the City provide summer jobs for 51,000 young New Yorkers.
  • The opening of New Hope Walton Project, housing for low-income residents in Harlem
  • New affordable housing at Gateway Building, a long-vacant structure in the South Bronx.
  • The Harlem Business Assistance Fund to help businesses relocate to the 125th Street area.
  • The expansion of NYC Business Express to help businesses obtain permits and licenses.
  • The "Nine in '09" campaign to promote economic activity in diverse neighborhoods.
  • A Center for Economic Opportunity program put 4,000 low-income New Yorkers in jobs.
  • Stimulus-funded community development projects that will strengthen neighborhoods.
  • Stimulus-funded Housing Authority projects that will create jobs for 3,255 New Yorkers.
  • The start of construction of 103 units of affordable housing in Brownsville.
  • The opening of Home Depot in the South Bronx creating 200 new permanent jobs.
  • The latest round of training funds to help small businesses train their employees.
  • The placement of 50 laid-off New Yorkers into positions at entrepreneurial companies.
  • New York City achieved a record 5,000 job placements through the first quarter of 2009.
  • Help for a beer distributor to create 55 permanent and 30 construction jobs in the Bronx.
  • Federal stimulus transportation projects that will create or preserve 32,000 jobs.
  • Steps the City is taking to help small businesses adapt to conditions and avoid layoffs.
  • A plan to create and retain 400,000 jobs over the next six years.


Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

David Lombino/Libby Langsdorf (NYCEDC)   (212) 312-3523

Souri Kim (KCD for the CFDA)   (212) 590-5113

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