Because fashion week has proven to be such a huge, enormous, astronomical success (not sarcasm, for once! NYFW is projected to bring a record-breaking $865 million to New York City in 2012), Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a moment today to talk about how he's going to make the city's fashion industry even bigger in the coming years.
First, New York is joining forces with F.I.T. to launch a new free business program.
Next, our great city will be awarding free retail space, PR, and other services to the "most innovative" retailer.
Bloomberg is also planning to start a fund to loan money to designers that agree to manufacture within the city.
The city is even launching a fellowship program in fashion management with Parsons, and pursuing the city's interns and college kids to enroll in it.
Finally, New York is going to just help people find work in the fashion industry by establishing a job placement program.
Helping New Yorkers find jobs and encouraging local designers to manufacture their products at home both seem like worthwhile initiatives, but imagining Bloomberg's ambitious plan makes my head spin. Maybe it's because we're in the thick of it all, drowning in NYFW, but I can't imagine this giant industry becoming any bigger than it already is. The sheer glut of everything—of products on the market, of new store opening, of new brand launches, of limited edition beauty collections and fast fashion/designer collaboratons, of fashion blogs and beauty blogs and street style blogs, and Pinterest! Can the women of America possibly buy even more stuff and consume even more information about what they should be buying?
5.7% of New York works in fashion, and the popular appeal of the industry has never been greater. Bloomberg emphasizes that New York's fashion world can't fully compete with overseas manufacturing, but it can encourage the development of local "intellectual capital" to increase profits and create new jobs. But to expand their operations, New York's fashion brands will have to find a way to expand the marketplace. You know what that means: couture for kittens.