NYC Invests $3.5 Million to Support Emerging Designers and Boost Local Manufacturing

With the rise of resources geared toward local production and new fashion incubators popping up in every major city in the United States, the time is right for emerging designers to explore available options to further their design businesses.

The latest case in point? Women’s Wear Daily recently announced that NYC officials will invest $3.5 million in a new fashion epicenter called the Manufacturing Innovation Hub for Apparel, Textiles & Wearable Tech, located in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. In an effort to support local manufacturing as well as emerging designers’ education and careers, the 160,000-square-foot facility will house designers’ studios, a sample room, classroom space and conference rooms.

Construction is expected to commence in February coinciding with fashion week. Ole Sondersen Architect has been tapped to design the space over the course of the next nine months. Eventually the Manufacturing Innovation Hub for Apparel, Textiles & Wearable Tech will be the home to 20-30 businesses and up to 50 designers, creating and/or retaining about 300 jobs in the NYC area. The build out should take approximately 18-months.

Bob Bland, CEO and founder of Manufacture New York, has long been dedicated to to “providing independent designers with the resources and skills to streamline their production process and transform local manufacturing into the most affordable, innovative option for all.” A designer and entrepreneur herself, Ms. Bland has been a driving force behind this new hub.

We know that NYC is not alone in its commitment to local design talent and workforce. Have a story to tell about your community supporting local designers and advancing the businesses and careers of tomorrow’s brightest and best? Please share in the comments below. Dream of starting your own fashion business? The U of F can help you get started. And as an online resource for designers, the University of Fashion is poised to be an added support to incubators the world over. Put us in touch with the designers we can assist in your community!

Reminder: The holidays are around the corner! Purchase a subscription to the University of Fashion for the designers on your list. Use discount code HOLIDAYS2014 at checkout and receive the first month of a monthly subscription for only $9.95!

Images: Manufacture New York


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Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.