DVF, Kors, Cornejo, And More Rally For Garment Center
With the wind of Marc Levin’s HBO documentary Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags, which aired Monday, at their backs, supporters of NYC’s shrinking Garment District gathered today at noon for a Save the Garment Center rally. There was a sizable turnout for the event at the corner of 39th Street and Seventh Avenue, which was organized by a mix of city officials and led by designers Nanette Lepore and Yeohlee Teng. The crowd spanned the entire northeast side of the block reaching to 40th Street. “The Garment Center is the lifeblood of New York City…and we need to preserve it,” said Lepore, standing on a small stage, to the assembled fashion students, designers, and Garment District workers. “The city has already lost enough of what keeps us unique,” she added.
Designer and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg turned up to lend her considerable support, as did Michael Kors, Victoria Bartlett, Maria Cornejo, Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wainwright and Chris Benz. “I produce my entire collection here,” said Benz. “For a young designer, the quantities for production lots overseas are enormous. They ask for 1,000 pieces at a time.” Erin Fetherston, who was part of the cause but was out of town filming a broadcast for her line with QVC, had similar thoughts. “The Garment District is so important to New York and New York fashion,” said Fetherston, before the rally. “Big American brands and young designers alike all have access to the same great resources for making clothing.” Or as one of the posters cheekily but effectively summarized, “It’s Sew N.Y.”