Everyone knows I love fashion, but it’s possible that my passion for NYC may surpass my sartorial obsessions.
I was born and raised in NYC at a time when manufacturing was still part of the fabric of city life. When people with skills like sewing and tailoring could live in the city and raise their children here. It wasn’t all rainbows and sunbeams in my home as a kid, but my mom worked hard and taught us that if we made an effort we could succeed at anything we put our minds to. She was a seamstress and proud member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.
She spent long hours sewing garments some of which ended up hanging in the finest department stores on Fifth Avenue. I didn’t always like the time she spent away from us at work, but I always loved the magic she could perform with a needle and thread. It’s with her in mind that I want to produce my capsule collection in NYC.
If you’ve been following my journey you know that a year ago I wasn’t sure where to get a pattern made or produce garments in quantity. In January I was lucky enough to learn about a new “City Source” event produced by the Garment Industry Development Corporation (GIDC) and FIT (Fashion Institute for Technology). It’s a semi-annual event to showcase the best garment industry suppliers in NYC. I spent hours wandering around talking to the various garment industry representatives at the event.
My project was too small for some and too large for others.
I began to worry that I might have to look outside of the city to get my needs met at a reasonable cost. Then I met Zoila of Zoila’s Sample Room and I knew immediately that my sartorial dreams could become a reality. And that I could also help provide real jobs for real people in NYC USA. Real people like my Mom and Zoila and all the people in her employ. While it’s a great feeling to make my own dreams come true it’s even more fulfilling to simultaneously extend a hand up to others.
How can you help – look at your labels – pay attention to where your clothing is made.
According to the GIDC’s website “recent reports verified by Merrill Lynch indicate that if each American spent an extra $6.41 on U.S. made goods each week, this alone would create almost 1 million new jobs. This equates to less than one dollar per day to save the U.S.A.” And – while I know it’s also self-serving – backing my kickstarter campaign will help not just me but it will allow me to help a lot of other real people including my new friend Zoila and the women and men who work for her supporting their families just like my Mom did decades ago.
Made in NYC USA.
It’s not just a catch phrase. It’s real jobs for real people.
It’s real families living in NY, NY: a place so nice they named it twice.