What Keeps New York’s Fashion Industry Humming? People, People, People

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(DGIwire) – The days before Fashion Week in New York City are perhaps the busiest in the city’s apparel industry. Frantic designers rush around looking for gold buttons with blue inlay, for seamstresses to make pleats and for patternmakers with spare fabric. They make modifications to dresses in real time under enormous deadline pressures. Yet when eyes fall on the runways, they witness virtually glitch-free shows. How does New York’s fashion industry continually pull off Fashion Week year after year?

The answer, according to an article in Harvard Business Review, lies in a complex economic system whose central idea rests on geographical proximity: the Garment District, eight blocks in Manhattan where designers, wholesalers, manufacturers and others all work.

According to The Huffington Post, many cities tend to undervalue local “fashion” commerce as a real source of creative, technological and manufacturing growth and innovation. Only recently have world-class cities like New York realized the economic importance of reviving and rebuilding the local fashion industry after the 1990s saw most garment districts in North America shut down and moved offshore to achieve cost savings.

The Review explored the geographic importance of New York’s Garment District in relation to the local fashion economy and industry. While now much smaller in size and stature than in its glory days, the District continues to serve as a creative hub that adds to the industry network and the many local designers who frequent it. The Review concluded that specific location is not as important as the existence of the hub itself, acting as a source of critical mass for designers and the industry they work in.

“The growth of the fashion industry is fueling the creation of new jobs and skill sets and raising demand for fashion designers, patternmakers and traditional creative talent,” says Rebecca Cenni, founder and CEO of Atrium Staffing. “The last few years have seen a renewed focus on the part of companies to ensure that they have the best individuals serving in very specific roles—at all levels of an organization—that keep the entire industry running smoothly.”

Atrium is a New York City-based talent solutions firm, focused on providing contingent workforce management services for mid-size and Fortune 500 companies in nearly every industry. Atrium’s expertise includes regional Temporary and Direct Hire Staffing, national Employer of Record Payrolling, national Independent Contractor Engagement and specialty Intern Recruiting Services. The company has extensive experience matching the right candidates for a range of positions within the fashion retail industry. Executives in the fashion industry seeking a new position could find such services particularly valuable.

“What makes New York’s fashion industry—and the industry as a whole—so special are the people working in it. No company can afford not to have the best possible staffers on board,” adds Cenni.