Design Trust for Public Space Launches “Made in Midtown”
Acknowledging the monumental authority Midtown Manhattan’s Fashion District maintains on the global fashion industry, the Design Trust for Public Space (DTPS) is rolling out a plan to rejuvenate the district while maintaining its resources, networks, tenants, and talents. On Wednesday, the DTPS released its latest study, “Made in Midtown,” which looks at the Fashion District from beneath a microscope observing the ways in which the international industry has benefited and evolved as a result of its Big Apple locality, as well methods for refreshing its presence and accessibility.
“The study and what it reveals is a game changer for the district and the city. Everyone will be able to benefit from a shared and reinvigorated vision for a midtown where architecture and public space intersects with light industry and life on the street,” says designer Yeohlee Teng.
“Made in Midtown” was independently conducted by the DTPS in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), an effort spearheaded by CFDA general secretary Yeohlee Teng and architect Joerg Schwartz in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team including a journalist, filmmaker, graphic designer, urban planners and architects, and the Spatial Information Design Lab of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
The first phase of the study recognizes the ways in which the New York Fashion District, home to 846 fashion companies (outweighing each of its European counterparts combined), has moved from heavy manufacturing to focused, independent manufacturing. The accessibility of education opportunities, peer review, research, and materials, as well as proximity of designers to manufacturers, have skyrocketed New York as the “fashion start-up capitol of world,” according to Deborah Marton, director of the DTPS.
“This study points to ways in which New York City can develop a new model for how creative industries can be woven into a city—visibly,” says Marton “Industrial non-profit spaces, tax incentives, and a new zoning strategy all could be part of the solution to preserve the utility and character of the Garment District.”
Phase two of “Made in Midtown” will investigate options for conserving and sustaining the fashion eco-system in the city alongside a second study by the DTPS, “Fashion NYC 2020.”
See the full results of the study at its newly-released website madeinmidtown.org.