The total economic impact of Fashion Week will be an estimated $865 million this year, according to city officials — an all-time high. The projection, which factors in current events as well as those surrounding September Fashion Week events, is 2- to 3-percent over last year's figures.
"The reason is, we're largely at capacity," said Seth Pinsky, who heads the city's Economic Development Corporation. "It's just that as the years go by, people continue to spend more. They're spending more on hotels, they're spending more on restaurants, all of which are great news for businesses throughout the economy in the city."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking at the Council of Fashion Designers of America headquarters, noted that "there are no deals" to be found for the estimated 232,000 people expected to attend Fashion Week events this year, a sign that hotels and other businesses are at capacity and don't need to offer discounts to attract customers.
The mayor joined with designer and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg, in announcing a series of initiatives meant to bolster the local fashion industry.
These include the creation of Design Entrepreneurs NYC, an "intensive mini-MBA course" created in partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology; and NYC Fashion Fellows, a program to identify as many as 20 "rising stars" in the industry who would receive mentoring services and networking opportunities with well-established professionals.
According to city officials, the fashion industry employs 173,000 people, generating nearly $10 billion in annual wages.