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NYCEDC Seeks Financial Institution to Operate Loan Fund for Emerging Fashion Designers

NYC Fashion Production Fund Will Provide Needed Capital to Designers Manufacturing Their Own Clothing Lines

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced that it is seeking a financial institution to operate the NYC Fashion Production Fund. The NYC Fashion Production Fund will provide loans for the production of goods by emerging fashion designers who need to fulfill a purchase order from a retailer but can’t obtain conventional financing. The fund will only be available to New York City-based fashion designers and will require the designers to use local New York City factories to make their products. The total fund size is anticipated to be $5 million, seeded with $1 million from NYCEDC and the remaining $4 million to be identified by the selected operator.

“Access to capital is often one of the biggest hurdles to the success of startup companies both in New York City and across the country,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “Through the NYC Fashion Production Fund we are seeking to help lower this significant barrier, thereby furthering the chances that the City’s emerging fashion designers will successfully launch new product lines and develop the major fashion labels of tomorrow.”

“As an investor in and advisor to many young brands, I know that financing and production are critical issues,” said Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory.  “It is really exciting to see the City launching this initiative; it will not only benefit emerging designers but will also support and promote the factories located here, which are vital to our industry.”

The NYC Fashion Production Fund is expected to provide loans for both the purchasing of materials, and the production of the clothing. On average, loans for both purchasing and production are expected to be around $150,000, and loans for only production will average $75,000. In addition, the fund is expected to provide programming to emerging fashion designers in the form ofgeneral guidance and mentorship on business expansion and operation, business development, and related areas, to help designers grow a sustainable business.

The NYC Fashion Production Fund is one of six initiatives that resulted from Mayor Bloomberg’s FashionNYC2020 plan, aimed at supporting the long-term growth of the City’s fashion industry which generates nearly $10 billion in wages annually. The initiatives include: Fashion Campus NYC; Fashion Draft NYC; Design Entrepreneurs NYC; Project Pop-up; NYC Fashion Fellows; and the NYC Fashion Production Fund. NYCEDC has also invested $200,000 to support the launch of the CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR}.

To obtain a copy of the RFP, please visit: Responses are due no later than May 4, 2012.

The fashion industry is a critical driver of New York City’s economy, employing 173,000 people in New York City, accounting for 5.7 percent of the City’s workforce, and generating nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually. The City serves as headquarters to over 900 fashion companies, and boasts the country’s best fashion schools, such as the Fashion Institute of Technology, LIM College, Parsons The New School for Design and Pratt Institute. In addition, the City is home to one of the world’s largest wholesale fashion markets, which attracts approximately 578,000 visitors a year to its trade shows and showrooms. New York City’s fashion retail market –the largest in the country – is also growing at a considerable rate and it is projected that employment by clothing and accessories stores in New York City will increase by 17 percent by 2025.

The City recently announced that Fashion Week, the iconic semi-annual event, will generate a total economic impact this year of $865 million for the City. Held twice a year at Lincoln Center, Milk Studios, and other venues throughout the City, Fashion Week includes more than 500 fashion shows and attracts approximately 232,000 total attendees each year.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.