This weekend, the New York Times ran a piece by Stephanie Clifford entitled, "That ‘Made in U.S.A.’ Premium," which addresses the difference in cost (and the difference in volume of sales) between goods made in the U.S. and those made abroad. According to Clifford's article, "Two-thirds of Americans say they check labels when shopping to see if they are buying American goods, according to a New York Times poll taken early this year ... But shoppers’ statements that they are interested in American-made goods don’t always square with how they actually spend their money." As a result, retailers are focusing on quality when trying to justify the higher cost of American goods and attract consumers. While the article highlights several made in the U.S. fashion brands like Nanette Lepore and Fessler, it makes no mention of some of the young designers and emerging design brands that manufacture in the U.S., and even more specifically, right in New York. So, we are here to mention a just few names that make use of the Garment District and are putting NYC on the map as a fashion capital.
PRABAL GURUNG: Nepal-born, New York based Gurung launched his first eponymous collection during New York Fashion Week in February 2009. He has become somewhat of a household name since then, dressing First Lady Michelle Obama many times, as well as Kate Middleton and just about every "it" girl in Hollywood; launching a collection with Target, which helped raise Target's stock price; and recently joining the board of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
CUSHNIE ET OCHS (pictured above): The cut-out friendly design duo, which consists of Parsons New School for Design grads, Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, can also count Michelle Obama as a fan. In fact, everyone from supermodel Karlie Kloss to musician Alicia Keys are frequently spotted wearing their designs. The duo, who just returned from showing their S/S 2014 collection in Zurich, source their fabrics from Italy and France but do all design and manufacturing within a two-block radius of their Garment District design studio. Avid supporters of Made in NYC, Cushnie and Ochs cite the manufacturers in NYC as a key component of their steadily growing business. Having only launched in 2008, it is somewhat surprising to see their brand boasting such superior stockists (think: Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Harvey Nichols, Net-a-Porter, and Moda Operandi) and many, many returning customers.
SIKI IM - This German-born, New York-based architect-turned-designer is without a doubt New York's claim to conceptual men's fashion fame. With a collection that not only consistently defies the status quo, but always boasts the finest materials, it comes as little surprise that Im keeps the manufacturing of his wares close to home. On his eight or ninth namesake collection, Siki Im seems to cement NYC on the map each season as home of more than just sportswear for men.
MARLON GOBEL - With a collection of beautifully tailored, luxury men’s clothing, Marlon Gobel is yet another designer breaking the mold for men in New York. Having spent time in key positions at Michael Bastian and Thom Browne before branching out on his own, Gobel knows a thing or two about manufacturing, and that's why he manufactures his collection right here in NYC. His fans range from Vogue's Hamish Bowles to pro surfers.
PUBLIC SCHOOL - Recent CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne are the quintessential NYC brand of the moment, deriving their inspiration from the city and manufacturing all of their wares here. Sure, their materials are sourced from Italy and Japan, but for them, "New York is truly home and crucial to our unique point of view." Their ultra-cool, yet elegant, take on streetwear certainly has the entire industry taking notice.
PAMELA LOVE - Native New Yorker Pamela Love began making jewelry in her Brooklyn apartment in 2006, and has since created a full production facility and design studio in NYC's garment district. Not only is she committed to producing domestically, the award-winning designer works to ensure that her materials are ethically sourced and almost all metal used is recycled. Her down-to-earth aesthetic, which is rife with tribal motifs and odes to medieval times, has garnered her a following within the U.S. and internationally.