Andrew Rosen Leads Fashion Manufacturing Initiative
Andrew Rosen (Theory CEO) and the Council of Fashion Designers of America have partnered with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to launch the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative this month. The multifaceted intiative hopes to raise funds for existing factories here with the objective to acquire innovative equipment and advanced technology, and implement top-quality worker training. Their overall goal is to raise standards in factories, redevelop the manufacturing infrastructure in NYC and inspire new talent, as well as established designers, to choose manufacturing here Versus other regions like the Far East.
"The Garment Center has been a big part of my life, my father's life and I was very motivated to help," Rosen said. "There are a whole lot of issues around rezoning the Garment Center, and all of that is probably relevant at some point, but I was more interested in the need to do something that, instead of just saving the Garment Center, invested in the Garment Center."
Rosen went on to tell WWD, "I thought the best thing we could do would be to put together a not-for-profit, and invest in existing manufacturing facilities," he said. "If these factories develop the technology, designers will come back in droves."
CFDA ceo Steven Kolb described the New York City-wide program as dealing with issues ranging from machinery to work force, real estate and resources.
"Primarily, it's an investment in equipment, new technology and innovations that currently don't exist in New York," he noted. "Two is capital improvement on space, because if you have ever been in a factory in New York City, you see how dismal the conditions can be, and this is an opportunity for factories to improve working conditions. Then there is the recruitment and retention of labor for the factories. The last part is information. There is a lot of information of where you can make things in New York, and several databases, but none of it is really prominent, so we will take all that information and make it available at cfda.com."
Rosen, who is already a cochair of Fashion.NYC.2020, which is the initiative led by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the NYCEDC. The NYCEDC is giving $1 million and Rosen committed $500,000: $250,000 from Theory, and $250,000 himself. The program set a start-up goal of $3 million to $5 million that they hope to get from designers and fashion industry associates.
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