There are a few fashion capitals worldwide, but there are four that have become fashion capitals today. Paris, Milan, London and New York.
Why is new york one of the four fashion capitals of the world?
New York is known as a city that never sleeps with its nightclubs, a financial capital with the Wall Street stock exchange, a magnificent tourist destination with many Michelin-starred restaurants.
But have you ever wondered why New York is a fashion capital, one of the “Big 4” most influential fashion weeks at the moment? To answer this question, we have to go back in history to the 19th century, when the matchmaking of fashion and New York began.
In the 1860s, demand for ready-to-wear clothing exploded in the United States. There are 2 main reasons. One is because sewing machines are getting smaller and smaller in size, and prices are becoming more affordable. Second, because during the American Civil War (1861-1865), military clothing collected millions of men’s measurements, creating a fairly standard size ratio system for men’s fashion, thereby greatly supporting to the ready-to-wear industry.
At the same time, New York City received millions of Jews from Eastern Europe who poured into the United States. New York is the closest port to Europe, so it is also the place to receive this large wave of immigration from Europe. These immigrants seem to have come to the right place at the right time because most of them are textile workers. Hundreds of shops and garment factories began to spring up.
However, at this time, there is no system to control the proliferation of garment factories. They are cramped, have poor ventilation, and are prone to fires. New York’s elite also fear that disease will spread through these garments. As a result, the city imposed stricter regulations and the garment factories moved to the village of Greenwich, an area just north of Wall Street.
In 1911, at the 10-story Triangle Shirtwaist factory, more than 500 people, mostly women, were sewing and cutting clothes. A cigarette was thrown carelessly on the scrap pile under the cutting table. And the fire broke out, spreading to wooden floors and a host of other garments.
At that time, it was a common practice that workers were locked in the factory at all times, preventing them from leaving work illegally and stealing products. Therefore, the door is always locked and, of course, the panicked workers cannot find a way out. They found the stairs, the elevator, but the fire gradually spread everywhere. In desperation, they jump off elevators, windows, or anywhere else they feel might give themselves a chance to get out. That horrifying scene left 146 people dead, 123 of them women.
Since then, the garment industry has once again had to follow stricter rules. Requires garment factories and factories to be fireproof, with emergency exits, large windows and more humane regulations. Created a standard apparel industry that helped turn New York into a fashion capital.
At the end of the 19th century onwards was the rise of a series of shopping districts in New York, especially the Ladies Mile. Marked the birth of a series of big names. Like Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor, Tiffany & Co., and Macy’s. Ladies and gentlemen of the upper class strode along this stretch of road to enjoy and shop.
Gradually, sewing workshops opened next to the shops. Although moving costs are significantly reduced, another concern arises. Most of New York’s apparel industry is owned and operated by Eastern Europeans. The aristocrats feared that at lunchtime, after work, a series of male workers spilled onto the Ladies Mile would “jeopardize” the safety of the people there. Under the pressure of the powerful, once again, the garment factories moved to a more remote place – The Tenderloin.
Tenderloin is the busiest place in Manhattan, but there are many evils, and it is an unsafe area. Here could not see the shadow of any noble gentlemen. Therefore, the land price is very cheap.
The first two garment factories to go up were the Capitol Garment Center (The Garment Capitol Center) located on Seventh Avenue on 37th Street. The 14 and 21-storey buildings respectively. usher in the era of the industrial skyscraper. In just 10 years, more than 130 garment factories have been built here.
By 1960, 75% of women’s and children’s clothing sold in the United States was made here.
Fashion icons like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan all started their careers in New York in the 1960s. All are Jewish-Americans. After that, designers from other cities came to Seventh Avenue, including Oscar De La Renta. They turned this place into a fashion center and brought the brand value to global coverage, worth billions of dollars.
When it comes to finance, Wall Street comes to mind, and when it comes to fashion, Seventh Avenue comes to mind.
As one of the places of ethnic diversity, New York is a paradise of creativity and unique style. “The city that never sleeps” has contributed to the world fashion industry an American style: Sports fashion. Not only existed, this trend also created a huge wave in the history of fashion. Not only applied in sports, it also exists in everyday wear, music videos, …
The hip-hop music culture also influenced the development of sports fashion. Designers specializing in sportwear including Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger therefore quickly developed.
As can be seen, the garment industry over time has spread throughout New York. To this day, it is undeniable that New York is one of the fastest trending lands in the world. Not only shops but also leading manufacturers, tailors, fashion schools and more headquarters of fashion brands and retailers than any other city in the country. With industry employing 4.6% of the city’s private sector workforce, fashion is a key driver of the New York City economy.
Undoubtedly, New York is truly a fashion capital.
But not only New York, this city faces “worthy competitors”. Paris, London and Milan are the three names that are always next to New York in the “Big 4” fashion village. The four cities that host the biggest Fashion Week twice a year and are home to many global brands.
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