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The Garment District: Fashion Central

Updated: Jun 27, 2018

All things fashion are located in the garment district — but how much do you really know about it? Read on to find out about the history, the manufacturing movement, and the cool new projects they are doing!

Historical Timeline

  • Between 1828 and 1858, the garment industry grew faster than any other industry, aided by the invention of the sewing machine.

  • By 1910, the garment industry incorporated around forty-six percent of the industrial labor force in the city.

  • Spurred on by these health concerns, the garment industry would enter a new phase with a new type of production facility: the loft factory.

  • One of the most infamous industrial disasters in American history: the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

  • The ensuing strike in 1909 became known as the Uprising of the 20,000 and marked the start of the modern garment labor movement.

  • On July 25, 1916, the zoning law (how property in specific geographic zones can be used) was passed, the first of its kind in the country. This caused many manufacturers to relocate.

  • By 1926, the Garment District was the fastest growing site of construction in the entire city.

  • By 1980, imports accounted for half of all clothing in the country.

  • Between 1958 and 1977, the number of garment manufacturing firms in Manhattan was cut in half.

  • Today, the Fashion District, as the Garment District has come to be known, is still the home to the greatest names in American fashion.

  • Located along Seventh “Fashion” Avenue, the Fashion Walk of Fame honors notable American designers.

Find the full history at “A Stitch In Time”.

What is Save the Garment District?

It is a movement to resist attempts to disrupt the protective zoning that keeps this pocket of manufacturing and creativity alive in the center of Manhattan. They partner with everybody from the Pratt Center for Community Development to the Design Trust for Public Space.

What is Save the Garment District?

It is a not-for-profit alliance that was formed to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Manhattan’s Garment District. They have multiple fun programs and initiatives such as adding seating, lighting, classes, plants, and art initiatives as well as rotating events you can find here. Learn about their news here.


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