The area, which gave a start to many a famous name from Bernard Gant of Gant shirts through to Calvin Klein, and is home to the Fashion Walk of Fame, is shrinking fast. Fashion designer Anna Sui wants to save it, and she’s trying to do so by using fashion to save fashion – along with scores of other names in the fashion industry she’s exploiting the high profile of New York Fashion Week to get the message out. And the message itself is carried by a classic black T-shirt stating Save the Garment Center.

The problem is that new zoning laws have changed the way buildings in the district are classified and many landlords are hoping to turn what have been factories into luxury lofts and chic hotels, nice for them, with rising rents but not so nice for small fashion contractors who will have nowhere else to set up their small but essential businesses. Sui, Vera Wang, Nicole Miller and others are encouraging their fellow Council of Fashion Designers of America members to help promote the T-shirt which also bears the email addresses of New York City officials who can be petitioned to change the zoning – those rather less than stylish addresses are on the back of the fashion-statement T-shirt, by the way! And if Sui has her way, those details will be seen on the backs of many a model as she does her catwalk turn …

Anna Sui courtesy of Budjit


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