New York Fashion Industry (2017 Snapshot)

First promoted, in 1943, as Press Week, by Eleanor Lambert, the New York Fashion Week was an attempt to position New York as an alternative fashion capital to the dominant Haute Couture in Paris where high-end fashion was a symbol of exclusivity. Only Queens in the 17th Century France had access to custom design and fit, made with hours of detailing and delicate patterns.

With the World War 2 limiting the American audience in Paris, Eleanor found an opportunity to push local designers to the forefront. American designers worked in poor working condition and found it hard to compete with the established French. Eleanor tried hard to bring in International fashion editors to the show, but when all attempts failed, she paid local newspapers to cover the event, paving the way to the Fashion Weeks in February and September. Now, just for the fashion shows and related events, the city attracts over a million visitors annually. The fashion weeks in February and September each year generates over $900 million in total sales, the highest in the US for one event

New York City is the fashion capital of the world hosting 900 fashion houses with an annual sale of $15 billion. The publication industry is another thriving sub-sector of fashion with three major publications – Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Women’s Wear Daily originating from the City. However, the majority of production in the industry is done in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Mexico, and Indonesia. The value that the City generates is through research, design, prototyping, branding, marketing, and sales.

Nearly 2 million people in the US work in the Fashion industry with the majority employed (80%) in apparels serving a domestic market size of $385 billion and a world market of $3000 billion. Sales and Marketing professionals take in an average of $84,600 excluding the commissions, helping brands reach the audience through traditional media (TV, Newspaper, Magazines), digital (website, Instagram, Pinterest), stores, celebrity endorsements and events.

US Top Revenue Generating Fashion Brands
Although New York City’s fashion media and per capita income ($63,196) have given the city the ‘Fashion Capital’ title, apart from Foot Locker, rest of the top ten Fashion and Apparel brands originate from other states.

The First New York Fashion Week
Global fashion industry statistics - International apparel

RankingCompanyMarket Cap (B$)State
3Ross Stores25.75California
4VF21North Carolina
5L Brands16.87Ohio
6Under Armour11.18Maryland
7Foot Locker9New York
10Hanes8.65North Carolina

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