April, 2009

Apr 09

NY400 Holland on the Hudson.

i_0390f691a1f979f6ebdee138e7f9acbebatavus-fiets-2nyToday during our morning bike ride we came upon 200 orange bikes lined up along the hudson river. We couldn’t help to stop and find out what was happening.
We spoke with Marjan Inbar spokesperson for NY400 who told us what was going on.

“On April 30th, Dutch Queen’s Day, 200 orange Batavus bikes make their official arrival in NYC in a very festive way, in attendance of Dutch Cabinet Minister Frans Timmermans. The bikes will be part of a special NY400 Queens Day Bike Tour organized together with The Netherland Club and NLBorrels. Exactly 400 years after Henry Hudson set sail from Amsterdam, the bright orange NY400 bikes are undertaking the same journey across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City.

To show New York City how much the Dutch love their bikes, we invited everyone to join us for a bike tour celebrating Queen’s Day. Due to an overwhelming success, we have closed the registration.

Biking is widely known as the most sustainable, green & clean way of transportation. Since the Netherlands is home to millions of bicycles, the average Dutch person owns 1.11 bicycle per person, NY400 celebrations could not be celebrated without including some beautiful Dutch bikes.

In the Netherlands bicycling is not only used for sport and leisure, it is an everyday means of transportation. More than 60% of the Dutch prefer to bike when possible. In total, over 27% of trips made by the Dutch is done on a bike.

The NY400 Queens Day Bike Tour starts at 9:00AM at Hudson River Park’s Pier 84 (West 42nd Street) and will include a visit to the park next to Riverside Church, where Lou Reed will also be attending the one-hour special “Perfect Day” concert by master Carillonneur Sjoerd Tamminga. After a picknick we will continue our trip via Central Park to the Museum of the City of New York for a great photo moment on the steps of this beautiful building. The bikers are invited for a quick tour around the Museum’s newest exhibit: Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson.

This NY400 project is a small contribution to the overall NYC incentive to encourage cycling as an environmentally friendly & healthy way of transportation. Later on this year, the bikes will be part of NYC’s Summer Streets event and will be used in a big bike-sharing event during the NY400 week in September after which they will be donated to charity. The NY400 biking event is partly made possible by Batavus and Dura Vermeer.”

You can contact them at bike@ny400.org
For more information about NY400 events please visit www.ny400.org.

Apr 09

The Garment Center, We Make You Look Good!

036_52_garment_districtHey, guess what? Your clothes don’t just make themselves!  When people think fashion, the image that often comes to mind is some glossy Hollywood version of the fashion industry. Beautiful people in couture clothes and f-me pumps, sketching a gown or two, yelling at an assistant, draping a form, and then partying the night away with a celeb or two. Then poof, like magic, a clothing line appears.  That’s just not reality.  Even for the few glamorous hi-end designers out there, who may lead the uber-chic lifestyle, there is still a lot of hard, get your hands dirty, work involved in producing clothing.  Whether it is the most fantastic designer gown or the tank top you picked up at Target last weekend, the odds are that at some point in its development that item passed through our little neighborhood.  New York’s garment center is the US fashion hub for every category of apparel. Whether the average consumer realizes it or not, these few blocks in Midtown Manhattan are likely responsible for most of everyone’s wardrobe.  Our neighborhood is responsible for 47 billion dollars of fashion industry revenue, more than London and Paris combined!  Additionally, we have tens of thousands of New Yorkers employed, working long and hard to properly dress the world. It is long overdue that the average consumer realized how and where their clothing came to be.

The garment center is not all Vera Wang and Marc Jacobs, although they are talented residents as well. The Garment Center includes big business as, like Jones New York, Macys, Liz Claiborne, and American Eagle, as wall as, the many manufactures and designers that supply Target, Wal-mart, and Sears.  Rarely, is one clothing line made by one designer at their namesake company.  For instance, Jones Apparel is one of the larger clothing companies here but they own more than just the Jones New York label including, AK Anne Klein, Kasper, Nine West, Lei, Grane Jeans, Erika, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Dockers to name a few. Another common misconception is that one label is designed by one company alone.  This is especially true when you buy private label. Look at an item of clothing you bought at department store or mass-marketer, don’t recognize the name on the label? Or do you know that that “brand” is only available at that store?  Well that means it probably private label. While some of these may be made by the retailer’s design team, often these garments come from several different manufactures each with their own design team. What basically happens is the store’s buyer comes to NYC, picks which items they will buy from which company, (based on what they like, what they believe will sell, and who quotes the best price) and then the chosen pieces receive the same labeling, even though they were not all designed together.  Even more misunderstood is how the average brand is created, which is usually not as part of a collection.  People have images of designers (usually from the movies and TV) sketching out a group of looks, tops, bottoms, jackets, etc. for a runway collection, and in turn they believe that is how a line is created. Now of course, many high-end designers do work that way, as well as, smaller indie designers. However, when you go to the mall or department store or Wal-mart to buy clothes, we can pretty much guarantee they were not designed that way.   It takes a team of people and often several different companies to run those brands. For example when you buy a Calvin Klein designer dress shirt, a pair of CK jeans, and a bra and panty set of Calvins, not only were they not designed by one person or one team, they were not even made by the same company.  Similarly when buying from a vertical retailer (like The Gap) or a collection label (Michael Kors) the item may be produced by the same company, but not designed by the same person. In most cases fashion designers have a specialty. You may be a women’s tops designer, a bra designer, a denim designer, a children’s outerwear designer etc. so even in the same company it will take a team of people to design a single outfit.  All these different types of companies, large and small, fill the offices in our unique little neighborhood.

Now, all of that has to do mostly with the designing and business end of fashion, but there is also the production to think about.  Here in the Garment Center, we still have many factories that actually produce apparel.  While much of the above mentioned companies work with overseas factories, in order to keep the prices competitive for the average American, others are helping save American manufacturing by producing goods right here in NYC.  We cannot discuss fashion, and the business of fashion, without mentioning the importance of domestic production.  As we’ve all heard about so much with our current recession, the manufacturing in this country is disappearing.  Not too long ago, the apparel industry was the #1 manufacturing sector in the US not the auto industry.  As jobs moved overseas the garment center suffered; our neighborhood shrunk in size and in jobs. Now the consumer can buy a t-shirt at Wal-mart (made in China) for less than a loaf of bread.  Thankfully, there are some who are working very hard to keep the production end of our industry alive and well in NYC.  Many of these are the big name designers who can afford to charge accordingly for their product. Additionally, many designers are making domestic production an important issue like saving the environment.  “Save the Garment Center is a campaign spearheaded by designer Anna Sui to preserve New York City’s fading Garment District. The loss of jobs and culture as a result of non-conducive zoning laws has led many in the industry to join together on a campaign to save what is left of the once vibrant Garment Center.” The shrinking of the Garment Center is detrimental to the development of young, new designers who can’t compete in real estate costs with the big boys, as well as, the secondary vendors who rely on local designers.  Fabric store and trim shops are disappearing as designers get priced out of town and large companies outsource to fabric mills in Asia.  The Garment Center is one of the last American manufacturing centers in the United States and both consumers and professional should do what we can to support it.

As you can probably tell by now (if you’re not avid readers of our site, which you should be) is that we have a passion for the Garment Center!  All things related to this unique, historical, creative, and productive corner of NYC peak our interest.  And we especially love educating you fashionistas who do not work in the biz to take a second, look into your closets, and think about how your clothes came to be.  While there is a ton of press on high-fashion, celeb fashion, fashion magazines, Fashion Week, the actual apparel business often gets overlooked.  For those of you not in NYC, on your next visit besides hitting up 5th Ave and Soho for your shopping fix, you may want to just pass through our neck of the woods.  At first glance, it may not seem the most fashionable of neighborhoods, but if you look up at the skyscrapers you will now know that inside are the people creating fashion long before it ever hits the stores. Each company is full of hundreds of people slaving away to make you look good. So next time you go into your closet and throw on that piece that makes you smile, know that we made it happen, you’re welcome!

Article taken from 39thandbroadway.comhttp://www.39thandbroadway.com
URL to article: http://www.39thandbroadway.com/garment-center-good/

Apr 09

RESTORE®CLOTHING makes it to semi finals in Green Business Competition.


As those of you following us on Twitter already know, we are one of 10
companies remaining in the prestigious Green Business Competition,
presented by Green Spaces NYC.

The GBC will reward companies with sustainable business strategies and
the ability to revolutionize their industry by working with ecological
resources. It is the first platform of its kind to showcase small
businesses as the foundation of New York’s emerging green economy.

The application process has been arduous yet exhilarating. We were
chosen out of an initial list of 70 companies, and this Friday we will
make a 10 minute presentation to the judges highlighting
RESTORE®Clothing’s timeless fashion pieces, sustainable and
technologically innovative fabrics, and uniquely NY eco business
practices. The finalists will be announced in mid May.

We are proud to be in friendly competition with the companies in the
semi finals…some of their links are listed below. We look forward to
keeping you updated on our progress in the Green Business Competition.

Fig Food Company
Garden City Roofs
Green Soul Shoes
Gotham Green Farms
Environmentally Conscious Org

Apr 09

Green Spaces NYC Green Business Competition

Subject: Top 20 GBC Announcement

Congratulations! Your application is one of the top 20 in the New York Green Business Competition.

This does not mean you are a semi-finalist. It only means you are in the top 20 and need to be prepared to present your company this Friday April 17th. There will only be 10 companies that will move on to the semi-final round.

April 17th (2pm) – Go Green Expo Semi-Finalist Announcement
We will announce the 10 Semi-Finalists one at a time. You will have 3 minutes to pitch your company to the press and audience in the room. If time permits, you will be allowed to answer some questions from the audience.

This is how we started our day. Nice!

Apr 09

Winter Blues-RESTORED

Spring has sprung in Hell(‘s Kitchen). Life RESTORED. Ready to drop the down coats off to storage and don the new Spring Styles appropriately colored Céleste Blue.

Spring in Hell('s Kitchen)

Spring in Hell('s Kitchen)

Apr 09

Interview with Starre Vartan of EcoChick


Apr 09

see us on SAPPHIRE WHISPER online magazine

One of the many outstanding qualities of eco friendly fashion is the innovative use of materials, taking what we would not expect to use or reuse to make lovely and earth friendly designs. It’s outstanding to me the way designers apply themselves to the challenge of revamping clothing production to embrace eco friendly practices. Their work is paving the way for future generations and I believe that this innovation of today will slowly make its way into becoming the norm. These pioneers have that amazing ability to approach things from a new perspective, embracing our technology to explore and evolve. Utilizing the positive aspects of our technological capabilities, RESTORE is one inspiring example for our future possibilities in which technology and the earth can walk hand in hand towards a progressive future…

Click here to read full article at
Sapphire Whisper