Press Releases

Mayor Bloomberg Unveils The Winners of Project Pop-Up NYC, an Economic Development Contest Designed to Support Fashion And Technology Entrepreneurs, And Celebrates The Start of New York Fashion Week

Winners Receive Space in a Temporary Pop-Up Store at STORY, A Local Retailer in Chelsea

Semi-Annual Fashion Week Generates an Economic Impact of $865 Million Each Year


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the winners of Project Pop-Up NYC, the latest economic development initiative designed to ensure that New York City remains and continues to grow as the global capital of the fashion and retail industry Eleven winners were selected for Project Pop-Up NYC, including emerging fashion retailers and fashion technology companies, all of which will receive free space within the Chelsea-based retailer STORY to sell and showcase their products for the month of September. The winning companies will also receive a tool kit of business services, including public relations and marketing support, mentoring from industry leaders, and exposure at key industry events in the City. Mayor Bloomberg also celebrated the kick-off of the semi-annual New York Fashion Week, which will begin tomorrow and generate a total economic impact this year of $865 million for the city. Mayor Bloomberg made today’s announcement at STORY on 10th Avenue and was joined by New York City Economic Development Corporation Chief Operating Officer Josh Wallack, Rachel Shechtman, founder of STORY, and Andy Dunn, founder of Bonobos.

“Fashion Week puts the spotlight on our city’s entire fashion industry – and with good reason, since we’re the global fashion capital,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Project Pop-Up NYC will make sure we remain the leader by helping up-and-coming fashion companies in our city take off down the runway to success.”

“New York City has always been a global fashion capital, and with Project Pop-Up NYC we have seen once again that the spirit of entrepreneurialism that gave birth to this industry centuries is alive and well in the 21st Century,” Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel said. “At the beginning of another Fashion Week – which will contribute nearly a billion dollars to the City’s economy – the Bloomberg Administration is proud to continue its support of the fashion industry.”

“Project Pop-Up NYC is an important piece of our efforts to support and cultivate the future leaders of New York City’s fashion industry, both in the retail and the rapidly growing fashion technology spaces,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation Chief Operating Officer Josh Wallack. “With this innovative pop-up store concept, eleven winning businesses will receive critical exposure, along with mentorship and business development opportunities, that will help them grow and take their businesses to the next level.”

“We are thrilled to not only partner with the City to bring this competition to life, but to see all of these online shopping destinations and digital technologies come to life in the real world, for consumers to experience for the first time,” said Rachel Shechtman, Founder of STORY.

“The fashion industry is critically important to New York City’s economy and programs like Project Pop-Up will help the industry’s small businesses grow and create jobs,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “I congratulate today’s winners and thank them for their contributions to upholding the city’s standing as the fashion capital of the world.”

The winners for Project Pop-Up NYC include:

• Acustom, which utilizes body scanning technology to allow clients to create a customized variety of clothing products. The scanner will be live at Project Pop-Up and in use for people to experience, pre-order and shop
• AHAlife, an e-commerce destination offering curated artisan, luxury products sourced from around the world
• Fashion GPS, which connects people, events and products through digital tools that invite guests to fashion shows, track samples, facilitates commerce and provide metrics for brands and publishers
• Have to Have, a social commerce platform that is personalizing digital shopping by offering users an interactive experience to rate products 
• Of a Kind, which introduces emerging designers through editorial and e-commerce, commissioning and selling limited-edition pieces alongside their designers’ stories
• Outlier, an online retailer specializing in combining high-tech fabrics with traditional menswear looks
• Perch Interactive, which turns any table surface into a hands-on, interactive display of the products it holds
• ReFashioner, an online curated consignment marketplace designed for individuals and professional sellers alike
•, an online fashion marketplace that aggregates the inventory of one-of-a-kind boutiques across the country - 160 boutiques in 20 U.S. cities., allowing users to shop their favorite local shops in one place
• Snapette, a location-based shopping mobile app and website to help shoppers find products and offers available in nearby stores 
• Style for Hire, a network of 150 stylists offering wardrobe audits and personal shopping to help people look better, shop smarter, and save money

The winning businesses were selected by a panel of judges including fashion designer Norma Kamali; Brandon Holley, Editor-in-Chief of Lucky Magazine; Vanessa von Bismarck, Founder of Bismarck Phillips Communications & Media; Andy Dunn, CEO of Bonobos; Shana Fisher, Managing Partner of High Line Venture Partners; and retailer Steven Alan. Project Pop-Up NYC will officially open its doors to the public to celebrate its launch with the winning companies and their founders on Fashion’s Night Out at STORY from 7-10 PM tomorrow, with Cocoagraphs artisan chocolate bars, champagne from Henri’s Reserve, and grilled cheese sandwiches from the Gorilla Cheese NYC food truck available. The store will then remain open Monday through Saturday from 11 AM to 8 PM and Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM. Throughout the month each winning company will be hosting events, and STORY will be working with NYC-based partners ranging from Skillshare to General Assembly to host industry educational panels and events.

STORY, the City’s partner for Project Pop-Up NYC, is a pioneering new retail model. Located in a 2,000 square foot store in Manhattan’s burgeoning new retail corridor of 10th Avenue, STORY is a retail space that has the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store. Every four to eight weeks, STORY changes out all its merchandise, design, and fixtures and reinvents the store around a different story-based theme. To learn more, visit A curated team of New York based partners led the development of the creative identity for Project Pop-Up NYC. Matt Murphy, a CFDA Member for over 10 years and owner of design firm Matt Murphy Designs, created the logo identity. The store environment was designed by Snarkitecture, a collaborative practice that merges art and architecture, based in Brooklyn and established by Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham.

Held twice a year at Lincoln Center, Milk Studios, and other venues throughout the City, New York Fashion Week includes more than 500 fashion shows and attracts approximately 232,000 total attendees each year. The fashion industry is a critical driver of New York City’s economy, employing 173,000 people in New York City, accounting for 5.7 percent of the City’s workforce, and generating nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually. The City serves as headquarters to over 900 fashion companies, and boasts the country’s best fashion schools, such as the Fashion Institute of Technology, LIM College, Parsons The New School for Design and Pratt Institute. In addition, the City is home to one of the world’s largest wholesale fashion markets, which attracts more than 578,000 visitors a year to its trade shows and showrooms. New York City’s fashion retail market –the largest in the country – is also growing at a considerable rate and it is projected that employment by clothing and accessories stores in New York City will increase by 17 percent by 2025.

Project Pop-Up NYC is one of a suite of City initiatives announced by Mayor Bloomberg in the fall 2010 as part of the Fashion.NYC.2020 study, aimed at supporting the long-term growth of the City’s fashion industry which generates nearly $10 billion in wages annually. In addition to Project Pop-Up NYC, the initiatives include: NYC Fashion Fellows, Design Entrepreneurs NYC, Fashion Draft NYC, Fashion Campus NYC, and the NYC Fashion Production Fund. NYCEDC has also invested $200,000 to support the launch of the CFDA Fashion Incubator.

NYC Fashion Fellows, created in partnership with 92Y, is a year-long fellowship that will identify up to 20 rising stars in fashion management and provide them with executive-level mentoring, networking and community-building opportunities, and continuing education and career advancement workshops to measurably accelerate their careers. The program is accepting nominations for fellowship candidates until September 28th.
Design Entrepreneurs NYC is an intensive mini-MBA course for 35 emerging designers. Created in partnership with FIT, the program received 165 applications for 35 spots. Over the course of the summer, the selected designers learned the skills needed to successfully run a fashion label, including marketing, operations, and financial management, and worked with instructors to formalize their business plans. The program culminates with a live presentation of the top business plans to panels of fashion industry leaders on September 20th.

Fashion Draft NYC brought 25 business-minded college seniors from across the country to New York City from February 16th-18th to participate in a weekend of interviews for management-track positions at top fashion companies, including Alice + Olivia, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Theory, among others. The program, a partnership between NYCEDC and Parsons The New School for Design, received over 350 applications for the 25 spots, with a highly competitive admissions rate of 7%. The application process for the second annual Fashion Draft NYC will launch this month. 

Fashion Campus NYC, also a partnership between NYCEDC and Parsons, took place in June. This second annual two-day career-building and networking event introduced nearly 200 interns, representing over 120 universities and 150 companies, to the breadth of careers available on the business side of the fashion industry. The third installment of Fashion Campus NYC is being planned for summer 2013.

The NYC Fashion Production Fund will help emerging designers by providing access to capital for production financing. The fund will also require the designers to use local factories to make their products. The Fashion Production Fund is expected to launch before the end of the year. 



New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.


Press Release Subscription

Subscribe to have the latest NYCEDC press releases delivered to your inbox.

Contact Info

Marc La Vorgna/Julie Wood
(212) 788-2958

Patrick Muncie/Kyle Sklerov
(212) 312-352

Rachel Shechtman
(212) 242-2694