Programs for Entrepreneurs

Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI)

The Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI) is a $6 million public-private partnership fund by NYCEDC and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

FMI Supports Local Manufacturing

The partnership program supports local fashion manufacturing and promotes inclusive economic growth throughout the City’s fashion industry. The program has three components:

  • Grants: New York City fashion manufacturing companies are eligible to apply for production innovation grants to purchase equipment, make capital and technology upgrades, offer employees workforce training, and cover costs of relocation within the five boroughs. In two years, the program has awarded over $1 million in grants to thirteen of the City's fashion production companies.
  • Programs & Collaborations: In partnership with industry leaders and experts, NYCEDC and CFDA host a series of programs and collaborations to support FMI grant winners and the New York City manufacturing community:
      • CFDA Designer Open House: Intimate open house for CFDA designer members to meet and interact with FMI production facilities
      • Trade Show Opportunities: Free participation to TexWorld, a premier, international trade show for FMI production facilities
      • City Source New York: Free participation to City Source New York, a New York City-focused trade show that connects emerging designers with local production facilities for FMI production facilities
      • Workforce Training: Skills-based training program with industry experts to support New York City's fashion production workforce
      • Barneys NY x CFDA: Made in New York Collection: Nationwide retail partnership with Barneys NY that celebrates and supports local fashion production; the collection was produced in New York City and designed by seven brands, including The Row, rag & bone, and Narciso Rodriguez (ten percent of all retail proceeds are donated to the FMI grant program)
  • Production Database: User-friendly, searchable online database that catalogs New York City fashion production companies to connect designers to local factories

Production Grants: Overview

NYCEDC and CFDA are excited to continue awarding FMI production grants. In response to industry feedback and needs, FMI grants include the following criteria:

  • Grants have a $300,000 maximum dollar amount
  • Grant recipients are required to match grants 33%, or 2-to-1 (e.g., $300,000 grant requires $100,000 funds raised by recipient)
  • Grants may be applied to relocation costs within New York City (25% of total request)

 Grants Criteria:

  • Purchase and/or upgrade to state-of-the-art machinery and equipment
  • Invest in innovative technologies and software
  • Implement workforce training on fabrication technologies and equipment
  • Hire a professional consulting service to evaluate and implement business goals
  • Cover relocation costs within New York City, based on current and future lease agreements
  • Make capital improvements to spaces to support business expansion

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be in business for a minimum of two (2) consecutive years
  • Be a factory or production facility within the fashion apparel/accessories industry
  • Be located in one of the five (5) boroughs of New York City
  • Have support and business from key fashion designers/brands
  • Have staff and internal capacity required to accomplish the stated goals of the applicant

To learn more about the program, please refer to CFDA's program website and overview.

2018-19 Grant Recipients

Twelve NYC-based fashion production facilities will receive over $730,000 in grants to purchase advanced manufacturing equipment and more.

  • Atelier Amelia: Atelier Amelia is a development and production manufacturer located in the Garment Center.  The atelier offers in-house design services, sourcing, pattern and sample making, as well as production with a focus on swimwear, lingerie, knits and woven.

  • Button Down Factory: Garment Center-based, Button Down Factory is a full-service garment development and production manufacturer with deep understanding of modern and traditional craftsmanship. Capabilities also include button hole and goose down services.

  • Create-A-Marker: The leading computerized grading and marking service, based in the Garment Center, guarantees optimum fabric utilization and cost effectiveness, with the capabilities of scanning patterns, digitizing, and conversions.

  • Geri Gerard: The design atelier, located in the Garment Center, specializes in product development and collaborating with designers and their ateliers on all aspects of their collections, including sample making, patterns, and manufacturing.

  • Hertling: HERTLING is a Sunset Park, Brooklyn-based trouser manufacturer serving the NYC and global apparel market since 1925 and under new ownership as of 2016, now marries a strong manufacturing legacy and new standards of quality, efficiency, and innovation. HERTLING specializes in small-batch production and customization for high-end dress trousers and sport trousers and offers various pricing tiers, including full-package options.

  • New York Embroidery Studio: Garment Center-based New York Embroidery Studio is a full-service textile manipulation and development studio offering embellishment, trim, embroidery, laser cutting, and extensive surface treatments.

  • Not Just Lace: Not Just Lace is a dye and wash house in Long Island City. A second-generation family business, Not Just Lace offers services including dyeing samples and production for all types of fabrics and garments.

  • Park Avenue Trimming: Located in Chelsea, the Park Avenue Trimming family-run factory provides leather trims, components, braiding, stripping, weaving, developmen,t and full-scale production from handbags to belts to leather pulls.

  • Rainbow Leather: Rainbow Leather, located in College Point, Queens, specializes in digital printing, sublimation printing, embossing, perforating, and snake scale cutting on leather, cork and fabric.

  • SN Productions: A one-stop shop located in the Garment Center, SN Productions offers apparel consulting services for the entire lifecycle of the garment, from design development, to sampling, to bulk production. Their team has over 30 years of experience and knowledge in craftsmanship for the garment business.

  • Tailored Industry: Based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, luxury knitwear manufacturer Tailored Industry focuses on WHOLEGARMENT 3D knitting.  The company offers on-demand and just-in-time services that enable brands to launch new products in 1 to 3 weeks and move into production with zero MOQ.

  • Timberlake Studios: Garment Center-based Timberlake Studios builds custom costumes and provides expert alterations on ready-to-wear garments for theatrical productions, the film and TV industries, and more. It is the first theater-focused manufacturer to receive a grant.

2015-16 Grant Recipients

Seven fashion manufacturing companies were awarded grants ranging from $24,000 to $200,000 to implement equipment, technology, and capital upgrades, as well as workforce training.

  • Bestec Concept: A garment manufacturer with a military uniform background servicing large production runs for both men’s and women’s apparel
  • Coyote Leather & Suede: A full-service facility specializing in leather, suede, shearling, and exotic skins for both development and production
  • David Wolfson and Associates: A full-service sample and production house that combines innovative services with traditional techniques
  • Four Seasons Manufacturing: An apparel facility with services ranging from development to both large and small production, that specializes in knits, chiffons, silks, and wovens
  • HC Contracting: A leading women’s apparel tailoring factory
  • Le Studio Anthost: A textile embellishment atelier specializing in hand made couturier techniques for both fashion and interior design
  • Vogue Too: A studio specializing in pleating, tucking, thread, and elastic stirring, that utilizes new equipment for pleating, trimming and embroidery

2014-15 Grant Recipients

Seven New York City fashion manufacturing companies were awarded grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 to implement equipment, technology and capital upgrades, and workforce training.

  • Design IncubatorA sewing, sample, and pattern-making company. The FMI grant will support sample development through new plotters, and technology upgrades, and capital improvements.
  • Dye-NamixA New York City dye-house company specializing in fabric dyeing, painting, and printing. The FMI grant will help increase its services offered to include digital printing and workforce training.  
  • DynotexA full-service garment production company. The FMI grant will support technology upgrades to the company’s pattern making and fabric cutting services.
  • New York Embroidery Studio A two-time FMI grant winner and innovative full-service embellishments company. The FMI grant will support equipment upgrades to increase its products offered and use of laser printing, 3D printing, and laser embroidering.
  • Oomaru Seisakusho 2A sample and pattern-making company. The FMI grant will support equipment and technology upgrades including a new plotter, fusing, and sewing machines.
  • Rainbow LeatherA leather printing and embossing company. The FMI grant will support the purchase of an innovative piece of leather cutting equipment to build upon its line of printed and embossed fabrics and leathers.
  • Sunrise Studio A sample and production company. The FMI grant will support the equipment and technology upgrades including sewing and fusing machines.

Inaugural 2013-14 Grant Recipients

Seven inaugural grant recipients submitted innovative ideas for equipment, technology, and capital upgrades, and workforce training. Grants received ranged from $46,000 to $150,000:

  • Create-a-MarkerA leading, computerized grading and marking company. The FMI grant supported new plotters, computers, and employee education.
  • High Production: Sample-making and sewing factory that caters to contemporary brands and specializes in denim products. The FMI grant supported new sewing equipment for waistbands, pant hems, buttonholes, and belt loops. 
  • In Style USA: Full-service production facility that offers services including fabric sourcing, cutting, and sewing. The FMI grant supported state-of-the-art machinery, focusing on fusing and cutting.
  • Martin Greenfield Clothiers: Brooklyn-based manufacturer of hand-tailored men's clothing. The FMI grant supported new Lectra workstations and capital improvements.
  • New York Embroidery Studio: A full-service embellishment factory. The FMI grant supported embroidery machines with laser capability, a digital fabric printer, and worker training.
  • Vogue Too: Specializes in all types of trimming. The FMI grant supported new embroidery machines with laser capability, as well as design and product development training.
  • Werkstatt: Pattern service and sample room specializing in well-constructed garment development. The FMI grant supported computers and CAD software, new dress forms, and worker training.

For more information, please visit the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative website

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