Programs for Entrepreneurs

Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI)

The Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI) is a $6M public-private partnership fund between NYCEDC and the Council of Fashion Designers of America

NYCEDC and CFDA’s Fashion Manufacturing Initiative is a $6 million public-private partnership program designed to support local fashion manufacturing and promote inclusive economic growth throughout the City’s fashion sector. The program has three components:

  • Grants: NYC fashion production 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 NYC. In two years, the program has awarded over $1M in grants to 13 of the City's fashion production companies.
  • Programs & Collaborations: In partnership with industry leaders and experts, CFDA and NYCEDC host a series of programs and collaborations to support FMI grant winners and the NYC production 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 NYC-focused trade show connecting emerging designers with local production facilities for FMI production facilities
    • Workforce Training: Skills-based training program with industry experts to support NYC’s fashion production workforce
    • Barneys NY x CFDA: Made in New York Collection: Nationwide retail partnership with Barneys NY celebrating and supporting local fashion production. The Collection was designed by seven brands including The Row, rag & bone, Narciso Rodriguez, and produced within NYC. 10 percent of all retail proceeds will be donated to the FMI grant program.
  • Production Database: User-friendly, searchable online database cataloguing NYC fashion production companies to connect designers to local factories 

Production Grants: Overview

In continued partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, NYCEDC is excited to launch the third round of FMI production grants. Applications are now closed. In response to industry feedback and needs, this year's FMI grants include the following new program elements:

  • Maximum dollar amount of grants are now $300,000
  • 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 NYC (25% of total request)

 Grants Criteria:

  • Purchase and upgrade to state of the art machinery and equipment
  • Invest in new, innovative technologies and software
  • Implement workforce training on fabrication technologies and equipment
  • Hire a professional consulting service to evaluate and implement business goals
  • Cover cost of relocation within NYC based on current/future lease agreements
  • Make capital improvements to support 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 aims of the applicant's plans


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

2014-15 Grant Recipients:

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

  • Design Incubator: A sewing, sample and pattern-making company. The FMI grant will support sample development through new plotters, and technology upgrades, and capital improvements.
  • Dye-NamixA NYC 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 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 work stations 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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