Rep. Maloney Releases Report on Economic Impact of Fashion Industry

Feb 22, 2019
Press Release

New York, NY—New York City remains a global fashion power with more than one in three fashion designers in the United States working in the metro area, according to a new report prepared by the Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) at the request of the committee’s Vice Chair Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12).


The report, “The Economic Impact of the Fashion Industry,” finds:


  • In 2017, New York City’s fashion industry employed 4.6 percent of the workforce and generated more than $11.3 billion in wages and $3.2 billion in tax revenue, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation.


  • New York Fashion Week alone, held each year in February and September, attracts 150,000 attendees and generates close to $600 million in total income. 


  • The economic impact of New York Fashion Week surpasses that of the Super Bowl or the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.


“Fashion and New York go hand in hand and we need to make sure it stays that way,” said Congresswoman Maloney, Vice Chair of the JEC. “The loss of Amazon and the jobs it would have brought to Long Island City, makes it all the more important that New York City support and continue to develop industries that stimulate our economy and promote job growth. The fashion industry has proven time and again to be a source of massive economic power for New York City.


“Fashion is big business and New York Fashion Week is at the center of it. This new report underscores how the industry is adapting to fast changing consumer tastes and examines the growing role that Millennials and Generation Z consumers play in the changing world of fashion. Younger consumers wield tremendous buying power, look for brands that align with their social values and embrace direct-to-consumer manufacturers. These important trends are described in this new report and were visible at Fashion Week.”


Together, Millennials and Generation Z consumers represent about $350 billion of spending power in the United States and Generation Z alone will account for 40 percent of global consumers by 2020, the report states. Slightly more than half of Millennials say that they always research background information about a brand before buying, compared to 45 percent of Generation Z and 41 percent of Baby Boomers.


The report also highlights New York’s key role in educating tomorrow’s fashion leaders. The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute and LIM College educate a combined 20,000 students each year, preparing them for design and business leadership roles across the fashion industry.


More fashion designers work in New York than anywhere else in the country. Nationwide, fashion designers earn an average salary of nearly $79,000.


The full report can be read here.