On Monday night at 9 pm (EST), HBO will debut the documentary Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags that takes a look at the history of New York’s Garment District. From the clips we just watched, it looks to be incredibly educational and interesting.
As someone who has only worked on the editorial side, the Garment District has just been an axis around which the industry I work in revolved. But I’ve never had much first-hand knowledge or experience with it, the way a designer or a production person would. Needless to say, I will be tuning in and soaking up all the historical footage and interviews with lifelong garmentos and industry folks like Fern Mallis and Isaac Mizrahi.
The Garment District used to be a serious force in the city’s economy, but that’s become less and less the case as the years go by. In the mid-60s 95% of American clothing was made in the US. By 1985, it was 70% and now it’s only about 5%. You can only imagine what that does to the country’s fashion hub.
Lately its problems are garnering a lot more attention. Along with the documentary, a Save the Garment Center rally has been planned. The center is in danger of shutting down due to zoning issues with the city. Steven Kolb, Stan Herman, Nanette Lepore and others will be on hand voicing their concerns and showing support.
Here’s hoping the garment industry fares better than the airlines and the automobiles. More information on the rally and another clip after the jump!
Garment Center Rally
Wednesday October 21st
39th Street & 7th Avenue
at the Button and Needle Statue