In 2010, NYC officials launched Fashion.NYC.2020, a study to determine the state of the fashion industry in NYC (and, thus, the U.S.) and how things look for the future. The final report, based on surveys and interviews with over 500 industry professionals, has just been released with lots of stats and analysis about how we're doing. There are few surprises and while the 27-page report repeatedly boasts NYC's strength as a fashion capital, it's hard to determine how strong it really is because they're only comparing it to the rest of the United States.
According to the report, NYC's strengths are having a huge fashion week (which brings in a lot of money), being a design center, remaining "a robust fashion manufacturing center," having an "incomparable wholesale market," a large retail market and major fashion media and marketing companies.
There's no mention of the garment center's decline due to offshoring, but they do point out the that growth in emerging markets of developing countries (specifically the BRIC countries) is way faster than in the U.S. Our apparel industry is "projected to grow at a continued rate of ~2% annually" (WWD - I think you accidentally read that as a minus?)
However, spending at middle price points, like department stores, has fallen 4% because consumers are spending more at high and low price points.
Some things we'll see more of over the next few years:
• Fast fashion getting faster: We're really into fast fashion. Where H&M, Uniqlo and Forever 21 grew 13%, 23% and 25% respectively, specialty retailers grew only 2% over the same time period.
• Online shopping. Online sales are projected to grow 10% annually compared with 2% for overall retail sales.
• Marketing through new media and social networks
• Technology that crowdsources the design process
• Sustainable fashion, though it's not expected to have a significant impact on NYC's fashion industry
The city's main tactics for strengthening the future of NYC's fashion industry involve developing the industry's "next generation" through several initiatives that were announced last year, such as Fashion Campus NYC and Fashion Draft NYC, which aim to inform and guide students interested in fashion careers.
If you like numbers and bar graphs, you can download the full report here.