Pols cheer Fashion Week’s impact on city’s economy

Eric Gertler of the EDC, Polish Consul General Urszula Gacek, fashion designer Karolina Zmarlak, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Councilmember Dan Garodnick, FIT president Dr. Joyce Brown and State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Eric Gertler of the EDC, Polish Consul General Urszula Gacek, fashion designer Karolina Zmarlak, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Councilmember Dan Garodnick, FIT president Dr. Joyce Brown and State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Ahead of the beginning of New York’s spring Fashion Week today, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney released a report with the Joint Economic Committee detailing the economic benefits of both Fashion Week and the fashion industry as a whole for the city. The report highlighted the $887 million economic impact of Fashion Week, which makes it one of the largest industries in New York.

Maloney presented the report at FIT while wearing a dark mauve-colored dress designed by Polish-born designer and FIT graduate Karolina Zmarlak, stepping out from behind the podium and giving a quick spin.

“It would look much better on a model I’m sure,” Maloney joked. “But the point is that it was made in New York.”

Zmarlak is the first Polish-born designer to be sold in a US luxury retailer with Saks Fifth Avenue and she was an early recipient from the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Fashion Production Fund, a new program that was launched by EDC and provides bridge loans to fashion designers to assist them in moving their products to market.

Maloney said she was surprised by the economic impact that Fashion Week has on the city, noting that it had a higher impact than the US Open and the 2014 Super Bowl, and more than twice that of the New York City Marathon. The fashion industry employs over 180,000 people in the city, including 16,000 manufacturing jobs. Jobs in the industry are paying approximately $11 billion in wages, generating almost $2 billion in tax revenue each year.

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