Bloomberg Excludes Bloggers In NYC Fashion Initiative

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New York City wants to maintain its status as the fashion capital of the United States, and with an industry that currently employs 173,000 people, accounting for over 5.7 percent of the city’s workforce and generating nearly $10 billion in wages annually (according to figures provided by NYCEDC), the city's Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing to foster a wide range of up-and-coming local talent — but bloggers didn't make the cut.

One such initiative is happening today, according to the Business of Fashion. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) have collaborated with Manhattan-based concept store STORY, founded by Rachel Shechtman, in creating a competition where promising fashion retailers and fashion tech start-ups can win prizes, including a temporary pop-up shop, PR and marketing support and business mentoring. Called Project PopUp NYC, the competition is set to coincide with New York Fashion Week in September with the intention to help these businesses take their brands to the next level.

With both small fashion businesses and tech start ups being helped, you would think small independent blogging businesses would fall somewhere in the middle of these categories.

The project is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Fashion.NYC.2020 initiative, which launched in January 2010. In February 2012, Bloomberg described the five tactics to help build the industry through his administration’s Fashion NYC 2020 program which includes introducing a free mini M.B.A. program through Fashion Institute of Technology; aiding innovative retailers with free space, marketing and PR; funding loans to designers to manufacture locally; establishing a fellowship program with Parsons; and job placement college graduates. However, no where was there any mention of aid to bloggers.

Here at IFB we believe the fashion blogging community is integral in the ever-changing landscape of the fashion industry, and many of them reside in New York City (hey! we're here!). Do you think Bloomberg should try and aid independent bloggers as well (as most of us are small businesses and fit the criteria for both fashion and tech)? 

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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6 Responses

  1. Laura Lily

    Yes I do! Fashion blogging plays a huge part in helping brands rise in exposure and popularity! We make fashion our lives because we love it so much. Bloomberg we will not go unnoticed!

  2. Catherine

    I don’t. I blog as a hobby, but I realize there are many that blog full-time/professionally. Not to undermine the work that bloggers do, but fashion tech companies (like Gilt Groupe, etc.), retailers and designers face much more difficulties getting started. What I like about blogging is that it’s democratic, and that anyone can start a blog. However, requesting that bloggers be included is a little insulting to people who actually need space/serious funds/pr to get their business off the ground.

    Some, not all, bloggers have experienced economic success from their blogs. And good for them. Some of them may have degrees in fashion or something entirely unrelated, but it seems like this venture is targeting young individuals, perhaps some who have accumulated thousands of dollars in education debt trying to pursue fashion, who have no other means to get started.

    • Jennine Jacob

      What if you wanted to grow your blog’s content to cover more fashion news? There is a lot of overhead that goes into site design, compensating contributors, and creating an environment for growth and innovation. Just because some bloggers are not innovating now, doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen in the future.

      • Cate

        What you’re saying is true, but how do you but an dollar value on “creating an environment for growth and innovation”? At the end of the day, bloggers have very few tangible start-up costs, and by time those costs become larger, they’re likely already in a position to cover them. I have to agree with Catherine above. I’m not sure what kind of support the Mayor is expected to give someone who can literally set up shop in 5 minutes if they so choose.

  3. madeleine gallay

    Bloggers, magazines, newspapers, television reporters .. are in most ways secondary to the process of manufacturing and retailing. The exodus of the fashion industry was because of other countries cheap labor, often with government subsidies. Luring manufacturing back, which doesn’t have broad government subsidies or incentives, is absolutely paramount for what once was a major industry.

    It’s hard to think of supporting bloggers, magazine, newspapers, television reporters, all being subject to the whim of their public and competition. So easy to imagine groups of bloggers working together, perhaps more under the umbrellas of old world media, to be able to grow. Blogging is credible but so are other forms of media. Private money is lurking for potential profitable avenues and if there is a way to show that a blog can actually have profit potential, plenty would invest. It would get down to a sound business plan.

    The ancillary businesses are suffering wildly here – the label manufacturers, hanger makers, pattern houses.

    Bring manufacturing back. Make the government grant the help it needs with tax incentives and lure the little incubators that can make it thrive.

    Bloggers, as IFB covers so well, are making inroads into making livings and finding complementary marketing/branding opportunities.

    There is overhead in growing a blog or website, tons of it. Most is at least tax deductible and this, like making art or writing a beautiful novel, is not easy.

    It’s hard to believe that once there was glove manufacturing in upper New York: in fact a whole town was named after that industry. Gloversville. Now barely alive as a museum with the legendary Daniel Storto making gloves there. Shoes, fine shoes, were made in Massachusetts. Scwartz & Benjamin made YSL shoes, US Shoes was a major business. Gone.

    The picture of Carine Roitfeld, then of French Vogue, and Ms. Wintour leaving a French minister’s office to work toward greater help for the French fashion industry, also troubled by rough economic issues and other cheaper countries competing unfairly, was beautiful. But it is the heart of the issue, in my opinion.

  4. Courtney

    I wouldn’t ever imagine comparing and fashion blogger to someone who went through Parsons or FIT. it’s a totally different world.