By Yonit Willis, modest fashion blogger at Miss Mellalina
A few years back, i-D Magazine came out with an article questioning whether Brooklyn has become New York's new epicenter of fashion. After all, more and more designers are selecting the most populous borough to be their home and emerging artists seem to have a better grasp on the young generation. And now, in 2017, it seems as though Brooklyn is just bursting with fresh talent and hundreds of job opportunities are opening up in the industry. From Kai D,. a Williamsburg-based menswear line that appeals to the modern man who is also a fan of vintage, to Stendhal, a Brooklyn-based accessories line made solely out of recycled glass beads sourced from Bali, there is no shortage of creativity and eccentricity.
Another reason for the big Brooklyn boom is due to the city's efforts to keep the garment district alive. In fact, New York City has tripled it's investment in local fashion initiatives and came out with an ad campaign championing locally produced products. "The fashion industry is being squeezed out of Manhattan" native New Yorker Marvin Schein told Inc Magazine, "we want to encourage it to stay in New York." And thanks to the founder of Manufacture New York, Bob Bland, that dream just might become a reality. There's been 25 years of offshoring U.S. apparel manufacturing jobs to Asia and Bland is out to change that. "In 1960, 95 percent of what Americans wore was actually made in New York", she told Inc, "Today, it's 3 percent." And now, her attempts to revitalize the industry have helped up-and-coming talent such as Daniel Silverstein, an FIT graduate who quit his job at Victoria's Secret because he felt the company wasted way too much fabric in the production process. He then went on to create his own collection created from excess fabric only to find he didn't have the resources to make the business work, that is until Bland's innovation hub came to the rescue.
To sum it up, Refinery29 got it right when they said "Sure, hype-generating Manhattanites will always pump the city's heartbeat, but there are a handful of seamsters from across the East River on the verge of being the Next Big Thing." And More Than Just Figleaves is honored to be one of them, Brooklyn-based and 100% Made in New York.