Last week the Design Trust Council convened in the heart of the Garment District for its fourth annual event, Urban Fabric: Creation in the City. In connection with our current Made in Midtown, the event asked: what does it take for creative industry to survive – and thrive – in New York?
Yeohlee Teng, a New York-based fashion designer renowned for her “urban nomad” style, graciously hosted a crowd of 70 in her studio on West 35th Street. The evening kicked off with a cocktail reception, allowing Design Trust Council members to mingle with fashion industry leaders and preview pieces from YEOHLEE’s fall 2010 collection.
Throughout the evening, guests toured the YEOHLEE production space – a small room packed with mannequins, sketches, fabric swatches, sewing machines and overflowing racks of clothing samples. YEOHLEE staff demonstrated the design process, drawing a link between the in-house artistry and the surrounding cluster of vendors and manufacturers in the Garment District.
culminated in panel discussion, featuring Vogue contributing editor and landscape architect Miranda Brooks, Parsons Dean of Fashion Simon Collins, urban designer Ken Greenberg and real estate developer Eric Gural of Newmark Knight Frank. Design Trust executive director Deborah Marton moderated the conversation, anchoring the Garment District debate within the context of a larger question: What kind of city do we want to live in?
Panelists exchanged frank and thoughtful commentary on the future of the Garment District, touching on the role of government intervention, the unique physical assets of the neighborhood and the power of design to reflect and reinforce the neighborhood’s creative industries.
Referring to the processes of intervention and reinvention in the Garment District, Simon Collins said, “We believe in change. But we believe we should be designing that change.”
Want to learn more? We’ll post a podcast and full transcript of the panel discussion in the coming weeks.