Any designer is only as good as their factory. We're lucky enough to live and work in one of the most densely concentrated fashion districts in the World and to have partnered alongside a factory with 20+ years of history. As most manufacturers in Manhattan's Garment District were closing due to cheap overseas labor in the early nineties, ours maintained a trajectory of growth. It now works with some of the most prolific local designers and brands in the World. Making Druthers underwear in our backyard allows us to more effectively control how much or how little we'd like to produce. It gives us the power to execute our customers wishes within a short window of time and most importantly, the quality and craftsmanship exceed our standards as we push the boundaries of meticulously designed underwear and basics.
Made in New York
One square mile from 5th Avenue to 9th Avenue between 34th to 42nd Street is what's known as Manhattan's Garment District. No other city has a comparable concentration of fashion businesses and talent in a single district. It's home to hundreds of fashion labels and brands. It contains all of the moving parts necessary to keep a 14 billion dollar industry alive. This includes wholesale and designer showrooms, pattern makers, fabric and trim vendors and some of the most extensive cut and sew garment factories in the country. From Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan to Public School, Alexander Wang and Engineered Garments, they all relied on the resources available here. Inexpensive overseas labor and outsourcing began to threaten the area in the late 1980's. Cut and Sew factories began shutting their doors and selling off machinery to overseas manufacturers. Zoning and land rights which were originally protected to ensure a safe zone to facilitate the fashion industry in NYC was quickly being threatened.
Long Live the The Garment District
As more consumers begin to understand the value of well made garments and have begun to demand increased levels of transparency from brands overall, this has once again spurred a resurgence in manufacturing locally, especially in NYC. Brands are attracted to maintaining more control over their final product and quicker lead times help with getting trends out to market more quickly. Quality control is a much easier task when you can sit with your pattern maker or grader in the beginning stages of the process. The end product is more likely to be of much higher quality when a designer has a role in each step of the manufacturing process. Many of these factors have breathed new life into a dying industry and is quickly beginning to alter the inevitable downward spiral of the 1990's and early 2000's. Things are getting interesting in the Garment District and we're excited to be a part of it. For info on a great initiative to promote, preserve and save the Garment District, check http://savethegarmentcenter.org/