Made in the USA and NYC Manufacturing gets a $14m investment

In October 2019, the FMI (The Fashion Manufacturing Initiative) expanded to become a $14 million public-private partnership with a comprehensive suite of programs to address the diverse and ever-changing needs of fashion manufacturers.

FMI is a program of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Foundation, Inc. The FMI was created in 2013 in collaboration with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to support New York City fashion manufacturing and has included the FMI Grant Fund and the Production Directory.

Andrew Rosen
Steven Kolb

In this next phase, the program, created in 2013 by the CFDA and Andrew Rosen in collaboration with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), will feature new components including a new pilot grant program titled the Local Production Fund and expanded workforce development programming.

“We designed this comprehensive suite of programming to update our Fashion Manufacturing Initiative as we continue to address the diverse and ever-changing needs of New York City production,” said CFDA President and CEO Steven Kolb.

“From building pipelines for new client growth to training workers to ensure retention and competitiveness in the workforce, the program will help solidify resources and development across the manufacturer’s entire business.”

Local Production Fund

A new pilot grant program, the Local Production Fund encourages U.S. designers to start or increase their production in New York City by matching them with manufacturers who have received credits to be used exclusively for production runs for participating designers.

Zoila Sample Room

The Local Production Fund builds off the investment of innovative technology made through the FMI Grant Fund and is intended to bolster more use of that technology, as well as build stronger relationships between designers and manufacturers and create more consistent production for NYC manufacturers.

Manufacturer applications will open in November 2019 and designer applications will release in February 2020.

FMI Grant Fund

Since 2013, the FMI Grant Fund invested $3.5M to 33 contract manufacturers for technology (machinery/software), training, capital improvements, and relocation.

In April of this year, we published an article about “Made in NYC gets a $730k investment.” Looking at the allocation of this fund in the fashion community.

Beginning in 2020, two (2) rounds of funding will occur annually with applications opening in January and July. To register to receive the next round’s application, please email and reference the FMI Grant Fund.

Workforce Development

To expand training and workforce development opportunities for the next generation of fashion manufacturing businesses and their workforce, the CFDA recently launched a partnership with the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC), a national sewn trades institute, to assess the NYC fashion manufacturing and workforce sector to report on a road map for the CFDA’s workforce development programming.

Over the next six months starting in November, the CFDA and ISAIC will work with local community-based organizations to evaluate the landscape during this assessment ensuring there is a talent pipeline with opportunities for technical instruction, on-the-job training through apprenticeships, and advanced technology training.

Workforce programs offered in partnership with manufacturers will be available to workers with diverse backgrounds, experience and education and the CFDA and ISAIC will continue to engage the community-based organizations throughout the execution of the programming following the assessment.

FMI Support

FMI is heavily supported by industry leaders including founding partners Andrew Rosen and Ralph Lauren, and the initiative’s newest underwriter Walmart, with additional support from DHL, the CFDA’s official logistics partner, as well as the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), Premiere Vision, and SwatchOn, among others.

For more information on FMI’s expansion and to be in touch with the Fashion Supply Chain team for upcoming applications, please contact

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