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IMG and Empire State Development name recipients of NYFW Small Business Grant

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

21 Jun 2022

Fashion

Image: Deveaux New York
Empire State Development, in partnership with IMG, has announced that 10 New York-based independent designers will receive funding through the 500,000 US dollar New York Fashion Week Small Business Grant.

The initiative was launched to support the “vibrant return” of New York’s fashion industry and will award each of the 10 designers up to 50,000 US dollars to offset show production costs for New York Fashion Week (NYFW), taking place from September 9 to 14.

The grants have been awarded to AnOnlyChild, Barragan, Batsheva, Deveaux New York, Elena Velez, Fe Noel, Interior, Studio 189, Theophilio, and Willy Chavarria.

Hope Knight, president, chief executive and commissioner at Empire State Development, said in a statement: "The New York Fashion Week Small Business Grant will support diverse and emerging New York-based fashion businesses, encouraging the post-pandemic revitalisation of the State’s fashion industry, which is vital to the jobs, economy and creative energy of New York City. In collaboration with IMG, we are proud to help small business fashion designers showcase their work in New York - the fashion capital of America."

10 emerging designers selected for New York Fashion Week Small Business Grant

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, New York City’s fashion industry employed 4.6 percent of the city's workforce, generating approximately 11 billion US dollars in wages, explains the Empire State Development. It is hoped that the Small Business Grant will allow designers to showcase at NYFW, which will help generate global exposure and demonstrate the potential of using NYFW as a global platform to support business growth and tradeable sectors in the city.

Leslie Russo, president of IMG’s fashion events and properties, added: "With New York as the capital of American fashion and our global reputation for incubating the best next generation of fashion brands, IMG is committed to helping the designer community flourish and grow.

“We are grateful to Governor Hochul and Empire State Development for showing up and taking action on behalf of New York’s fashion industry. The New York Fashion Week Small Business Grant helps to ensure we will continue to foster vibrant, diverse talent and uplift independent fashion businesses as they develop and thrive right here in New York."

The New York Fashion Week Small Business Grant follows the formation of the IMG Fashion Alliance, which launched in September 2021 to support the post-pandemic revitalisation of NYFW. New York State played key roles in supporting the initiative, including making state venues like Moynihan Train Hall and Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park available to designers to showcase their collections.