New York Garment Industry in the Global Market: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

Mine Aysen Doyran


Over recent decades, the increased complexity in interplay of economic, global and technological forces has dramatically transformed the US apparel industry. Today, New York’s Garment District is the world’s capital for apparel manufacturing, fashion design and marketing. Structurally the garment (apparel) industry is evolving from domestic manufacturing towards overseas labor and large-scale production serving mass retailers and brand-based manufacturers. In this context, some of the distinct advantages enjoyed by American apparel firms (who have maintained their dominant position globally) are eroding. This paper seeks to provide a conceptual overview of the “governance structures”, underlying dynamics, trends and prospects shaping the New York Garment Industry under the impact of globalization. Partly drawing on Global Value Chain (GVC) referenced by major works on globalization, this study presents four factors in the evolution of the New York fashion-apparel industry: rise of global production and retail networks (demand and supply conditions), human capital (labor), social capital (local institutional assets), and “first-mover advantages”.

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