Barneys New York Keeps it Local

Published August 25, 2015

“Know your factories” is an increasingly important slogan in the fashion world. The garment industry, after all, employs millions of people around the world and has an extremely high human and environmental cost.

Barneys New York’s latest initiative aims to combat some of the inherent problems in the garment industry by pairing prominent New York-based designers such as Rag & Bone, Proenza Schouler, and The Row with local manufacturers. Created in collaboration with the CFDA and NYC Economic Development Corporation, and with 10 percent of proceeds benefitting the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, a capsule collection of mens- and womenswear titled “Made in New York” will launch later this week.

“The Garment District is important for the future of the U.S. fashion industry as small production minimums allows new talent to get their work out there,” Rag & Bone’s David Neville explains.

“With local manufacturing, we will generally be able to see prototypes and approve samples more quickly, and this is a benefit when we need to stay close to product throughout its development either because of complexity or technique,” adds Neville’s brand partner Marcus Wainwright. “We like to start designing a product with factory in mind, so that we can design into each factories specific capabilities, which ultimately results in a better product,” he continues.

Although neither Wainwright nor Neville are native New Yorkers, the city is integral to their designs. “When I was around 10, my mom won a businesswoman of the year award in England and the prize was a trip to New York,” recalls Neville. “We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria. It was Christmas and I remember the lights being wrapped around the trees! There was no looking back from there really—I fell in love with the city.”

“MADE IN NEW YORK” LAUNCHES THIS FRIDAY, AUGUST 28TH, IN STORE AT BARNEYS NEW YORK AND ONLINE AT BARNEYS.COM.