The Garment District also known as the Fashion District takes up one square mile in NYC and runs from 5th ave to 9th ave and from 34th Street. to 42nd Street. New York City is considered to be the fashion capital of the United States and its 14 billion dollars in annual sales makes it the top city in the fashion business. Some major labels such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karen and Liz Claiborne have showrooms and production facilities in the Garment District.
The Civil War, slavery, and a large migration of Europeans into the United States were the main reasons why the fashion industry flourished into the vibrant industry of it's time. Europeans were skilled in producing clothes and were also considered cheap labor, enabling business owners to maximize profits. The Civil War and slavery also created a high demand for soldiers uniforms and clothes for slaves. Slave owners found it more productive and profitable if they had clothes made for the slaves rather than having the slaves make their own clothes. After the war citizens found it much more convenient to buy clothes rather than making their own.
However, during the 1980's, production started to slow down. Due to cheaper overseas production, the fashion industry took a financial loss. It became very expensive for designers to run their business in the city and moved their manufacturing plants overseas for cheaper rates.
Fortunately, the Garment District is located in the heart of New York City and the neighborhood would not be affected at all. Grand Central Station, Penn Station and Times Square are prime attractions and landmarks located in or near the Garment district. This was extremely inviting for other businesses to either lease or buy vacant buildings and transform them into law offices, accounting offices,homes for high-tech companies and prime real estate buildings such as The Orion.
Even though the fashion industry in NYC is not as lucrative as it once was, the neighborhood is still booming and shows no signs of slowing down at all.