Nanette Lepore, D.C. Reps Fighting For Fashion Industry

September 30, 2009 • Fashion


Nanette Lepore

Last Friday a team of concerned members of the fashion industry, including designer Nanette Lepore and Representative Diane Watson (Democrat of California), gathered in Washington D.C. to discuss that state of the industry and the critical changes needed to preserve it. The main purpose of the gathering was to support the creation of a Fashion Caucus in Congress and to appeal to the designers, politicians, economists, and lobbyists invited by
the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce through a discussion on the need
for more government involvement in the industry. Key points on the list for discussion included the protection of intellectual-property rights for designers, the
creation of enterprise zones across the country to promote local
talent, and assurance that New York City’s legendary garment district
does not devolve into a one dimensional tourist trap. "The fashion district is facing extinction, and small factories are being lost to developers,” stated Lepore, a staunch advocate for the preservation of the garment district. "Without it, young designers cannot get their start in New York City.”The designer added that she produces 80 percent of her eponymous line in the city
and announced plans for a “Save the Fashion District” rally to be held
at the bronze garment-worker statue at 39th and Seventh on October 21.

Lepore said she is worried that the city's local government does not have the industry's best interest at heart and would rather consolidate the space used for fashion production and manufacturing to free up pricey real estate for bigger corporations. But she has already gained support from other local politicians Scott Stringer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and is currently in talks with with Anna Sui and CFDA executive director Steven Kolb about gaining more exposure for the October 21st rally. The last thing needed, Lepore said, is a heavyweight fashion industry name to sway the local government over to their side. "We need someone like Ralph Lauren onboard, or someone like Donna Karan.
We need them to realize that they’re still there, their design rooms
are still there, and they should be helping support this cause."

Article Source: NY Mag
Photo Source: chicagomag
-Alia Rajput

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