IMG Launches Grant Program for Independent Designers

March 7, 2022

In February 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a partnership with IMG to implement a $500,000 grant program to assist small, independent fashion designers with grants of $50,000 each to offset certain costs of their New York Fashion Week show productions for the September 2022 season. IMG will implement and manage an application process for a selection of ten grant recipients based on a set of criteria developed by IMG in partnership with Empire State Development. ​

The grant program will help support the vibrant return of the New York fashion industry post-COVID-19, attract and retain New York’s fashion talent, and enable more small and independent New York-based designers to participate in recovery efforts. The opportunity to debut new collections to buyer, media, industry and consumer audiences powers the continued success of fashion designers' businesses in America's fashion capital.

The public and private sectors are working together to support small businesses impacted while restoring and creating new jobs for New Yorkers. The fashion, retail and creative industries together represent a key economic engine for New York State that has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 in total wages. The Governor attended the Proenza Schouler show on Friday, February 11 to highlight the industry’s contributions to the state economy.

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