There are many wholesale buying opportunities in the New York
Fashion District. The District, which is also known as the New
York Garment Center, is comprised of designers such as
Eli Tahari, importers,
wholesale showrooms such as the Nine West showroom,
and jobbers that specialize in apparel, and
The Fashion District is centered around 34th street
and 7th ave, and extends all the way down to 23rd street.
There are offshoots of the NYC Fashion district
throughout Manhattan, as well as in the other
While in its heyday you could find some of the most vibrant clothing
manufacturers located around 7th ave, most of the actual
manufacturing is now done overseas, in countries such as China,
Mexico, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. You can still find manufacturing
being done in New York, but due to higher labor costs, that
production is usually for high end labels that can charge a
premium, by designers that are producing in smaller runs, or by
clothing brands that need to be able to deliver their apparel to
boutiques and department stores on an demand basis.
There is still manufacturing in the NY since
retailers and department stores such
as Macy's want to have the opportunity
to restock their fashion merchandise
on a short notice.
They don't want to have to wait
the months that it can take
to receive a container of
clothing from Pakistan or China.
When searching for wholesale clothing in the New York Garment
district you need to understand the different types of clothing
vendors that you will encounter.
Understanding and knowing the
requirements that each type of vendor has will allow you maximize
your time and make the best wholesale buying decisions. While it
might seem daunting at first, exploring the area can be very
lucrative, which is why you will see shoppers ranging from Nigerian
boutique owners to Chinese importers spending time there.
A corporate showroom is an office that belongs to a major designer
such as Tahari or Jones New York. In their offices they will
display samples of their latest styles and will take orders based
on their current seasonal production. Corporate showrooms
generally restrict their sales to national department stores such
as Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and JC Penney.
Designer showrooms can range from internationally known designers
to up and coming designers that might share an office suite.
You can find showrooms that carry labels such
as Guess, Calvin Klein, R&M Richards, Voir Voir,
Tally Taylor, Michael Kors, and Coach.
While it can be challenging for the owner of a small store to work with
established designers, there can be some pretty good wholesale
opportunities when dealing with new designers. They will be happy
to have a relationship with a new shop, or wholesaler, that is
willing to carry their clothing, and to even buy their surplus
production and store returns.
A jobber is a business agent that looks for closeout deals on
clothing and then shops them around to his list of closeout buyers.
While you will be working with a middleman you will have the
advantage of working with someone who might know where to find
merchandise which you otherwise would not know about.
An importer generally either manufactures clothing abroad and
brings them to his New York clothing warehouse, or stocks clothing
which he purchases from the actual producers. An importer can
supply your store with brand new clothing at very low prices, but
you need to be careful to make sure that the quality meets your
standards, and that you are buying authentic and licensed
merchandise if it carries a brand name.
For instance, if you see an importer
that is selling Disney or Star Wars clothes,
you need to ask him to demonstrate
that the apparel is licensed.
As a side note, many of the offices
of the brands are located inside
buildings, so you should be walking
into the lobbies and asking to see
a list of the tenants.
The New York Garment District
also has many up and coming and
aspiring designer labels,
so take your time in getting to
know some of the new entrants
into the NYC Garment industry.