fashion merchandising

As the U.S. economy took a turn for the worse in the late 1990s, retail sales waned, leading to even more business closures. By 2000, employment in the New York garment sector had fallen to 78,200, down from 104,415 in 1991, according to the Labor Department. In contrast, the number of apparel and textile manufacturing jobs in Los Angeles has risen 22 percent since 1993. Not that the Garment District and Chinatown are ghost towns, complete with tumbleweeds and slack-jawed yokels, but it’s not hard to see the effects of the apparel industry’s departure. According to Danniel Maio, a partner at Identity Map, a New York mapmaking firm that has surveyed the New York Garment District since 1994, rents at some buildings increased up to fourfold, reaching impossibly high levels for many fashion tenants, whose products and labor costs had been discounted 20 to 60 percent. Even before the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, which further devastated the industry, Maio says that empty garment factories were a common sight. “Quite often, I see factories with ten to fifty machines being worked on by one to three people with the lights dimmed [to save electricity costs], which I didn’t observe during the first five years of the survey.” For the first time in its history, fashionindustry employment now represents less than half the overall jobs in the New York Garment District’s core. When manufacturers departed the U.S., “Made in . . .” labels from countries like Taiwan, Honduras, Mexico, and China became far more commonplace. And even products that still claim to be American made aren’t always what they seem . . . MADE IN THE U.S.A., OR IS IT? If you were dropped by parachute onto the idyllic island of Saipan, the largest island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) 125 miles north of Guam, you might think you’d landed in a Japanese paradise. Tourists, mostly flying in from Japan, flock to the island’s karaoke bars, sushi restaurants, and Japanese-owned beachfront luxury hotels. Vacationers can laze on the beach, wade in the warm waters, play a round of golf, snorkel all the activities you might expect to participate in on a perfect island getaway. Saipan, bordered on the east by the Pacific Ocean and on the west by the Philippine Sea, has a rich, although bloody, history. Most tourist attractions here are places where fierce battles took place during World War II, including a few massive “Banzai Cliffs” where Japanese soldiers and families leapt to their deaths to avoid capture and the caves where soldiers hid out until as late as 1952, not knowing that the war had ended. There are fifteen official dive sites where visitors can get an up-close look at sunken battleships. What’s not featured on any tourist map, however, are any of the thirty-four garment factories that have popped up on the island since the late 1970s.Fashion Business Management | Fashion Institute of Technology Bestcelebritystyle

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