New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the city will transform large, underutilized buildings in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, into a hub for fashion and film—and FIT will be a part of it. The city is committing $136 million to create a Made in New York–branded campus at Sunset Park’s Bush Terminal, featuring 21st–century, affordable space for garment manufacturing, film and TV production, and related services. FIT will deliver the initiative’s educational component by offering courses at the hub.
FIT’s program will launch this summer with two noncredit courses that will count toward a Creative Maker Certificate of Achievement in Ethical Design and Local Manufacturing Fundamentals. This certificate program is being offered through FIT’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies. The courses will be held at the nearby Brooklyn Army Terminal until the build-out of Bush Terminal is complete.
“FIT is extremely pleased to join Brooklyn’s thriving creative community,” said Joanne Arbuckle, former dean of the School of Art and Design and presently deputy to the president for Industry Partnerships and Collaborative Programs. “We intend to bring educational opportunities that synergize with the borough’s talent pool as well as with the hub itself and that enhance professional opportunities for all New Yorkers.”
While garment production comprises 30 percent of the city’s manufacturing jobs, the fashion industry has faced global economic pressures that have forced many designers to manufacture elsewhere. The Made in New York garment manufacturing hub will provide between 25 and 35 white-box spaces, ranging from 2,000 to 20,000 square feet, to companies working in pattern making, marking and grading, cutting and sewing, and sample making. The space is expected to open in 2020.