FIT CitySource Tradeshow: Production, Contractors, and Costs

CitySource Tradeshow

Shilo Byrd Studio participated again at the CitySource Tradeshow this year at FIT on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. CitySource is an annual tradeshow consisting of local manufacturers, patternmakers, samplerooms, trim shops, graders, and many other vendor service providers that make up the rich ecosystem of New York City’s fashion industry. Designers visiting the tradeshow benefit from having apparel industry experts gathered all in one place, immediately available for discussion and even for live demos and insightful seminars.

CitySource Group Photo

In addition to meeting with designers at our tables, our studio founder Shilo Byrd and owner Jené Stefaniak also presented a sold-out, knowledge-packed seminar tailored to emerging designers, titled Production, Contractors, and Costs. The talk was a concise, informative guide through the 4 major steps of design, development, pre-production, and production. Best practices and common gotchas were pinpointed for designers when they work with patternmakers, samplemakers, and factories. They also touched upon fashion business topics such as costing and timelines crucial for running a successful apparel brand. For a primer on how to take your designs from conception to production, or a quick refresher on the terminology such as grading, marker, and TOP, check out the slides from the presentation below!


Say NO to Garment Center Re-Zoning

The New York City Garment District is arguably one of the most important economic centers in the city, and an absolutely vital resource for NYC based fashion brands large and small. The Garment District, and as an extension, the entire NYC fashion industry, is now at risk as Mayor De Blasio and the NYC EDC are considering rezoning the garment district to allow landlords to push manufacturing out of their buildings for the first time in centuries.

With 11 billion dollars in business in NYC alone every year, fashion is one of America’s few remaining manufacturing industries, and unarguably one of the major industries of the city. The Garment District offers something unique and incredibly valuable – a dense area where an entire industry lives and thrives.
The entire garment creation process, from design to development to production and not to mention the ability to source any material imaginable takes place in just a few square blocks, with educational centers close by as well. Post-Development, designers can get their collections graded, plotted, and marked at Create-a-Marker, fabrics bonded and fused at Quick Fusing, production yardage cut at Sun Fay and garments sewn and finished at one of hundreds of factories. The close proximity of service providers and materials vendors is absolutely imperative to the nurturing of new brands and the continued growth of existing companies of all sizes. Furthermore, artisan workers in the garment district manufacture not only luxury garments, but items you might not even think of at first – custom fabric flowers at M & S Schmalberg, customized hardware at Edicate Fastenings, and the most gorgeous custom embroidery at New York Embroidery Studio.

Keeping the garment district alive and dense is absolutely essential for the American fashion industry and New York City economy. Moving the garment district would mean massive job loss, as many companies would be priced out, pushed out, and would close down rather than spending tens of thousands of dollars to gamble on a relocation attempt by city government that has already failed twice before.

Please, do your part and sign the Petition to Mayor Bill de Blasio to show your support of the Garment Center and go AGAINST new zoning laws.

Further, if you are available Wednesday March 22, 2017, join us for a meeting with fellow industry workers at SGI USA NY Culture Center, 7 East 15th Street 5th Floor, at 6:15pm.

Fabric show season!


Fabric and textile sourcing shows begin again shortly, and we while it can be a massive exhausting chore, it can also be exciting, inspiring, and a wonderful way to kickstart the design process on new collections.

That said, with multiple shows, each with loads of mills, agents, and vendors, it can VERY overwhelming and it’s easy to lose track of which mills have the fabric you want, and if it’s available in the color, cost, and yardage amounts commensurate with the size of your orders.

We’ve outlined all the upcoming shows (that we know of, holler if we missed any!) what they specialize in, and any other details pertinent to attending.

All of these shows are for the trade only, free to attend, generally very easy to register/RSVP for with a single email from your company email address or in-person with a business card, and many have additional seminars and panels on myriad topics related to fashion business, textile development, and sourcing for little to no additional cost.

Print Source NY
January 10 – 11 Metropolitan Pavillion
Surface, print, and textile design. Primarily rights to prints for sale, some yardage/milled fabric agents. Go to this show to find contractors for making yarn dyed prints, jacquards, and printing and dying.

DG Expo
January 18 – 19 Hotel Pennsylvania, Penthouse Ballroom
Wholesale suppliers of low and no minimum fabrics, many of which are available in stock in local showrooms. A must stop for emerging designers needing relatively small production yardage cuts. Lots of fashion biz 101 seminars with very low fees.

Premier Vision
January 17 – 18 Pier 94
Top quality European, Latin American, and Asian mills, vendors, and agents. This is the show where most of the RTW industry finds their fabrics and builds relationships with mills for custom fabric development. A must-attend show.

January 23 – 25 Javits Center
Primarily East Asian fabric mills, agents, and vendors at every price point. Texworld is where mass market manufacturers source for giant scale production. That said, it’s worth checking out even for luxury brands as it’s a great place to source low cost fabrics that you use in perpetuity across collections.

TFFE (Turkish Fashion Fabric Exhibition)
January 23 – 24 Grand Hyatt Hotel
Turkish fabric vendors and mills. Nobody from our company has attended this show in the past, but Turkey is known for extremely high quality fabrics and sewing so we look forward to attending.

February 1 – 2 Metropolitan Pavillion
Leather, suede, and all manner of synthetic hides. Primarily for the accessories market, but worth a look even for apparel designers who work in hides both natural and manufactured.

To ease in the process of shopping the fabric shows, we’ve put together these cards you can download and print to help you organize fabric options you come across in the process of walking the trade show floors. We hope they help, and we can’t wait to see what amazing fabric finds you come up with for SS18.

19-Dark Blue Business Proposal

Download a PDF copy of the above cards here

Interview with Shilo at Fashion.Redef


Shilo was interviewed by Adam Wray over at Fashion.Redef, where they discussed how patternmakers fit into the larger industry supply chain, growth opportunities in the plus size market, language barriers in fashion manufacturing, and how designers can best work with their partner contractors and factories to nail design and fit as easily as possible.

Read it here.