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Arts / Design / Technology

Sunset Park’s Manufacture NY will have fashion-tech annex

Brooklyn boosters hope the fashion industry can relocate to the borough — by leveraging the ongoing merger of technology and clothing.

Multiple generations hanging out in Sunset Park. (Photo by Brady Dale)

Sunset Park will be home to some sort of fashion incubator/accelerator/think tank according to Bob Bland, the founder of Manufacture New York, as reported in The Epoch Times. As she works to open a massive new facility there, one part of it will be devoted to the cutting edge in fashion technology.

“3-D printing is just one part of it, rapid prototyping is just one part of it. A lot of industries really emphasize that, but we’re looking at everything from biofabrics—textiles rendered from algae—to embedded tech, like magnetic and copper wires embedded into fabric to basically make your clothes into batteries,” Bob Bland, founder and CEO of Manufacture New York, said. “It’s really limitless what we’ll be able to do with the tech annex and R&D center.”

The story on the changing Garment District and the future of textile manufacturing in New York City links two new institutions that haven’t quite opened yet as key stepping stones in keeping fashion local and helping new companies launch. Manufacture New York (covered here) will make it feasible for companies to get to real scale and the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator (covered here) will help companies before they scale, but after a business grows too big for a designer to keep up with demand without more resources. The latter is a project of the Pratt Institute.

Bland started her effort in Manhattan, where it remains until the Sunset Park center opens. Below is an interview with Bland at Fashion Week 2014. The interview follows the company’s first runway show at the annual event, exclusively featuring designers from the current incubator.

Companies: Pratt Institute
Series: Brooklyn

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