More than 300 people* gathered at the button on Seventh Avenue today to show their support for keeping jobs and businesses in the Garment District. The rally was organized by Save the Garment Center, an organization dedicated to saving NYC's fashion center. Robert Savage, president of Nanette Lepore, moderated the event. "Let's not lose this area," he pleaded, before turning the podium over to speakers that included Ariana Huffington and designers Nanette Lepore, Yeohlee Teng and Malia Mills. Read more about the event here and here. The following are some sound bites I caught. (I love it when are events are scheduled so I can attend them on my lunch hour; I would have hated missing this today.)
Designer Nanette Lepore: "The Garment Center is an incubator for young American talent.... Let's produce and be proud of garments that are made in America."
Ariana Huffington: "We've gone from a country that makes things to a country that makes things up."
Swimwear designer Malia Mills: "All of my swimwear is made here in the Garment Center."
Factory owner Rodger Cohen of Regal Originals: "Repeal the sales tax on American-made garments and give us the incentive to support our economy."
FIT student (didn't catch her name): "Having everything we need for our projects just 10 blocks away from school is incredible."
*Three hundred attendees is my best guess at the crowd size. I asked an NYC cop how many people he thought were there but he had no clue.