Who says San Francisco doesn’t care about style? Even the Mayor’s office is getting behind the local fashion industry with the launch of FashionSF, a new program that’s part of the City’s Start Here, Grow Here, Stay Here economic development initiative.
Introduced on October 26 at longtime local manufacturer Cayson Culinary Designs in the Bayview by Mayor Ed Lee, District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen and local fashion industry executives, the program dedicates city staff and resources to supporting the growth and retention of apparel companies operating in San Francisco.
You don’t need us to tell you that San Francisco has a rich history in fashion and garment manufacturing. Along with major labels such as Levi’s and Gap, there are many smaller companies producing garments within city limits. (For more on that, check out our recent coverage of SJ Manufacturing, a SoMa-based company that works with many local start-up apparel lines.)
But while there are many fashion designers and manufacturing companies based in San Francisco, Mayor Lee thinks there could be far more:
“FashionSF brings together the private sector, educational institutions and the City to work towards a singular goal – to make San Francisco the preeminent location for fashion designer and apparel manufacturers,” said Mayor Lee in a statement. “I am committed to ensuring that apparel and design companies of all sizes can start, stay, grow and hire right here in San Francisco, driving job creation for all San Franciscans.”
So what does that all mean, practically speaking? The City will have a dedicated staff position to serve as a central point of contact to the fashion design and apparel manufacturing industry. A committee dubbed The Fashion Working Group and headed up by co-chairs Roger Kase of Isda & Co and Janet Lees of SFMade will guide and provide support for the initiative, while the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) will be collaborating with the Fashion Working Group to pinpoint key industry needs, challenges, opportunities, and develop a Fashion Action Plan to prioritize and address.
“These are exactly they types of businesses we want to attract, support and have grow here in San Francisco,” said Supervisor Malia Cohen in a press release. “These small manufactures hire local residents and invest in our local communities.”
More San Francisco fashion news…