Fashion Week arrives in New York, bringing designers, fans, money

Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:13pm EST
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's biannual Fashion Week opens on Thursday bringing hundreds of millions of dollars to the city and outweighing the economic benefits of the U.S. Open, the Super Bowl or the New York City Marathon.

The scores of designer fashion shows, big-spending celebrity clients and lavish parties generate an annual economic impact of $887 million, according to a newly released analysis by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

More than 230,000 people attend the February and September shows that unveil the coming season's designs, packing into hotels and restaurants and yielding an estimated $532 million in direct visitor spending, it said.

"That's a lot of jobs. That's a lot of money," U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York said in announcing the results at a recent Fashion Week event.

About 180,000 people are employed in the fashion industry in New York, according to the study.

"It creates a climate where other people want to come to New York City," said state Senator Brad Hoylman, whose district encompasses many fashion industry locations in Manhattan.

"There's something exciting about being in a city that values creativity," he said.

The week's economic benefit tops the annual U.S. Open tennis tournament, which generates about $800 million, the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey that generated about $550 million and the New York City Marathon that generates $340 million, according to the report.   Continued...

Models rehearse before the BCBG Max Azria Fall 2015 collection show during New York Fashion Week February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Eric Thayer