Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week brings $865 million in economic impact

Lauren Moffatt fall 2013 presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion

Lauren Moffatt fall 2013 presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Feb. 6, 2013. (Getty) (Credit: Lauren Moffatt fall 2013 presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Feb. 6, 2013. (Getty))

Models, fashion editors and high heels flood New York City during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which kicks off Thursday -- and so does a lot of money.

The semiannual event draws in nearly $865 million a year, according to the Economic Development Corporation.

About 200 shows take place around the city during each Fashion Week, at Lincoln Center in February and September.

In Lincoln Square alone, there's an increase of $40 million in economic impact, according to a study by Fordham University.

"New York City is the fashion capital of the world, and nothing demonstrates this more than Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week," Seth Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, said in a statement. "[We] can expect tens of millions of dollars in increased economic activity as a result."

During the next week, nearly 200 designers will present their styles for fall on the runway. Fashion buyers, bloggers, magazine editors and celebrities attend the shows inside the tents at Lincoln Center and at other select venues around the city. Fashion Week was held in Bryant Park before moving to the Upper West Side in 2010.

During Fashion Week, more than $6 million is funneled into hotels, nearly $7 million is spent in retail stores, $9 million is doled out in restaurants and $12 million is spent on venue rental and use. IMG and other MBFW sponsors spend an additional several million dollars.

Roughly 232,000 people attend each year, according to the EDC, and those attendees are eating, sleeping and shopping in the city.

"Not only does the event bring excitement, commerce and style to our community, but IMG and Lincoln Center continue to contribute by engaging and responding to the needs of the neighborhood," said Mel Wymore, chairman of Community Board 7.

Albania Rosario, executive director of Uptown Fashion Week -- an alternative to the mainstream festivities -- wants to help the Washington Heights area piggyback off Lincoln Square's success by hosting 12 designers from New York, Peru and the Dominican Republic.

The Uptown Fashion Week events are open to the public.

"The idea is to make the Washington Heights neighborhood a second destination for people," Rosario said.


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week starts Thursday - an event that helps funnel millions of dollars into the New York City economy. Here are stats from the EDC:

$865 million The annual economic impact Fashion Week has on New York City.

900 The approximate number of fashion company headquarters around the boroughs.

232,000 The number of people who attend Fashion Week shows each year.

$98 billion How much the NYC fashion industry is worth.

500 The number of fashion shows annually in the city.

$6 million The money spent on hotels during Fashion Week.

$9 million The money spent in restaurants during Fashion Week.


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