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NYC Takes a Page From Reality TV With Project Pop-Up

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 30, 2012 10:01 AM

Plenty of “reality” competitions are filmed in New York City, but now the city is producing one of its own. To help draw more young fashion designers to the Big Apple, the city has taken a page from Project Runway and created the Project Pop-Up project.

The Big Apple is putting up $175,000 to sponsor an annual competition that will give the winner pop-up shops in Manhattan to sell his or her wares. The whole thing was dreamed up the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in partnership with a trio of fashion-industry bigwigs: designer Diane von Furstenberg, who is also president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America; Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren; and Theory CEO Andrew Rosen.

“Project Pop-up will serve to accelerate the growth of budding fashion retail concepts by offering mentoring, business support, and high-traffic retail space at little to no cost to the winning company or companies," commented a spokesman for New York City’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

If the pop-ups weren’t enough, winners, who will earn their spot after being selected by a group of industry experts, will also receive “free marketing, tech support, help with legal and accounting work, and mentors to help them.”

The fashion industry in New York currently has about 165,000 employees. This new effort, part of the city’s continued effort to grow that number, stems from Fashion.NYC.2020, a 2010 strategic study to identify the important trends affecting the industry and to develop actionable initiatives based on such findings.

NYCEDC's request for proposals for Project Pop Up concepts is due Feb. 14th — a Valentine's gift to the next great fashion brand.

[Image at top: NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky and Diane von Furstenberg, via]

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