New York's fashion industry is home to 13,800 fashion establishments with 900 fashion companies calling the city home, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation. New York also hosts 75 major fashion trade shows and houses thousands of showrooms scattered throughout the boroughs. As a thriving fashion capital, the city is home to Fashion Week, couture museum exhibits and trend-setting boutiques.
New York City’s Fall Fashion Week kicks off September 10. Traditionally held at Bryant Park and Lincoln Center, Fashion Week moves to Soho and West Midtown in two locations called Skylight at Moynihan Station and Skylight Clarkson Square. While tickets to Fashion Week are difficult to score unless you’re an insider or a celebrity; there are other exhibitions, fashion landmarks and tours to enjoy. You can also check in with Time Out New York for updated lists of sample sales to score designer duds at a discount throughout the city.
Stop by the famed Fashion Institute of Technology's museum for a look at fashion's long history and unique style icons. Upcoming exhibits starting in December 2015 include Denim: Fashion's Frontier. The exhibit Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch directly follows Fashion Weekand opens September 18 through December 5. The exhibit looks at the socialite behind the extreme fashion and makeup who took New York City nightlife by storm in the 1980s and continues to do so in the present.
Free Garment District Tours
Mike's NYC Tours hosts Garment District Walking Tours with a look at the apparel industry and its winding history from the development of dress sizes to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. Mike offers free walking tours throughout the year and shares his insider knowledge about the industry, including the best places to shop. The tour stops at boutiques and fashion landmarks around the city such as the Fashion Walk of Fame.
City Opera Thrift Shop
Head to the City Opera Thrift Shop at 222 E. 23rd Street near Third Avenue to shop while helping support its namesake opera. Explore two floors of carefully curated clothing and furniture from major designers, such as Christian Dior. Proceeds help fund the costumes for the New York City Opera, making this a unique fashion stop for those looking to support a good cause while finding quality clothes at a discount.
Fashion Walk of Fame
A fashion walk through Manhattan isn't complete without a stop at the Fashion Walk of Fame on 7th Avenue. See nearly 30 plaques commemorating some of the industry's great designers including Oscar de la Renta and Ralph Rucci. The walk was established in 1999 and is currently the only monument in the world dedicated to American fashion.
Couture Fashion Week
You may not be able to score access to Fashion Week, but tickets to Couture Fashion Week are as low as $50. From September 11 to the 13th, designers from around the world show off their couture and luxury designs. Events take place in the heart of the city at the Crowne Plaza Times Square in Manhattan. Stop by the TKTS Booth for a discount on same-day Broadway show tickets, suggests The Dig, to see the costumes and set design of Tony award-winning shows.