Everyone knows the top fashion cities in the world: London, New York City, Paris, Milan, and Barcelona. We wanted to dig a little deeper here in the States and see what we could turn up. According to research analyzed by the Economic Modeling Specialists from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census’s American Community Survey, these are the top 5 most fashion forward cities in the U.S!
1. New York City, New York
No shocker here. With 6,800 fashion designers averaging $34 an hour, New York City dominates the U.S fashion industry. The recent “Fashion.NYC.2020” study found that the NYC fashion industry employs 173,000 people (5.7% of the City’s workforce) and generates nearly $10 billion in wages. The city is home to numerous major trade shows, leading fashion schools, and flagship department stores such as Barneys, Bloomingdale’s and Saks.
2. Los Angeles, California
Following right on New York City’s heels is Los Angeles, with 3,641 designers averaging $33 an hour. Over 700 property owners fund the L.A Fashion District. It spans 90 blocks and is the hub of the fashion scene on the West Coast.
3. Columbus, Ohio
It’s a little bit of a shocker that Columbus ranked third on the list. With 518 fashion designers averaging $26 an hour, it’s still a far cry from the top two. Limited Brands, a Fortune 500 company and parent company of Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret, has its headquarters in the city. Express, Abercrombie & Fitch and DSW are also based in Columbus.
4. Nashville, Tennessee
More popularly known as one of the music capitals of the country, Nashville ranked fourth on the list. It’s 282 fashion designers rival LA’s hourly pay, at $30 an hour. Geographer Brian Hracs describes the relationship between designers and musicians: “In the highly competitive marketing landscape, fashion designers and firms need to develop creative and innovative marketing tools to get their brands and products noticed and this intensifies the need for indie fashion designers to collaborate with musicians”.
5. San Francisco, California
This city has a fraction of the designers that New York has (540), and they average a slightly higher hourly rate at $35 (Shhh, don’t tell NYC). San Fran is home to Levi Strauss & Co. and Gap Inc., which owns The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperlime.
City status in the States has become increasingly intertwined with fashion as the competition for design, finance and commerce continues to increase. These five cities will continue to attract the best talent, design schools and companies as long as they remain at the forefront of the fashion industry.
Written by Alexis Canary