I can't tell you how many times I've walked by the Claes-Oldenberg-style giant button and needle that constitute The Fashion Center, and wondered, what is that all about? I've worked in this industry for four years now, gotten an Associates Degree in Jewelry Design at F.I.T., and never once have I thought to stop by this booth or actually look into it for any sort of information. In all honesty, I've always assumed it was some sort of tourist guidance hut, since it is rife with irrelevant pamphlets featuring maps of the district and guides to neighborhood restaurants.
Well, Christina and I were doing the rounds of the district for work today, and as we were passing by The Fashion Center, I said, "Why don't we stop in there and see if they have anything we need." The booth is staffed by a nice lady who simply asked us if she could help us with anything. I asked her if she could give us a list of stone suppliers, and like a magic genie, within 30 seconds, she printed out a 2 page list of relevant businesses within the neighborhood. Just so you know, as a designer, it can take years to compile a list of good industry sources. Often, it feels taboo to ask your fellow designers, even if they are your friends, what their sources are since copying is so rampant. Designers can be very protective about this information, and often, it's acquired through work experience combined with lots of hunting, to find just the right sources for the kind of labor and material that you require.
While the lists that she gave us was hardly precise, and limited entirely to businesses within the Garment District, it's an incredible starting point if you are drawing a blank, and say, normal Google searches aren't helping you (a lot of these places don't have websites and aren't particularly tech savvy). Apparently, this fashion database will soon be searchable online, but in the meantime you can email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the booth in person for a printed listing. Honestly, I can't believe both Christina and I have overlooked this source for so long, considering it's not exactly a secret.
Now I'm super exhausted from running around all day. Here's what we wore.
Christina wears a vintage dress, a Forever 21 cardigan, Marc x Marc Jacobs boots, Gerard Yosca cuff, and a w29 Showroom tote.
Viktor & Rolf for H&M blouse, Kate Moss for Topshop leather jacket, Zara pants, Alexander McQueen scarf, Miu Miu bag, Rachel Comey boots, Devaki floppy hat, Antti Asplund cross necklaces.