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LIM Faculty Featured in Documentary about NYC Fashion Industry

Fashion aveby Kally Compton (Class of 2023)

What makes New York City a true capital of the fashion world?

Documentarian Ariel Viera, founder of Urbanist, decided to explore these questions in a new film that features two LIM College faculty members, Professor Sally Shapiro and Dr. Gayathri Banavara. They shared their industry expertise and personal connections in addressing the rich history, and possible future, of the fashion industry in NYC.

The film, titled “Why New York is a Fashion Capital” can be watched on YouTube.

Professor Shapiro, from LIM’s Fashion Merchandising department, discussed her connection to NYC fashion, as her grandparents and great-grandparents worked in the industry.

“My maternal grandfather, Frank, sold trims and notions from a pushcart on the Lower East Side before becoming a fabric wholesaler,” Professor Shapiro says in the film, while sharing photos of her grandfather and his products with Viera.

Her story also shows how NYC kick-started American fashion production in the 19th and 20th centuries.

With over 18 years of teaching experience, Professor Shapiro was able to shed light on important historical events and merchandising topics covered in the film. When asked about her participation in the documentary, Shapiro said her favorite topic of discussion was ready-to-wear (RTW).

“I enjoy explaining how RTW began, because most everyone is surprised to learn it started in Menswear. The demand for WWI uniforms to be produced quickly spurred the creation of size standardization, which then led to the development of RTW. What is important for all students of the fashion industry to remember is that fashion reflects the times, and that includes political forces, not just social and cultural forces.”

Another important topic discussed in the film is NYC’s longevity as a fashion capital, and Dr. Banavara sheds light on the future of fashion in NYC.

As a Marketing and Corporate Responsibility instructor, Dr. Banavara has an interesting perspective on this topic, suggesting that NYC will remain an important fashion capital due to its diverse culture, architecture, and people.

She notes, “When you walk into New York City, it’s a different feel, everyone has a sense of style and fashion.”