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As a city bursting at the seams with seasoned style bloggers, fast-growing startups and no shortage of supporters for all things #MadeinLA, there's no doubt that our city's fashion scene is on fire. Here to help fan the flames is Mayor Eric Garcetti, who detailed his plans to give the industry an even bigger boost during a recent chat with WWD.
Picking up where former mayor (and Fashion's Night Out frequenter) Antonio Villaraigosa left off, Garcetti told the trade pub that his top priorities include positioning "Los Angeles as the city [...] where creativity lives." How so? For starters, he wants the world to know "about all the good things that come from LA, from the Mars Rover to movies to a pair of jeans." From getting high school freshmen FIDM-ready to fighting denim tariffs, here are six more fashion goals from City Hall's head honcho.
1. Create more fashion and design jobs: "I would like to see fashion be one of those sectors that we begin to spend some of our job training early on, to more aggressively graduate high school, community college and even college [students] who are apparel-industry ready."
2. Make more appearances at industry events, both local and global: "[Former] Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tested that out last year in Las Vegas. I think I want to have a greater steady presence, not just in the United States but abroad at fashion shows, to continue to build, within the fashion world, the LA brand and promote the amazing companies and products that we have here."
3. Make it cheaper to export LA-made goods: "We're never going to be the cheapest, but we can be a little bit cheaper [...] If we can get raw materials in here to fabric manufacturers and others that are here, they can bring it to free-trade areas. And if it's exported, they can get out of here without taxes on it. Especially as we continue to do more exports, that's a ripe opportunity for the industry."
4. Marketing, marketing, marketing: "I hope to travel quite a bit to really get those relationships in Asia and Latin America, to some extent Europe where we already have strong relations. [...] LA has something that most other places in the world don't have: We have celebrities, we have movies, we have television. The fashion that we can make here should be shown here. If I can connect the entertainment industry much closer to the apparel industry, that can only help us."
5. Fight the EU's extreme denim tax hike: "We've taken a position in the council, and I signed it just recently to adopt as part of our official legislative program to lobby against that change. [...] It's ridiculous that jeans would be targeted, which is in some ways the ultimate symbol of America in Europe."
6. Attract more manufacturing from foreign brands: "It makes business sense for [Asian companies] as, I think, we are more competitive and quicker. If they want to establish a footprint for their brands, it's one thing that we just haven't seen come from Asia. We're looking to establishing offices in Asia and Latin America that would be trade, investment and tourist offices. This will be one-stop shops. We'll certainly look at China, Korea [and] Mexico, among others."
Read the full Q&A with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti here.
· Q&A: Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles [WWD, sub req'd]
· Is LA the Next Silicon Valley for the Fashion World? [Racked]