The birthplace of the billion-dollar NYC fashion industry and home to Macy's, the largest department store in the world, the Garment District has played a key role in NYC's influence upon the world's fashion. Bordered by 42nd Street in the north, 34th in the south, 9th Avenue in the west and 5th in the east, the Garment District has been the United State’s hub for fashion manufacturing and design since the early 1900s.
Before the 1820s, Americans didn’t shop at department stores for clothing—the poorer people made their own, while the rich bought custom-designed clothes. By the middle of the nineteenth century, however, garments began to be mass-produced for public consumption. Once the sewing machine was invented in the 1850s, clothing production became industrialized, and clothing could be produced at a rate that had been unheard of before then. The garment industry experienced its greatest upsurge during the Civil War, when thousands of uniforms were required for the soldiers to wear in battle. From that point onwards, the majority of Americans began buying their clothing.
Originally the largest contributor to NYC's manufacturing sector, the fashion industry's headquarters, showrooms, and fabric supply stores remain in the Garment District today, even as most of the factories have been converted into residential condos or commercial offices.
The Garment District is home to a number of New York City landmarks, including the Fashion Walk of Fame, the only landmark in the world that pays tribute to the fashion of America, and a famous sculpture that depicts a sewing worker, located on the corner of 7th Avenue and 39th.
Popular restaurants and bars that offer food, drink, and entertainment to their patrons in the area include Andalucia, Blarney Rock Pub, Chorus, a karaoke bar, Hudson Yards, Café Rebel, a three-floor club, Rick’s Cabaret and Steakhouse, and Stitch Bar and Lounge.
The area also features a number of cutting-edge and experimental theaters, such as Actors Movement Studio, Garment District Theater, Dionysus Theater’s L’il Peach, and Ted Bardy Studio, a number of museums, such as The Fashion Institute of Technology Museum and Moti Hasson Gallery, and some beautiful and famous hotels—the iconic New Yorker Hotel and Wyndam Garden Hotel Midtown, to name two.
The most famous spot in the area, however is Herald Square, immortalized in the timeless song, “Give My Regards to Broadway.” Located between 34th and 35th Streets, Herald Square is where The New York Herald, a now-defunct newspaper’s, headquarters used to be. Though called Herald Square, it is actually composed of two squares—Herald Square and Greeley Square, for Horace Greeley, who ran The New York Tribune, which was The Herald’s rival, until the two eventually merged. To this day, a statue of Greeley stands in Greeley Square.
Today, Herald Square is primarily known as a major retail attraction, featuring the aforementioned Macy’s flagship store--world-famous not only for its size but for being the sponsor for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade--as well as The Manhattan Mall. It is centrally located, with landmarks such as Times Square, Madison Square Park, the Empire State Building, and Madison Square Garden all nearby.
Adjacent to the Garment District is Koreatown, a district comprised of Korean restaurants, hotels, and businesses. Herald Square and Koreatown are special points of interest.
Local transportation includes the B, D, F, V, N, Q, R, and W trains, as well as the PATH train to New Jersey.