NOLA Fashion Week pushing for tax credits to help growing, local fashion industry



Posted on March 23, 2014 at 3:13 AM

Updated Sunday, Mar 23 at 3:16 AM

Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
/ Twitter: @JKelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans is known for many things and fashion maybe the next phenomenon for the city.  In a short span of time, NOLA Fashion Week has put local designers on the map, and in the process, created a fast growing industry.  

The fashion industry has exploded onto the scene and it continues to thrive in a city that has not been known for its high fashion until now.

"The local apparel industry is really growing," said Founder of NOLA Fashion Week Andi Eaton. "Lots of garment factories and lots of designers making plans to stay in New Orleans verses going to L.A. or New York.

Just three years ago, there were few production facilities or warehouses where local designers could manufacture their collections.

Now, with the help of NOLA Fashion Week and other resources, local designers like Lana Hunt have been able to kick start their careers here in the Crescent City.

"Since the started there has been a new production company on the low west bank which many of the designers can use and source locally and produce locally," said Hunt an up and coming designer who move to New Orleans from the Baton Rouge area.

"There is also a lot of great resources that are easier to seek those out verse when you are in L.A. or New York where the competition is a little bit higher," said Eaton. 

Eaton says like film, the fashion industry is the next big thing and she hopes to follow in the same footsteps by getting the state to implement similar tax incentives for fashion industry.

"That a real important next step for us," said Eaton. "Tax credits for garment factories or designers that want to move their operations down here to the city or state."

However, even without the tax credits, more and more local designers are calling the city home and say they are determined to produce locally.

"Because there is starting to be an infrastructure here for it, I think it's getting stronger and people are starting to expect great things from the designers here," said Hunt. 

Although NOLA Fashion Week wrapped up Saturday, the countdown is already underway for the next NOLA Fashion Week in October, when local-based designers will debut their upcoming spring collections.