The New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2012 is not only a feast for the eyes; it's also good for the city's budget, says Mayor Bloomberg. Held twice a year, now at the Lincoln Center and formerly in Bryant Park, Fashion Week hosts over 500 fashion shows and 200,000 attendees annually, which generates a staggering $865 million for the city of New York, according to the Bloomberg Administration. “With its impact of nearly $900 million this year alone, Fashion Week is further proof of this industry's critical importance to New York City’s economy,” said Seth Pinsky, who heads the city's Economic Development Corporation. “That is why we in the Bloomberg Administration continue to work with industry leaders to implement innovative programs that will ensure the industry’s long-term health and maintain New York City’s reputation as the fashion capital of the world.”

Originally established as Press Week in 1943 by fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert, the unprecedented event was a successful attempt to wean the fashion focus off of Paris and onto New York, where fashion journalists who were then unable to travel to France due to WWII could cover the fashion scenes' latest ventures — essentially skyrocketing American designers to the forefront of everything vogue. Fashion Week, which now runs biannually in February and September, has since become a staple of the city's economy. “The strength of New York City’s fashion industry, which today employs 173,000 people and generates nearly $10 billion in wages, has always been its spirit of entrepreneurship,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Working with the private sector and our partners in higher education, we’re doing everything we can to support the City’s entrepreneurs and make sure they can grow their businesses here, create jobs and strengthen our economy.”

Despite continuing crisis and unemployment in many other sectors, fashion seems to be doing fairly well for itself, as 2012 revenue projections are aimed at an all-time high of $865 million — almost 3% over last year's figures, according to WNYC. "The reason is, we're largely at capacity," said Pinsky. "It's just that as the years go by, people continue to spend more. They're spending more on hotels, they're spending more on restaurants, all of which are great news for businesses throughout the economy in the city."

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