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Schmatta attempts to stitch past & present of NY garment sector

23
Oct '09
A documentary by veteran New York filmmaker Marc Levin; 'Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags' tries to unravel the glorious history of the garment industry in New York from the beginning of this century and how it started falling from grace, with the emergence of low cost Asian countries and took away these jobs from right under their noses.

The clothing manufacturing sector was the first job of choice for the countless Jewish and Italian emigrants, who immigrated to this city in the early days of the previous century. The documentary glosses on the early as well as heydays of the apparel manufacturing industry in the city, which provided employment from the time the immigrants, put their foot on US soil.

It speaks of a time when in 1965, 95 percent of American clothing was made in the country, but by 2009, it has dropped down to a mere 5 percent. The film focuses on Manhattan's Garment District, an eight-block area on Manhattan's West Side which gave birth to the domestic industrial labor movement.

The film tells about the labour put in by the workers, designers, fashion executives and manufacturers, including some very good leaders who toiled hard to build the garment industry in New York.

Levin by means of the documentary tries to bring out the reasons for the downfall of a sector which employed hundreds of thousands of workers. He puts the demise of the industry, squarely on the work that has been outsourced to cheaper Asian destinations, over the last 25 years and also to craving for short term gains, which has crippled the economy.

The documentary was premiered recently on HBO channel and there will be regular repeat telecasts.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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