WASHINGTON, DC – Today, FWD.us and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) are releasing an updated report about the impact of immigration policy on the United States’ fashion industry and its role in creating American jobs. The report found that the industry, which generates more than $250 billion in annual revenue and employs nearly 2 million people, relies on the skills and talents of immigrants from around the world.
“The fashion industry creates American jobs and drives economic growth in cities across the country, and we are proud to partner with the CFDA to showcase the data and stories of how immigrants drive U.S. innovation in this global industry – and how improving our immigration system will create more jobs across the country,” said Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us.
The report details how the fashion industry greatly benefits from the invaluable innovations and contributions made by immigrants. The industry overwhelmingly supports reforming the U.S. immigration system to better allow aspiring Americans to contribute to the U.S. economy and to our communities.
“International talent has played a critical role in defining and sustaining the U.S.’ fashion industry, which is a significant economic engine for our country,” said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA. “We look forward to continuing to advocate for commonsense policies that will grow our industry and enable us to create an even greater number of American jobs.”
Acclaimed womenswear designer Naeem Khan added, “The glamour of the fashion industry will lose its shine without the skilled immigrants who are its backbone.” Khan emigrated from India to the U.S. in 1979, and launched his eponymous collection in 2003.
Many iconic American brands are led by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Unfortunately, recent policy proposals to cut immigration could drastically impede the ability of designers and other talented individuals to come to the U.S. and develop businesses here, hindering the creation of American jobs. Anti-immigrant rhetoric and restrictionist policies are already deterring foreign-born students from pursuing degrees at American universities, causing a seven percent decline in international student enrollment by seven percent in 2017. The impacts could be felt at some of the most prestigious fashion and design institutes in the world, many of which are located in the U.S.
The fashion industry’s role in American job creation is made possible by the considerable efforts of immigrants from across the globe, and the industry continues to advocate for the passage of commonsense reforms that will fix the U.S.’ broken and outdated system, grow our economy, and enable the creation of even more American jobs.