Due to the entertainment industry shutdown caused by the ongoing pandemic, over 40 small, independent businesses and artisans in and around New York City that create and supply costumes have joined forces to launch the Costume Industry Coalition.
Many of these businesses employ specialty artisans—pattern makers, cutters, stitchers, tailors, milliners, hand finishers, craftspeople, embroiderers, sculptors, painters, and dyers—to create costumes for theatre, TV, film, dance, opera, concerts, theme parks, cruise ships, ice shows, and other live entertainment. While many other small businesses that support the entertainment industry can work remotely, the nature of fitting actors and building costumes requires most CIC members to have shops in and around Manhattan. Members recognize their survival is in jeopardy, as their orders have largely been canceled or delayed indefinitely.
The CIC plans to contact state and local legislators to advocate for rent abatement as well as mortgage and property tax relief for landlords.
"We need support from our government, City and State and Federal, to ensure we will not be evicted from our shops nor lose our employees while we wait for work,” said Sally Ann Parsons, owner of Parsons-Meares, Ltd.
The CIC also plans to reach out to members of the Broadway industry—as well as Actors' Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild—to ensure safety measures are being discussed and agreed upon so all designers and performers will feel safe throughout the costume build process.
For more information, visit CostumeIndustryCoalition.com.