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Costume Industry Coalition Works to Ensure Businesses Survive

Stage Directions • Industry News • June 24, 2020

As theaters in New York City and the surrounding area remain shutdown and the date to reopen looks more and more likely late 2020, if not early 2021, the custom theater craft work and shops are in real danger of not surviving. In an effort to find relief and support, over 40 small, unique, independent costume creation and supply businesses and artisans have joined together and launched the Costume Industry Coalition.

The CIC describes its members work stating: “We transform the Costume Designer’s two dimensional designs into custom, one-of-a-kind costumes for theatre, dance, opera, concerts, theme parks, cruise ships, ice shows, live entertainments and on television and film worldwide.”

Employing hundreds of specialty artisans inclduing pattern makers, cutters, stitchers, hand finishers, tailors, painters, sculptors, crafters and more, the industry puts millions of dollars into New York City’s economy through rent, payroll, taxes and additional expenses. They are an important part of the $14.7 billion Broadway industry their work supports and economically they in turn support NYC’s Garment District’s local vendors purchasing fabrics, trims, notions, and equipment.

Maintaining these costume industry business is a vital part of the economic and cultural reemergence of New York City and to that end the CIC has a 6 Point action plan which may be their best hope of surviving. Key to the plan is their first point:

  • Connect and advocate with local and state politicians to generate awareness of their contribution to the economy and promote rent postponement or forgiveness, along with mortgage and 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., a full service costume shop founded in 1980.

The other five action points they CIC will concentrate on achieving are:

  • Contact and connect with stakeholders in the entertainment industry to remind them of their contributions to the industry and to seek assistance so we can be ready when they reopen.
  • Work to ensure they get a seat at any table where any other performance-related Union is negotiating about the reopening of NYC.
  • Prepare a comprehensive shop safety plan in line with CDC, OSHA and NYC
    guidelines to create industry-wide shop standards.
  • Compile transition information for our employees to assist them as they become unemployed for an undetermined time.
  • Seek financial support for Members and Affiliates facing financial hardship.

Learn more at the Costume Industry Coalition website:

The Costume Industry Coalition members that are united to advocate for the survival of the New York City custom costume industry include:

Adele Recklies Co.                                           Jeff Fender Studio
Arel Studio Inc.                                                Jennifer Love Costumes
Arnold S. Levine, Inc.                                     Jerard Studio
Artur & Tailors Ltd.                                         John Kristiansen New York, Inc.
Bethany Joy Costumes, Inc.                          Jonathan Embroidery
Bra Tenders                                                      Julz Kroboth
By Barak, LLC.                                                 Lynne Baccus
Carmen Gee                                                      Lynne Mackey Studio
Cego Custom Shirts                                        Maria Ficalora Knitwear Ltd.
Claudia Diaz Costume Shop, Inc.                Marian Jean Hose, LLC.
Coco DuPont AKA Cygnet Studio                Mio Design NYC, LLC.
Colin Davis Jones Studios                             New York City Ballet Costumes
Costume Armour, Inc.                                    Parsons-Meares, LTD.
Donna Langman Costumes, LLC.                Penn & Fletcher, Inc.
Dyenamix, Inc.                                                 Polly Kinney Beading
Eric Winterling, Inc.                                       Randy Carfagno Production
Euroco                                                               Rodney Gordon, Inc.
Gene Mignola, Inc.                                          Three Bay Barn, LLC.
Giliberto Designs, Inc.                                    Timberlake Studios, Inc.
Gilles Montezin costumes                              Tricorne, Inc.
Hat Rabbit Studio                                            Vogue Too Pleating, Stitching & Embroidery
Helen Uffner Vintage Clothing, LLC.          Wing & Weft Gloves
Hochi Asiatico Studio                                      Yvette Helin Studio, LLC.



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