Monday, May 14, 2018

Immigration and the Fashion Industry: Alterations to an Outdated Immigration System


Today, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) are releasing an updated report about the impact of immigration policy on the country’s fashion industry and its role creating American jobs. The report found that the industry, which generates more than $250 billion in annual revenue and employs nearly two million people, relies on the skills of immigrants from around the world.

One year ago the CFDA and released the joint report Designing an Immigration System That Works, which served as a call to action for immigration reform and featured details on the way in which the system impacts the American fashion industry To anniversary the inaugural study, we partnered with to  update the study.

The 2018 edition, Alterations to an Outdated Immigration System, with support from the Nashville Fashion Alliance (NFA) and Saint Louis Fashion Fund (SLFF), sheds light on the regional ecosystems impacted by the current restrictive immigration policy across cities including Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, St. Louis, and San Diego. Business owners, designers, students, academic institutions, and more across the country echo similar challenges and obstacles they face in keeping skilled labor working in the U.S .while being mindful of the time and costs needed to accomplish this. The two most crucial takeaways highlighted continue to be:

  • Recruitment and retention of top talent
  • Making the process to obtain or maintain legal access to work in the U.S. more efficient and affordable, and less cumbersome and costly.

The fashion industry widely supports improvements to the existing immigration policies to allow aspiring Americans to continue to nourish the American economy and communities. Ways forward gleaned from the research underscore the need for providing a pathway for Dreamers, improving access to top foreign talent, and expanding education and resources on navigating our complicated system.

CFDA President & CEO Steven Kolb noted, “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.  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.”

Read the complete report here.


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