It is now 2013 and there is no more room for excuses. President Barack Obama won re-election by a handsome percentage. Our economic recovery has some momentum, and it seems that we may have averted an economic backslide by approving an economic package that begins to spread economic and social responsibility more equitably. So, again there is no time for excuses. There is no reason to not carefully and responsibly examine the possibility of creating manufacturing opportunities in the US.
The fashion industry for several years has sponsored forums and symposiums on this subject. Revered industry professionals such as Nanette Lepore, Yeohlee, and even the CFDA, have been at the forefront of this charge. Yet, as much as this is a particular need of the fashion industry, few companies and/or brands have turned their rallying cries into manufacturing action on the ground.
Still, 2013 is a new year with unbounded opportunities and hope. And with the Adoni Factory Group hope not only springs eternal, but manifests results.
In 2012, the Adoni Factory Group opened the first full-production shoe factory in New York City in over 60 years. Starting with their acquisition of Klingbiel, a professional ice skating boot company located in Jamaica, Queens, Adoni Factory Group set out to change the manufacturing landscape in the US by demonstrating that homegrown manufacturing is not only possible, but potentially profitable.
“When the Adoni Group decided to create a factory in the Garment District one of their primary goals was to promote manufacturing in the US,” states Mikaila Koenig, public relations manager for the Adoni Group. “Due to the state of manufacturing in this country, the factory that produces Klingbiel was about to close down. Jay Adoni and his two sons, Jordan and Jensen, stepped in and relocated the entire factory to the Garment District in 2012. We make the [Klingbiel] boot and the sole of the skate now in Manhattan, as well as three other shoe brands, Modern Vice Collection, Giraffe Walk, and the Jay Adoni Line,” continues Koenig.
But, the Adoni Factory Group does more than just manufacture ice skating boots and affordable shoe brands. Their shoe collections are fashion forward with a modern sensibility, tapping into uncharted territory and the new direction of global shoe design. From cow skin boots and other exotic skin shoes to hidden-wedge, high-fashion sneakers and shoes, the Adoni Factory Group is on the cutting edge of shoe design with their unique point of view and price-point accessibility. “We are forwarding the technology and trend of hidden wedges in our spring/summer 2013 collection,” details Jordan Adoni. “A lot of women want to appear taller without obviously wearing high heels. So, [at the Modern Vice Collection and Jay Adoni Line] we have inserted a hidden wedge into some of our flats and sneakers that facilitate that effect.”
Creativity and nativism aside, the names of the game are still market viability, brand proliferation and costs accessibility; marketing concepts that the Adoni Factory Group has taken into consideration. “There is a lot of incorrect information about the costs of manufacturing in the US,” explains David Siskin, co-founder of Giraffe Walk. “When you examine pricing of imported shoes, about 20% of the price goes into the shipping, the oil it cost to ship, in other words, the carbon footprint. And the price is only going up … By making product in the US, manufacturers are taking all those extraneous costs out of the equation.”
And the business model of being able to fill smaller orders is a key component to the Adoni Factory Group’s early success. “The other big plus for manufacturing in the US is that retailers can put in smaller orders from homegrown manufacturers than from manufacturers abroad. So, if a retailer places a smaller order and needs more products, that retailer can receive additional product more quickly than waiting for a larger shipment from overseas. And you can also catch trends faster and test them out,” contends Siskin.
The Adoni Factory Group is proving that homegrown manufacturing is not only possible, but that it is a viable, creative, cost-effective alternative to outsourcing. Other fashion brands should stand up and take notice!!
—William S. Gooch