New York City and Milan, easily two of the world's most influential fashion industries, have long carried on a competition over which powerhouse reigns supreme. After one year at No. 2 on the fashion capital list (thanks to a lackluster U.S. economy), NYC took the lead in the 2010 rankings compiled annually by Global Language Monitor, which monitors media, blogs and the like, to determine how often a particular topic/keyword is mentioned. Incidentally, Milan fell out of the top five altogether, thanks to the other emerging powerhouses like Hong Kong.
So, what makes New York so special? In terms of fashion, pretty much everything! The city's Fashion Week is arguably the most publicized and attended in the world, drawing 232,000 industry professionals annually, according to NYC Fashion. The city is also home to a massive wholesale market and the world-renowned Manhattan Garment Center, where major labels boast impressive showrooms, production and design facilities.
There's still plenty for the unofficial fashionista to do in New York, even if you're not a credentialed member of the industry. First order of business: Hit the iconic, if touristy, retail locations the Big Apple is famous for, like Bloomingdale's and Macy's. Any rabid bargainer must also head over to Chinatown to haggle over purses and hats. Of course, the city is also full of boutiques ranging from bohemian to haute couture. So, pinch those pennies in the weeks and months leading up to your trip to the world's fashion capital. Trust me, you're gonna need 'em!