Looking for materials research hotspots in NYC

I’m heading off the NYC at the end of June-beginning of July to do design research. I’m designing handbags/luggage for a company and am looking for suggestions regrding good sources/place to visit to find highend hardware, leathers, fabrics and other materials.

I will be shopping for new materials for an innovative product line. Am having limited success finding what I’m looking for on line. Looking for very cutting edge and high end materials.

I’ve heard of ‘designer trade marts’ of sorts but am not familiar with any in NYC. (Acutally I do know about Material Conexxion but am hoping to find some other connections for matierals hunting.

If you have any suggestions for leads…would be a big help:)

Will also be soaking up all design in NYC in general and hitting museums, shops etc. Open to other designery fun places to check out.

Have been to NYC before, familiar with all the major design museums and Soho etc. but am hoping to find lesser known gems.

I will be doing material hunting in Asia later this year but right now hoping a trip to NYC will tide me over for prototyping. Actually open to any suggestions, online as well regarding materials sourcing too

Thanks for your help!

definitely hit up the conexxion though…

At the Cooper Hewitt, there is a really awesome exhibit going on right now called Extreme Textiles— it displays a lot of crazy applications for all sorts of textiles- do not miss it!

Also, the fabric store they always went to on that show Project Runway-- Mood, is located at 225 W.37th Street on the 3rd floor there’s lots of leather and remnants of experimental fabrics, if you look hard enough you can find them.

I guess scouring the streets in that neighborhood, Garment District would help too- it is where all of the fabrics and notions stores are, even though there aren’t as many of them as there used to be. It’s pretty fun looking between 6th and 10th Ave. and 35-40th St. One of my favorite notions places is MJ trims

But I found that all of the finished softgoods in stores like Paragon Sports and Art Stores like Flax use all of these materials and parts specially made that only exist ordered out of a factory in China-- try being a student making a prototype knowing that you can make half the things you want because you can’t find it, argh argh argh… So I resorted to cannibalizing from finished bags and ordering from the “really relaxed” people at Textile Outfitters and Seattle Fabrics, online. But these people fill orders as though their customers are little grannies making a nice little something for their grandkids on their next camping trip- they have no concept of deadlines, so leave a ton of lead time if you order from them.


Thanks for the great info guys! Much appreciated:)

D-Zero :slight_smile: