Fashion Week is bigger than the Super Bowl for NYC

Often lost among the sea of fur coats, designer labels and stick-thin models each February is one key fact: New York Fashion Week, which kicks off Thursday, is a major revenue generator for the Big Apple.

But a new report by U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., and the Joint Economic Committee of Congress highlights just how valuable the biannual event is for the city.

Models walk the runway during Nicole Miller at MBFW Fall 2014 in New York.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Models walk the runway during Nicole Miller at MBFW Fall 2014 in New York.

According to the report, New York Fashion Week pulls in nearly $900 million each year, including about $532 million in tourist spending. That means the event's total economic boost tops that of the New York City Marathon at $340 million, the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey at $550 million and the U.S. Open tennis tournament at $800 million.

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"Fashion is so much more than style; it's big business that creates a vast array of good-paying jobs," Maloney said in a news release.

"Impeccable style not only epitomizes New York, it puts New Yorkers to work."

According to the report, about 900 fashion companies are headquartered in New York City, employing about 180,000 people. That accounts for about 6 percent of the city's workforce, nearly $11 billion in wages and $2 billion in tax revenue each year, said a report by New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio's office last year.

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New York is also tops among U.S. cities for the number of fashion designers it employs, at 7,460, according to data from the Bureau of Labor statistics cited in the report from Maloney and the JEC. It's followed by Los Angeles with 4,470; San Francisco with 540; and Columbus, Ohio, with 518.

Although fewer than 300 fashion designers work in Illinois, it's the top-paying state for that profession, with an annual mean wage of $93,850. New York ranks second at $81,450, followed by Maine, Missouri and New Hampshire.