The Meatpacking District today is known as a shopping destination, but it took a few pioneers to lure shoppers to the area which was still known for blood stained sidewalks and risque nightlife. In 1999, Jeffrey Kalinsky opened the boutique department store, Jeffrey, on West 14th Street, which immediately drew upmarket shoppers to the edgy downtown location. Soon other brands and retailers took notice, notably Diane Von Furstenburg, who located her flagship store, company headquarters, and penthouse apartment across the street. Dozens of other high end and mass market brands followed, alongside independent and boutique fashion lines.
In addition to retailers, Milk Studios moved to the neighborhood in 1998. Formerly located on 15th street, the production company hosted hundreds of fashion shoots and runway shows, and was a longtime anchor of New York Fashion Week. Sex and the City used the neighborhood as a backdrop, the character Samantha Jones, a fashion publicist, called Meatpacking home on the show.
The neighborhood itself, with its iconic architecture and Belgian block plazas, provides a dynamic setting for photo shoots and fashion campaigns. Streets form an everyday runway that enlivens the life in the District.
Gansevoort Market Historic District: State and National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (2007).
Gansevoort Market Historic District: Designation Report. New York Landmarks Preservation Commission (2003).
The High Line website
Off the Grid. Village Preservation blog.