fatfree studio


Fashion District History Walking Tour

Over the years I have entertained and instructed many groups of fashion interested adults and students from organizations and schools across the USA and Canada.

The tour that I will do is about 2 hours in duration and contains most of the following:

1. The history of the apparel industry in NYC from Henry Hudson to the present and a forecast into the future.

2. Some significant events in the evolution of the industry: Mass Production, The sewing machine, the development of ‘sizes’, the invention of synthetic fibers and the impact there of, The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, and the evolution of “Fashion”. How the garment center of today arrived at its current location.

3. The immigrant labor force that has driven the apparel industry from its beginning, and how it has changed yet stayed the same over the years.

4. During the course of the tour we will make visits to most of the following locations depending on availability:
a. A showroom, where I may be able to get an intern to explain how (s)he got the job, what is required on the job and what their goals are. Perhaps a sample sale as well.
b. A factory where garments are spread and cut prior to sewing.
c. A visit to some meaningful garment center artwork.
d. Visit the location where Calvin, Donna Ralph and Oscar have their workspace.
e. A visit to Mood Fabrics, familiar to a"Project Runway” fans.
f. A walk through the historic streets of the fashion district.
g. The Fashion Walk of Fame
h. And much more.

I myself, have spent over 35 years in the industry in many different capacities and am able to relay interesting anecdotes that I have witnessed first hand, such as the evolution of Children’s Flammable Sleepwear & how garments are designed costed produced, marketed, financed and more.

Email: mikesnyctours@yahoo.com
Telephone:(212) 370-4214

11th Annual Garment Center Holiday Bargain Shopping Tour

Join your tour guide, Mike Kaback, a 35 year garment center pro, for his 11th annual showroom and warehouse, holiday bargain shopping tour.  Go behind the scenes in the Garment Center where showroom sample sales abound during this time of year.  Get a chance for unheard of bargains at prices below cost, and less! The manufacturers we visit are the same vendors that sell to stores such as Bloomies, Saks, L&T, Barneys and boutiques all over the country.  The merchandise available represents overproduction, canceled orders and one-of-a-kind samples.  Please make sure to bring cash — When there is a chance to bargain, cash will make it happen!

DURATION: 2 - 2.5 hours

Bizarre & Eccentric Tour of the East Village

Visit the alternative lifestyle adopted by today’s bohemians.  See where they get tattooed, pierced, clothed and fed.  Visit a monastery pub for a short libation and learn the fascinating history of the area.  Tip: Bring cash for the best Belgian fries!

DURATION: approximately 2 hours

The Jewish Lower East Side

Your guide, born and raised on the Lower East Side strolls with you through this ever-changing neighborhood.  Visit the various religious and cultural institutions including the Educational Alliance, orthodox tenement shuls, the RJJ and Seward Park.  Sample the experience of your grandparents.  Grab a bialy at Kossars, a perfect dill pickle and visit Streitz’s Matzoh factory.  Play a quick game of hopscotch, stoop ball or skully — become a genuine Lower East Sider for the afternoon. Tip: Wear comfortable shoes!

DURATION: approximately 2 hours

Welcome to Spring Walking Tour

Watch the flowers getting ready to bloom at Bryant Park.  Visit the NY Public Library, Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, the Garment Center and more!  Walking leisurely through the streets, you can see New York in all its springtime glory…

DURATION: approximately 2 hours

Gramercy Park Walking Tour

This neighborhood remains one of the most quaint and lovely in New York City.  Spend a few hours with your guide enjoying the scenery and visiting beautiful and historical sites in this area: the last private park in New York City, the Players Club, National Arts Club, the Block Beautiful, the former home of Stanford White, Cyrus W. Field and Peter Cooper, and more!

DURATION: 1.5 - 2 hours

Hike New York City

Take a hike with your learned guide to uncover the secrets of many of New York’s greatest neighborhoods and structures including the U.N., Chrysler Building, Grand Central, Times Square, Herald Square, Flatiron, 5th Avenue, NY Public Library, Bryant Park, Broadway, Herald Square and much more!  Tip: Wear comfortable shoes & bring cash for a pizza or a bagel!

DURATION: 5 - 6 hours

Easter Parade Walking Tour

Visit and (more fun!) join in today’s Easter Parade on 5th Avenue, after a short, in-depth walking tour of mid-town New York City.  Sites explored include Grand Central, the beautiful and historic NY Public Library, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building.  Tip: Bring your camera to capture the paraders in the most beautiful, exotic and outrageous bonnets! (See photos at here)

DURATION: approximately 2 hours

Father’s Day Walkabout

Take dad for a father-friendly trip of discovery through the historically and architecturally rich midtown New York City.  Explore such locations as the Daily News Building, the Chrysler building, NY Public Library, Bryant Park, Grand Central, Times Square, the Garment Center and much more.  We go at a dad-friendly pace with a stop for a pizza or NY frank or an eggcream or beer.  Tip: Bring a Dad!

DURATION: 2.5 - 3 hours

Flatiron and Madison Square Park Walking Tour

Spend some time exploring and learning about one of New York City’s most interesting areas: the home of the Flatiron Building, the original Madison Square Garden, “23 Skidoo,” and the center of NYC social life in the mid-19th century.  Walk through an urban oasis while soaking in tales of the city’s amazing history.

DURATION: 1.5 - 2 hours