Factory 8

“We are an agent to the product -- not an agent to the client.”

J.R. MorrisseyFounder & CEO

“We are an agent to the product — not an agent to the client.”

J.R. Morrissey has always had an eye for pattern making. After attending fashion school at Marist College, J.R. dove head-first into the fashion industry, and ended up working in design for the first twenty years of his career. During these years, he launched and sold three of his own fashion labels. In 2010, J.R. shifted gears, starting Factory 8, a production company dedicated to providing designers and brands with the resources and skills necessary to streamline their sample and production processes. The business was originally located in Industry City, Brooklyn, but relocated to the Garment District a few years later; with clients like rag & bone and DVF, J.R. felt like the business needed to be in the heart of New York City, close to its clients’ offices. Factory 8 is located in what J.R. refers to as “the fashion building” at 265 West 37th St – a building has helped its tenants throughout the pandemic, remaining flexible and simultaneously helping them grow and prosper. Factory 8 has two spaces in the building, a workspace knows as “the cabin”, and an office that the team refers to as “the tower.”

Faces of the Garment District - Factory 8 J.R. Morrissey
Faces of the Garment District - Factory 8 Product Development

“We are clear and direct, and immediately let our clients know what is possible.”

When Factory 8 moved to the Garment District, J.R. saw an opportunity to elevate the brand, decorating his new space to reflect Factory 8’s identity. When customers walk in, they immediately feel the creative energy, and the excitement linked to the seemingly infinite possibilities.

Factory 8’s mission is to create innovative and one-of-a-kind garments. J.R. refers to himself as a maker and orchestrater: if the product needs a factory, J.R. has the relationships and expertise to find the best match. Factory 8 coordinates all logistics, including pattern making, marking and grading, sample making, production, and packaging. He is usually presented with what the designer wants, and then builds the vision based on timeline, budget, and other parameters. His eye for design and deep understanding of the development process have been key to his continued success throughout the years.

From working on SJP’s shoe line to developing SITA’s new sweat-repelling workout wear or creating WeatherWool’s durable outerwear using Made in the USA wool, Factory 8 collaborates with all types of designers to bring their innovative visions to life. Most recently, J.R. started working with August Getty, creating a collection that accentuates the sizes of various body parts and bones, and with Wolfer Estates to recreate their vintage uniforms. Each project is unique and motivates the entire team to keep aiming higher.

“My goal isn’t to build a big company; I prefer to focus on making really cool stuff instead.”

J.R. prides himself on being clear and direct with his clients, in order to achieve their common goal. He aspires to keep making valuable and original work, and believes that organic growth will ensue. He wants to keep growing his firm’s talent, as well as the talent in his building to ensure that his best resources are within close proximity.

When COVID hit, Factory 8 as well as numerous other garment district businesses were forced to close for several months; with PPE shortages and broken supply chains came a reinvigoration of a Made In the USA and Made In NYC sentiment. J.R strongly believes that the future will include an emphasis on domestic manufacturing and local production, and Factory 8 plans on leading the charge to ensure that innovative collections are developed and manufactured right here in the Garment District.

Faces of the Garment District - Factory 8 client work

Q&A with J.R Morrissey

What work have you most enjoyed?

Making couture pieces is amazing. I would love it if more brands created these types of garments in NYC.

What keeps you motivated?

The work. As Francis McDormand said, quoting Macbeth, “I have no words: my voice is in my sword. We know the sword is our work, and I like work.”

Who influenced you most?

Albert Elbaz. He was one of my favorite designers.

Best compliment received from a client?

I received letters from WeatherWool’s clients, praising the jackets we created.

What is your advice to someone starting out in this business?

I get tired of hearing people in the industry saying that they do not want their children going into this business. I encourage all to come with a welcoming and eager attitude, and to take it all in. You will start from nothing, but you will grow.