Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Real Faces of The Garment Industry...Where is Their Tribute?

There he sits, just catty-corner from Parsons.  The statue of the diligent garment worker hunched over his sewing machine, stitching the legacy that is the Garment District of New York.  As many times as I've passed him, I still come away feeling that something is missing from this tribute.

These are the faces of the American garment industry I grew up knowing...

Mayfair Dress Company.  My Grandmom Viola is second from left.

Possibly Brodskys, South River, NJ.  Circa 1930s-1940s
Photos from personal archive.

These women taught me everything I know about fabric, construction, and self-respect.  The Wulfsons, along with the Brodskys whose factory produced Judy Bond Blouses, were demanding but fair employers who valued their employees.  These companies produced tens of thousands of garments which filled the racks of many a New York department store.

So much recent chatter has been given press recently on "Saving the Garment District".  Hopefully somewhere in those grandiose plans laid out on the drafting tables of the CFDA lies a tribute to these women past, present and future who continue to keep garment manufacturing vital.

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