Since its establishment in the late 17th century, Bushwick has been a place for commerce and production for various industries, from cabbage and potatoes to beer, at one point producing 10% of America’s supply at the William Ulmer brewery. Over the decades, the neighborhood has evolved into a place for artists and makers alike, serving as a home to hundreds of independent businesses. Among them is Martin Greenfield Clothiers, a manufacturing and tailoring company for hand-sewn men’s clothing, where garments are made from start to finish out of their 1917 location.
The company was founded after Greenfield, a Holocaust survivor and Ukranian immigrant, bought out the previous owner and his former employer, GGG in 1977. Greenfield’s is now a world-renowned tailoring company, bringing in customers from all over the world. “People come from places as far as Japan just to see the factory,” Richard Masciantonio, a Greenfield resident patternmaker told Bushwick Daily. Mr. Greenfield is also one of the founders of Evergreen, a “membership organization that champions manufacturing, creative production, and industrial service businesses in North Brooklyn,” as stated on the organization’s website. Evergreen focuses on connecting businesses with “resources and opportunities to help create and maintain high-quality jobs at all skill levels.”
In a time where fast-fashion, rapid trend cycles, and planned obsolescence dominates the industry, Martin Greenfield has managed to remain a prestigious brand by sticking with their original production models. “Our clients know they’re getting the top quality when we make a suit for them,” Masciantonio said. “We have a very niche market but we’ve provided men with well-made clothing for so long that we are able to remain relevant.”
Typically, clients come in for special occasions or specific reasons. A large part of their businesses come from costume designers, celebrities, or fashion houses, dealing with specialized needs. “I’m with the client every step of the way making sure they get what they want,” Masciantonio explained. Nonetheless, this treatment is standard across the board, not just for VIPs. “Young people now want an experience when they shop. By remaining consistent with our production, we can provide a freshness to an industry that is often considered historically bland by today’s standards.”
The factory was also used on the set of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as the clothing factory owned by Mrs. Maisel’s father-in-law.
Though there is no official storefront, anyone can visit Martin Greenfield located at 239 Varet street. “We want this to be a place where people from the community can come and trust they will get a well-made garment,” Masciantonio said. “They can come here to learn about the craft and see the art behind it.”