Great nyc men's shops of the past - Page 6
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Dear Arvi, what a delightful bit of nostalgia you brought to mind with your entry on men's shops of days gone by. The House Of Cromwell, Ltd, on the corner of 56th street and Lexington avenue was the delight of my days as a young man shopping in the largest 'candy-store in the world ', New York City. Thanks for bringing that back to mind once again. I often think back to that store as my reference point for excellent men's haberdashery. Hope all is going well with you. Mario
Does anyone recall or have any information on the New York City branch of Knize? E.g., location, years of operation, etc.?
My grandmother was a bookeeper there in the 1960's. I recall looking at its shop window on a Sunday. The window did not have terribly exciting stuff, but I was only a kid back then! To be charitable, my taste level has changed.
See my post in AAAC:
I visited Knize in Vienna in Oct.' 05. Upon seeing the
storefront indicating a New York branch, I asked when did
the New York store close? 1970. At the time I lived
in New York and I remember it having very understated
classical clothing, which I couldn't possible afford.
Their current RTW, at least as of two years ago,
has more flair but still in superb good taste.
This is a repeat. I hadn't realized that I had already answered this above.
For the last 25 years, I've worn a variety of collared shirts from The Custom Shop on 5th Avenue. They belonged to my father and have been the source of much good-natured thievery between my three sisters and myself. I wear one to sleep in almost every night and if one goes missing, I always know where to start looking.
All of the shirts have "RB" embroidered on the pocket, look good and feel great. I was searching online to see if the shop was still in business. I would have loved to buy some of these shirts for my husband, four sons and of course, for my darling sisters. It sounds like my great gift idea was a few years too late. It's too bad.
Thanks for the update.
H. Herzfeld on Madison Ave closed a year or two ago.
Arthur M Rosenberg branch of Ivy New Haven Tailor
had a shop in the 60s 70s mid town off Madison, near
Washington Tremlett- London Shirtmaker on 57th St (?)
Nussbaums on Main St Flushing closed in the 50s
Ber Ben in Jamaica- My uncle shopped there main stream
style a little on the sharp side.
D'Andrea Bothers Bespoke Tailors- Another Uncle had his clothes
made there. World Class bespoke:
Edited by comrade - 4/29/15 at 3:54pm
Glad to see someone mentioned Kaiser which was on sixth avenue between 8th and 9th streets (two doors down from Bigelow´s Pharmacy). Sad to have seen it go since it was there since at least the late 1930´s ( have a picture of it dated 1939) Had wonderful classic style suits and coats. Many people swore by thier shirts and ties as well. I remember that in the 60´s and 70´s My father would only shop for clothes in three locations, Kasier, Brooks Brothers and Ambercrombie and Fitch (before the change). Two fo those three no longer exist, how sad more men´s clothing!
I think you should add De Pinna which was on 5th and 52nd street. My grandfather was general manager there in the 50´s (then went on to Brooks Brothers and then to The Bon Marche in WA but that is another story...)
What about Casual-Aire(in Greenwich Village), The Village Squire and Kaiser (both in the Village), Paul Sargent and The Stag Shop(lower priced style). Uptown there was Men's Town and Country, The House of Cromwell, Breidbarr, The London Shop, Phil's, Lefcourt(shoes), McCreedy and Schreiber(shoes). Worth and Worth (hats).
Boy, those were the days.
It appears that the cost of rental space prohibits the success of these great haberdashers. What a pity.
The latest rumor is that Barneys will open at its old store at Seventh Avenue and 17th Street. This spot was formerly Loehmann's.
Other Barneys' rumors:
1. The Madison Avenue store will close and everything will be relocated to Seventh Avenue because the lease is up on 2017. If this is so, there will be much less space in that the annex on 17th Street is now the Rubin Museum.
2. The 60th Street of the store (the mens store) will be consolidated into the Madison Avenue building with the womens clothes. The 60th Street store will be converted into a hotel.
Rumor # 2 is possible in that the store has gone through multiple owners, and I believe that the real estate is not owned by Baneys.
On a side note, I think that you can lump Barneys into "great NYC shops of the past." It's still there and still operating, but it is not the same. Its current owners are finance guys, and they are not merchants like the founding family, the Pressman's. The renovation has taken away the charms of the old store, and many of the older salesmen are being chased-out by the new management. From the worker's viewpoint, Barneys is not a happy place. From the customer's viewpoint, Barneys is passe.
that were the menswear equivalent of the storied " Lindy's waiters" of the time: abrasive and abrupt..
My Dad used to take me there, although he shopped at Rogers Peet and Brooks Brothers. In the 70s
the business model changed:
In a 1973 interview with Business Week, Fred Pressman, Barney Pressman's son, became "convinced that the discount route definitely was not for us. My father and I have always hated cheap goods.... I didn't want to sell low-end merchandise. Now, many of those who chose to are verging on bankruptcy." Fred Pressman's New York Times obituary stated:
With his father's blessing, Fred Pressman slowly transformed the store from a salty discount house that sold roast beef sandwiches in its pub to a purveyor of Italian designers with a cafe serving Perrier and light salads. He began to discard the types of suits that his father was prone to unearthing at auctions and bankruptcy sales, peppering the racks instead with then-obscure and top-name designers both, but continued to offer touches like free alterations that gave Barneys its reputation.
In time the staff transitioned from men who modeled their behavior on Don Rickles or Phil Silvers, to the current
effete crew of indeterminate gender.
Edited by comrade - 9/2/15 at 2:22pm
I slightly recall that it was brightly lit with florescent lights. My mother recalled Barney Pressman working the floor and berating an employee.