What makes a piece of cloth special? Any kind of detail and we think that garment flowers are the accessory not to miss out this summer. Our Editor-at-large, visited the manufacture of M&S Schmalberg in NYC and we are happy to hear that flowers are blooming. A chat with Mr Adam Brand, the fourth-generation owner of M&S Schmalberg.
IRMA: What do I need to know about the history of silk flowers & fabric flowers?
ADAM BRAND: M&S Schmalberg was started in 1916 by Morris and Sam Schmalberg. The New York City Garment Centre was the manufacturing capital of the world. We had roughly 10-12 competitors who also made fabric flowers in NYC and there was enough domestic production to keep everyone in business. As production started to go off-shore these other companies closed. Fast-forward to today and M&S Schmalberg is the last remaining flower factory in the city.
IRMA: What was your biggest challenge in production so far?
ADAM BRAND: Our biggest challenge is competition from overseas suppliers. We have countered that challenge by offering a higher end product, fast turn-around and of course friendly service. In addition we have started offering our flowers to retail customers through our website and Amazon. Amazon in particular has been a wonderful resource for us.
IRMA: What was your most spectacular order?
ADAM BRAND: We have worked on lots of interesting projects. Here are a few:
– 5,000 Flowers for The Rockettes at Radio City NYC
– A variety of projects for the 2019 Met Gala:
– Huge Roses For Vera Wang (Image attached on slider )
– Thousands of polka dot flower petals for Marc Jacobs (image attached, also on slider)
– Thousands of Raffia flowers for Zimmermann in Australia
– Flowers for The Australian Ballet
IRMA: It is very comforting that a factory like yours exist in a time where people loose the love for pretty details…. or would you say, that quite the opposite is the case and flower decorations are back en vogue?
ADAM BRAND: There was a recent New York Times article written on us and the feedback has been tremendous. We have been overwhelmed with the love. Amazon ran out of our flowers within hours of its release. Flowers are definitely en vogue!
IRMA: Which couture clients did or do you work for?
ADAM BRAND: Some of our clients include Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Oscar De La Renta, Rodarte, Andrew GN, Johanna Ortiz…….