Monday, October 26, 2009

of grandparents and garments

A few years ago my grandmother, Mom Mom (pronounced MUH-mum, in case you've not met her), came to visit me in the 39th Street showroom of the designer I worked for at the time. Here we are then, as she asks that all-important question, "What to Wear?"

It's a question I've been asking, and attempting to answer lately on my new website (click).

Recently, the reporting has taken me back to my first days in the Garment District (pictured above and below). A rally there last week got me thinking about the demise of American manufacturing, something I know my late grandpa Jack had quite a lot to say about.

I found this (click) in a letter he wrote to The New York Times 22 years ago:
" believe that trade deficits are not detrimental to the wealth of a nation is to miss that these deficits provide the foreign exchange that is gobbling up American corporations, compromising national sovereignty and systematically reducing Americans to the status of tenants in their own land."
Yesterday, I visited Mom Mom, and told her about the rally in the Garment District and finding that letter.

"Well of course," she said, " You know your great grandparents were in the garment business."


I'm sure that any number of relatives on my dad's side of the family reading this are thinking they must have told me this a hundred times. But I didn't know! My great grandfather, as history would have it, established a factory on Greene Street that made pants for the soldiers in World War I. This is sort of like reporting on the history of Elsie the Cow this summer (click) and discovering Elsie's handler hung out with my other great grandfather at the 1939 World's Fair.

As my cousin Ken said yesterday, witnessing my discovery, "You can't escape your family."

For more, see the newest entry on the Sartorialist's Dilemma: (click)

1 comment:

  1. Jenni-

    This is a wonderfully written welcome distraction in my attempt to write about Benjamin Franklin (a man who knew a thing or two about clothing).


    Claire (Another family member you can't escape).