Garment Industry

Displaying 31 - 40 of 52

Interview with Mary Agnes Alderman in which she discusses her career in the garment industry, including working as a buyer for a department store in Springfield, Missouri in the 1950s. She recalls modeling and managing fashion shows, traveling to New York to buy women's sportwear, and her knowledge of Kansas City garment manufacturers and stores. She discusses the changes in shopping habits and department stores, working as a teacher after moving to Kansas City, and serving Ramfis Trujillo, son of president of the Dominican Republic Rafael Trujillo, while working at Swanson's clothing store on the Plaza. She also discusses the change in fashion to more casual dress, and expresses support and enthusiasm for the preservation of Kansas City's garment industry history.

Video Recording

Interview with Leo and Skipper Feingold about their lives and their experience in Kansas City's garment industry. The couple discuss Leo's military service, meeting through a friend while he was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, and mention Skipper's early career tapdancing as part of the Luke Sisters. They also discuss their children's clothing business, Stevie Togs, Skipper's work as a teacher, and Leo's work for Stern-Slegman-Prins and Kap-Pel Fabrics.

Video Recording

Interview with Betty Brand about her family's history in and her experience with the Kansas City garment industry. Betty was married to Arthur Brand, whose family started the Brand and Puritz factory in 1928, and describes the family's experience in the garment business, the different suit and coat lines they manufactured, and the large number of immigrants among their staff. She also describes their experience in Kansas City's Jewish community, the retail and restaurant landscape of downtown Kansas City, and shares her paintings and photographs of her family and travels.

Video Recording

Interview with Mel Mallin about his experience with the Kansas City garment industry. He discusses his start in New York, his work with Maurice Coat Company in Kansas City in the 1950s, and his later purchase of the All Packaging Company box business and the Manhattan Sponging Works in the late 1960s, a fabric processing company. He shares stories about changing size labels on clothing to flatter customers, the majority Jewish ownership of local garment companies, and recounts other local garment manufacturers and designers, their specialties, and their owners and operations. He also discusses the later conversion of the Garment District buildings into offices and apartments, including including his own 1983 conversion of his box and packaging plant into the first residential loft building in Kansas City.

Video Recording

Interview with Eugene Lebowitz in which he discusses his childhood in Czechoslovakia, surviving the Holocaust in a labor camp and later as a tailor for Nazi officers in Budapest, living as a refugee in Austria and Italy, and coming to the United States as part of the Displaced Persons Act. He discusses working as a tailor for garment companies in New York City, and later being hired by Kansas City garment companies Youthcraft and Fashionbilt as a designer. He also talks about his work as a Holocaust educator with a speakers bureau, the decline of the Kansas City garment industry in the face of Asian manufacturing, and he and his wife Kate share family photographs and additional stories.

Video Recording

Interview with Eileen Garry about her life and her experience in the Kansas City garment industry. She discusses her marriage to Marshall Garry, their move from Brooklyn to Kansas City, and Marshall's work for his father's B. Garry and Company. She discusses their work representing suppliers such as the Maimin Company, a producer of cutting machines, and textile manufacturers, the evolution of the company and industry into the 1960s, the couple's involvement in the local Jewish community, and the industry's social milieu.

Video Recording

Interview with Carl Puritz about his family's company, Brand and Puritz. He discusses Hyman and Joe Brand and Harry Puritz founding the company in 1928, making women's coats and suits, manufacturing uniforms as part of the war effort in World War II, and recalls other family members who passed through the company. He also discusses the decline of the domestic apparel business in the face of Asian imports, the multiple clothing lines manufactured by the company, and their time making uniforms for TWA. Carl notes that he is the last surviving member of the Brand and Puritz families who worked for the company, and they show and discuss original garments made by the company and held at the Historic Garment District Museum.

Video Recording

Interview with Bob Slegman about his life and his family's company Stern-Slegman-Prins. He recounts his family history and their start manufacturing silk blouses, and his paternal Slegman family and maternal Stern family partnering up as "jobbers" who distributed wholesale garments to retailers, later manufacturing ladies' coats and suits, and notes that many other prominent garment industry companies had their roots in Stern-Slegman-Prins. He discusses the high quality of local manufacturing, and the operations, financing, and demographics of the work force, as well as his entry into the family business and his service as an Army Air Corps meteorologist during World War II. He shares photographs and other stories about the company, including their inability to have a company outing at Fairyland Park due to having black employees, and discusses the decline of the local garment industry and changes in fashion and retail in the 1970s. Anne Brownfield appears to show off details of a Stern-Slegman-Prins manufactured "Betty Rose" coat.

Video Recording

Interview with Don Sole about his childhood, his experience in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and later career working his way up in Ford dealerships. He came to Kansas City as a result of his father's work in the garment industry, and worked in aircraft manufacture before enlisting. He discusses his training, his experience guarding Japanese internment camps in California, and his experience as a flight engineer as a civilian and later as part of the Air Corps. He also describes supply flights that would take him to locations including Brazil, West Africa, and India, and shares a Life magazine photo spread about the journey; as well as discussing his family and genealogy research.

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Interview with Shirley Smith Ramey in which she shares photographs and discusses growing up in Northeast Kansas City, Missouri, her ancestors and how the family came to the area, and how her parents learned trades at a school for the deaf in Fulton, Missouri. She describes being raised by her grandparents and her mother, who worked in the local garment industry, eloping with her husband Owen, and their early marriage and work. She also discusses moving back in with her family while pregnant when Owen left to fight in World War II, later following Owen's orders to San Antonio and Denver, post-war life in east Kansas City, and being part of the "white flight" to Johnson County.

Video Recording