History

Over 101 years ago, M&S Schmalberg opened its doors in New York City’s Garment District. From street level storefronts and multi-story factory operations, custom fabric flowers by M&S Schmalberg have been hand-made in New York City for apparel, bridal, accessory, millinery and home furnishing products since 1916. Now located at 242 W. 36th Street, M&S Schmalberg is a fourth generation family-operated business.

Today, Warren Brand, President of M&S Schmalberg has been making flowers for over 40 years. The business was first started by brothers, Morris and Sam Schmalberg. After Warren’s father, Harold, survived WWII, his American relatives helped him move to New York, where he began working at the factory at the age of 17. In time, Warren’s father Harold learned the family business and eventually inherited M&S Schmalberg; which has always been a Garment Center business. M&S Schmalberg is now owned by Harold’s two children, Warren and Deborah Brand. Six years ago, Warren’s son Adam joined the company, making it a 4th generation family business.
NYC-Garment district-Color schmalberg 1940s

Then, the Garment center was a different world than it is today. When Morris and Sam Schmalberg started the business, the Garment District was a neighborhood that once produced 75% of all women’s and children’s apparel in the United States. In the 1940s there were dozens of “flower guys” and over the years that number went down to 10 and today, M&S Schmalberg is the last of its kind in America. 

M&S Schmalberg’s business has drastically changed over the past 10 years with much of American manufacturing moving overseas. However, specialty work and large production orders is what would sustain its fabric flowers business for the next generation and beyond. 

The Garment center is still made up of fashion blocks. From M&S Schmalberg, artisanal silk flower makers, fabric stores to leather makers, and top designers in New York City, like Carolina Herrera and Ralph Lauren. Making artificial flowers in New York City’s Garment District is truly special, as each silk flower is still hand-made with a tried and true quality that cannot be matched.