Martin Greenfield America’s greatest living tailor and his sons, Jay and Tod, last week invited President Donald Trump to come to their factory and be fitted for a suit. An incredible accomplishment, the Greenfields have kept the factory in East Williamsburg Industrial Park employing scores of skilled craftsman when many of his competitors have fled the US and now manufacture overseas.
“I would never, ever [consider] it because of all of the American jobs we have created here.” Martin Greenfield answered when asked by author Levi Welton why he would not move his manufacture operations to China where production would be a fraction of the cost.
Greenfield’s son Tod, co-owner of Greenfield Clothiers, echoed that sentiment to author Welton. “We operate on an ethical level thinking about what is good for our customers, employees and the local neighborhood”, he said.
According to Leah Archibald, Executive Director of Evergreen, “Martin is a local entrepreneur, overcame great personal and business adversity and has succeeded in creating jobs for American citizens. He was one of the founders of Evergreen. We are so grateful Tod Greenfield continues to lead Evergreen to encourage other businesses to create jobs and opportunities for local residents.”
Established by its founder, Greenfield Clothiers’ emphasis is on handmade top notch quality work. This has attracted a client list of high profile celebrities including Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Shaquille l O’Neal, Jimmy Fallon as well as former Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton. As Martin said, “I dress both sides of the aisles. Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson were also customers”.
Greenfield has been an active community leader. He was the founder of the Evergreen, a membership organization that was formed in the 1980s to protect the quickly evaporating North Brooklyn employment base. Manufacturers and businesses employed 15,000 residents and depend on Evergreen for quick reliable service with tax incentives, financing, real estate, relocation, energy and green related issues as well as workforce needs through St. Nicks Alliance. He also served on the board of the St. Nicks Alliance and Community Board #1.
Greenfield arrived at the Varet Street factory right after he was released from a concentration camp with the fall of the Nazi regime in Germany. Starting out as a floor boy, he mainly carried the sewn goods from one part of the factory to the other. He eventually became the factory production manager, and would go on to create his own business, Greenfield Clothiers. With the help of Evergreen he fought off extremely high crime rates which at times brought his fledging business to the brinks of bankruptcy. Nevertheless, Martin persevered.
In his inaugural speech President Trump stated, “We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is the oath of allegiance to all Americans”. According to author Welton, the President’s ideal is so perfectly expressed and embodied by Martin Greenfield, who was the victim of tremendous persecution and discrimination yet never forgot what it meant to treat a fellow human being with dignity. If President Trump were to wear a suit crafted by a man who treats everyone with such dignity and equality, Trump would send an important message that he is the President of all Americans: he buys American, he supports local jobs, and he shows the same respect for others.