Tag Archives: #cle

A look inside the Cleveland garment industry: Joseph & Feiss employees are pictured at work. (Image via Google Images).

#UCStyleFiles On Location: The History of the Cleveland Garment Industry

J&F workers

Joseph & Feiss employees pose for a photo around their sewing machines. FACT: the work in garment factories was gendered, women typically did the sewing/construction jobs, while men did the pressing. (Image via Google Images)

 

A look inside the Cleveland garment industry: Joseph & Feiss employees are pictured at work. (Image via Google Images).

A look inside the Cleveland garment industry: Joseph & Feiss employees are pictured at work. (Image via Google Images).

You might not know it, but Cleveland was once considered the center of the American garment industry as it was one of the largest garment manufacturing cities next to New York. What is also little known is the importance of the Jewish community to the success of Cleveland’s garment industry.

Maltz Museum

Located in Beachwood, OH–This amazing resource gives us a look into not only the history of the Jewish community, but also serves a an insight into Cleveland’s history as a whole.

 

#UCStyleFiles went on location to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage for Dr. Connie Korosec’s FH 300 Color and Presentation Board class to learn history of Cleveland’s (and the Jewish community’s) role in the garment manufacturing industry as we viewed a very special lecture from Sean Martin, associate curator for Jewish history at the Western Reserve Historical Society. (Martin is the author of several articles about Cleveland and Polish Jewish history, and is currently working on his next project–a history of Cleveland’s garment industry).

Cleveland's rich history comes alive for FH 300 students at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Cleveland’s rich history comes alive for FH 300 students at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Martin’s lecture outlined the growth and decline of the local garment industry. As quoted in the Cleveland Jewish News, Martin states, “Jews immigrated to America in the 1880s and 1920s when consumer goods were taking off, and they were able to get into the garment industry” (Cleveland Jewish News). Further, Martin reveals,  “As Jewish families brought more family members to the U.S., they went into business with them or established enterprises of their own which supported the garment industry” (CJN).

knitting machine

Advancements in technology such as this knitting machine allowed manufacturing companies to efficiently create intricate fabrics for garments, and produce sweater knits.

 

Compex, woven textiles were made possible with the emergence of new technology in Cleveland's manufacturing companies.

Compex, woven textiles were made possible with the emergence of new technology in Cleveland’s manufacturing companies.

As noted in the Cleveland Jewish News article, Cleveland’s garment manufacturing companies included Joseph and Feiss on West 53rd Street, which lasted until the 1990s; Richman Brothers, on 55th Street, one of the largest clothing chains in America in the 1950s; Work Wear, which manufactured and rented out uniforms; and Ohio Knitting Mills–it is noted that this company had more than 1,000 workers in it’s heyday. Moreover, Ohio Knitting Mills now exists on Perkins Avenue in Cleveland.

 

My great-grandfather, Harry Blank was an employee of Joseph & Feiss, which makes this part of Cleveland history a family legacy for my family.

My great-grandfather, Harry Blank was an employee of Joseph & Feiss, which makes this part of Cleveland history a family legacy for me and my family.

Joseph & Feiss holds particular importance to me, as I have a personal connection to the rich history of Cleveland’s garment industry: my great-grandfather, Harry Blank (a tailor from a long line of tailors) immigrated from Montreal, Quebec, Canada to work at Joseph & Feiss (as a tailor, of course, his job was to cut and measure cloth). In fact, my great-grandfather wasn’t my only family member involved in the garment industry: His brother, (great-uncle Sam) was a master tailor at Bullocks in Beverly Hills, who designed and made clothes for actors and actresses and very wealthy people.

Joseph & Feiss was once a booming business, a leading manufacturing company.

Joseph & Feiss was once a booming business, a leading manufacturing company.

Though the Joseph & Feiss building is a shell of what it once was, the building remains as an important landmark, a reminder of our successful history in the garment industry. (image via Google Images)

Though the Joseph & Feiss building is a shell of what it once was, the building remains as an important landmark, a reminder of our successful history in the garment industry. (image via Google Images)

 

Originally a dry goods store (they sold the cloth and raw materials) from Meadville, PA, Joseph & Feiss began under the name Koch & Loeb before changing its name to Kaufman Koch–they established a wholesale store on 82 Superior Street in Cleveland after realizing the demand for ready-to-wear clothing had increased during the war. Eventually the name was changed again to Joseph & Feiss in 1907 after partners Isaac and Moritz Joseph and Julius Feiss. The company relocated again to 2149 W. 53 Street in 1920. Joseph & Feiss owed their success to heavily advertising its $14 blue serge suit, which was dubbed the “Model T” of the clothing industry, a staple piece for the “Clothcraft” company. According to the Encyclopedia of Cleveland, Joseph & Feiss improved its efficiency “by introducing new methods, machines, and scientific management to improve its production and to cut costs.” Fast forward a few years, and Joseph & Feiss went on to merge with Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. in 1966 while still under the same name and Cleveland operations. Joseph & Feiss continued produce and sell tailored men’s apparel under the Cricketeer and Country Britches label and in 1980, it add tailored clothes for women to its line. In 1989,Joseph & Feiss was acquired by Hugo Boss AG, a West German clothing and accessory firm and it became a division of its subsidiary, T.J.F.C. Inc. of New York (Encyclopedia of Cleveland).

In 1995 the company had 800 workers in the Cleveland area. “The following year, facing stiff competition from lower-priced imports and a growing acceptance among Americans for casual clothing, Joseph & Feiss discontinued production of its Cricketeer and Country Britches labels and subsequently layed off over 200 workers” (Encyclopedia of Cleveland). In 1997, Joseph & Feiss again relocated its manufacturing operations from its W. 53rd St. plant to its distribution center on Tiedeman Road in BROOKLYN. Today, Joseph & Feiss, and its nearly 450 employees, continues to produce suits, sport coats, and slacks for the upscale Hugo Boss brand (Encyclopedia of Cleveland).

Fortunately, there are continuing efforts to bring the garment industry back to Cleveland, including The Factory 2.0, an incubator company founded by Clevelander Devin Vandermaas. The Factory 2.0 helps manage local fashion designers who are trying to break into the growing industry.

Click to read more about Joseph & Feiss and Cleveland’s History:

 http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=JFC

http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/news/local/article_ca874980-47e9-11e3-9ea2-0019bb2963f4.html

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College in CLE: Coventry

Coventry – 6.8 miles away, 15 minutes on a good day.

We’ve been in school for a little over 8 weeks nows.. but have you hit up this eclectic hot spot during the day? It’s true, our campus partakes in a mass exodus every Thursday night to Coventry. We all whip out our bandeaus and crop tops and off to City & East we go! But, did you know that there’s more to Coventry!? LOTS MORE!

This half mile strip consists of loads of healthy / vegetarian / & ethnic eats, coffee shops, bookstores, lounges and pubs, vintage record stores, a toy store, bohemian / hippie-esque boutiques and a variety of hipster / American-made / and vintage clothing shops!

A not so comprehensive list of Coventry:

Tasty Eats: 

Tommy’s – Wonderful for the vegan or vegetarian.. My personal favorite is their falafel, milkshakes, or smoothies. (Meat options are available to those carnivores.)

Dave’s Cosmic Subs – Rock N Roll + Graffiti from floor to ceiling. I always, always get Dave’s Famous Italian Sausage. Bring a Sharpie to leave your mark (it’s A-Okay with Dave).

Bodega – Want to finally wear that little black dress? Perfect for this chic restaurant and lounge! Definitely check out their website for daily specials – I had a 3 course meal with a beverage for $30 once!

BD’s Mongolian BBQ – Definitely an exciting and Interactive Stir Fry. If you like egg, add that to your bowl & watch the cooks do some pretty creative ways to crack it on their giant frying table – without using their hands! Also, if you bring your Ursuline ID it’s $10.99 for all you can eat!

Other restaurants include: High Thai’d, The Doghouse, Jimmy Johns, Tree Country Bistro, Chipotle, Hunan Coventry, Grums Sub Shop, The Inn on Coventry, Phoenix Cafe, and Pacific East.

Shops:

Passport to Peru – Step inside another world almost! You’ll be mind blown by all the awesome and totally out-of-the-norm threads, jewelry, shoes, cable-knit alpaca scarves, bags and more. I bought my mama a pair of brightly colored, wool muk-luk slippers for $12!

Avalon Exchange – Buy, Sell, or Trade your clothes and accessories to always update your style. You’ll never know what you will find in this gem of a store. I fancy their awesome array of sunglasses and top hats!

Big Fun Toy Store – A whirlwind of colors when you first walk in. You can spend hours checking out their vintage toys and collector’s items… along with odds & ends clothing, humor items, bumper stickers, stick on mustaches, crazy hats and lots more. I always end up grabbing a few fun props from around the store and hopping in the photo booth! It’s the best part, in my opinion.

Record Revolution – Mix of vinyls, vintage clothing, jewelry (body jewelry too), posters, incense, band t-shirts, CDs, and much more. Their outside display case is definitely something to look out for!

Other places to shop include: City Buddha, American Apparel, Attenson’s Antique & Books, Next, Utrecht, Sunshine Too, The Exchange, Mac’s Backs and Coventry Cats.

So there you go, this is Coventry in a very short wrap up. Go explore! Also, please feel free to leave a comment about any cool places you stumble across!

CoventryWeb1

CoventryWEB

 

 

 

 

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Proud to be from #CLE

Even with the outcome of last night’s wildcard game, I am still so proud to be from #CLE! (At least we have the Buckeyes!!!) In honor of the place I call home, I made some awesome wall art that would be the perfect gift for family, friends, guy friends, future boyfriends, etc. Scroll down to see how I made it!

This is what you’ll need:

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Looking for the perfect under $20 handmade gift? Here’s what you need!

 

– Small nails, I used 3/4″ brass nails from Home Depot

– A hammer

– String

– An enlarged image of your favorite state to use a template (I found mine in the Plain Dealer!)

– A small wooden plaque ($2.99 at Jo-Ann Fabrics)

– Acrylic paints and brushes

– Scotch tape, or painter’s tape

Step #1: Paint your plaque with acrylic paint and allow a few hours to dry.

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Two coats of acrylic paint, and you’re ready to go!

 

Step #2: Tape your template onto the plaque and begin hammering nails around the boarder of the your state.

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Attach your template to the plaque and begin surrounding the boarder in nails.

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HINT: the more nails, the better.

Step #3: Once you have the outside boarder completed, make a small “heart” to mark your favorite city! Then attach your string to a nail that you will use to begin stringing back and fourth around the heart and the boarder of the state.

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Step #4: Continue stringing back and fourth from the outside of the state to the heart, going all the way around.

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Step #5: Knot your string on the nail you started stringing on and voila! Optional: add a fun accent color to frame your plaque. Go Bucks!!

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O-H-I-O!

 

PS: My love for my favorite city didn’t stop there! Check out my homage to my favorite hashtag, #CLE

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Stay tuned for more dorm do’s, holiday gift how to’s, and style tips from yours truly!

-xoxo