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August 1 2014

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Long Read For Friday P.M.: Martin Greenfield, From Auschwitz To The White House

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The legendary Martin Greenfield is basically America’s tailor of record. It’s the reason that designers including Band of Outsiders’ Scott Sternberg, Rag & Bone’s David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, and Paul Marlow of Loden Dager turn to him (and now, his sons and business partners) when they need quality work for their labels. It’s also the reason that menswear journalists and editors start calling—in my experience, at least, the man doesn’t email—whenever a story on tailoring beckons. So many have that I felt reasonably certain that I would never need another Greenfield profile—until I read Ned Martel’s in the Washington Post this week. It offers up some fun new details, including that Greenfield and his sons-turned-business-partners made a few visits to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue during President Obama’s tenure. (Greenfield doesn’t name names who don’t name him first, but he has made suits for several past presidents, Mayor Bloomberg, and more.) But it also goes deeper than any Greenfield homage I’ve read about his life before WWII, his experience in the concentration camps, and how he eventually became an open secret in Washington among legions of ill-suited politicos. And on this matter, there appears to be that rarest thing of all: bipartisan agreement.

Photo: Joseph Victor Stefanchik for The Washington Post

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Dept. of Culture