Will Holocaust survivor, longtime presidents’ tailor, dress Trump?
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'We are pleased to make people look good on both sides of the aisle'

Will Holocaust survivor, longtime presidents’ tailor, dress Trump?

From Eisenhower to Obama, Martin Greenfield has helped commanders in chief improve their style; now, he is ready to do same for The Donald

Renee Ghert-Zand is a reporter and feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Martin Greenfield, businessman and author of, 'Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents' Tailor.' (screenshot)
Martin Greenfield, businessman and author of, 'Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents' Tailor.' (screenshot)

There are many unknowns about the approaching Donald Trump presidency. One of them is whether he will wear suits made by Martin Greenfield in the Oval Office. President Barack Obama wore them, as did other former White House occupants, so for connoisseurs of custom-made men’s apparel, it’s natural to wonder whether the new Commander in Chief will do the same.

Greenfield is a Holocaust survivor who built a thriving Brooklyn-based bespoke men’s clothing business after arriving as a post-war refugee in the United States. Having made suits for Trump in the past, he told The Times of Israel he would welcome the opportunity to do so again.

“We made some suits for him right before he decided to run, but we haven’t made any since he began the campaign. We’d be honored if he asked us to make him some more suits,” Jay Greenfield, Martin Greenfield’s son and vice president of Martin Greenfield Clothiers told The Times of Israel.

According to the younger Greenfield, the family-owned and run company focuses on making people look good, without regard to partisan positions.

Martin Greenfield Clothiers suit label. (YouTube screenshot)
Martin Greenfield Clothiers suit label. (YouTube screenshot)

“We make clothing for people. We don’t care about political affiliation. We are pleased to make people look good on both sides of the aisle,” he said.

Indeed, Martin Greenfield, 88, has made suits for both Democratic and Republican presidents, including President Dwight Eisenhower, who, as a Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe had liberated Greenfield from the Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945.

Greenfield recounted his life story both before and after the war in a 2014 memoir, “Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to Presidents’ Tailor.” In it, he tells of how he (born Maximilian Grunfeld) and his family were deported during Passover 1944 from Pavlovo, Czechoslovakia to a ghetto in Mukacevo, Ukraine. From there they were sent to Auschwitz, where his parents, grandparents, brother, and two sisters perished.

Greenfield survived by learning to sew and working in the camp’s laundry. He was transferred to Buchenwald on a death march.

After arriving in the US in 1947, Greenfield furthered his sewing and tailoring skills as he climbed the ladder from floor boy to executive at Brooklyn’s GGG Clothing. In 1977, he bought the company, already known for its impeccable quality and A-list clients, and renamed it Martin Greenfield Clothiers.

Even at his advanced age, Greenfield still comes into work five and a half days a week to oversee as he insists that the utmost attention be paid to detail.

According to son Jay Greenfield, although the company does make some ready-to-wear, the bulk of its product is custom. Bespoke suits usually run anywhere from $1,600 to $3,000 each.

Fashion critics have suggested Donald Trump should get better-tailored suits. (Justin Merriman/Getty Images/AFP)
Fashion critics have suggested Donald Trump should get better-tailored suits. (Justin Merriman/Getty Images/AFP)

Martin Greenfield Clothiers recognizes that customers have their own sartorial style, and it tries to work with that.

“Men can be resistant to change, so we suggest small changes that can make a big difference,” Jay Greenfield said.

Trump has gotten slammed by fashionistas, with commentators asking, “What’s up with Trump’s ill-fitting suits?”

Jay Greenfield suggested that Trump might want to consider some minor deviations away from his traditional, classic style to give him a more updated look. But nothing too drastic.

“I wouldn’t move him into a hipster look. That would be inappropriate,” he said.

Greenfield did succeed in migrating President Obama over from a more traditional look with pleated trousers and looser jacket to one with flat-front trousers and a more shaped and fitted jacket over the course of his administration.

Whether or not Trump would be open to changing his look, Jay Greenfield said Martin Greenfield Clothiers would be appreciative to get a suit order from the White House after January 20.

“It is always an honor to dress the president of the United States,” he said.

Even at 88, the head of Martin Greenfield Clothiers still comes to work six days a week to oversee quality. (screenshot)
Even at 88, the head of Martin Greenfield Clothiers still comes to work six days a week to oversee quality. (screenshot)
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