Saint Laurie Merchant Tailors was founded in 1913 by Samuel Kozinsky, a Jewish immigrant from Poland whose mother tongue was Yiddish. Samuel’s first garments were trousers manufactured in the now-fashionable Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
Samuel’s son, Murray joined the company in 1929. Production was expanded to include complete suits and the operation was moved to Manhattan. During World War II, Saint Laurie manufactured army officers’ uniforms. After the war, Saint Laurie was one of the foremost proponents of the “Ivy League look,” which replaced the broad-shouldered silhouette of the 1940s with a more natural-shouldered, cultivated design. During this period Saint Laurie was wholesaling its garments to fine men’s specialty stores throughout the country.
The cultural revolution of late 1960s had a dramatic impact on the men’s clothing industry and Saint Laurie. The smaller specialty stores began to disappear due to a combination of fashion turmoil (the Nehru and leisure suits, for example), owner fatigue, and store consolidation. The family saw a future in direct sales to consumers right from their New York City workrooms. Andrew Kozinn, Murray’s son, joined the business in 1976 after graduating from Brooklyn Law School and Northwestern University. Under his leadership Saint Laurie expanded its custom department, introduced custom shirts and started a division devoted to theatrical tailoring.
Andrew’s wife, Carey Graeber, who he met at Northwestern, has been active in the business for more than thirty years and has played a number of vital roles. Jacob Kozinn, their older son, learned to cut and sew at a very early age. He’s responsible for many of our current suit designs. Their younger son, Nathaniel, also a Northwestern graduate, has worked as the company’s comptroller and is currently writing a novel.
Saint Laurie Merchant Tailors is located on the 5th floor at 22 West 32nd Street. The block is widely known as Korea Way for its plethora of Korean restaurants.
(212) 643 1916 or [email protected]
- New York Times feature story on Saint Laurie
- Murray Kozinn, 1914-2011
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