M&S Schmalberg, a fourth-generation family-owned business founded in 1916, makes artificial flowers from silk and other fabrics for clients including milliners, theatrical costume designers, fashion stylists, bridal houses, and designer labels. Located in Manhattan’s Garment District, M&S Schmalberg is the sole remaining artificial flower company in New York City. Their products are still handmade using the same vintage manufacturing process they have employed for over a century.
The company has worked with designers from Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa, Walt Disney, and Ralph Lauren, and their flowers have adorned celebrities including Beyonce, Scarlett Johansson, Bono, and Rihanna. In addition, they have produced artificial flower designs for Hamilton, The Radio City Rockettes, the NYC Ballet, and Sex in the City.
Designers who work in the high-end fashion industry speak highly of M&S Schmalberg. Designers from Marchesa, which specializes in formal and bridal wear, have for years hired M&S Schmalberg to make custom floral embellishments, including for Anne Hathaway’s memorable 2008 Oscar dress with its shoulder strap of red silk roses. Anna Holvik, the brand’s design director, said it was her honor to “work with people who have dedicated their lives to keeping the craft alive.”
Warren Brand, the current president of M&S Schmalberg, notes that rising rents in the Garment District and the shift to online imports have been challenges for his business but that, “We love being in the Garment District not only because this is where our clients are but this is where M&S Schmalberg began. And we are here to stay!”