Factory Tours

M&S Schmalberg Custom Fabric Flowers

Custom Fabric Flowers, 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 like Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren, and Marc Jacobs. Located in Manhattan’s Garment District, M&S Schmalberg is the sole remaining artificial flower company in the area, surviving in the age of fast fashion and offshore production. Their products are still handmade in NYC using the same vintage manufacturing process they have employed since 1916.

In the early 2000s, fabric flowers became trendy when Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw began to accessorize her outfits with artificial flower pins. The factory became incredibly busy and Adam Brand, M&S Schmalberg’s Vice President, came to work for his father to help out. He soon realized how important and special their operation was, particularly as a last-of-its-kind. After graduating from Stony Brook University with a degree in psychology, Adam decided to become, like his grandfather and father, a flower guy.

Today, designers who work in the high-end fashion industry speak highly of M&S Schmalberg. Designers from Marchesa, a company specializing 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.”

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