The Coat

In Attire

The coat worn by the lady in this picture belonged to my great grandfather, Isidore Milstein. He fled Russia when he was only twelve due to the rapidly destabilizing political climate. When he arrived in New York City, he was all on his own. He had no family to help him and little money to his name. He often slept at night on park benches. Despite all this, he found a job as a tailor, and he worked diligently to master the trade. He was willing to learn anything from anyone in order to improve. After a while, he accumulated enough money to start his own clothing factory specializing in women’s clothing. The factory was a success. Bergdorf Goodman, the now famous department store, would often use pictures of his clothing in its catalogs. 

Despite having made a name for himself, my great-grandfather remained as humble as when he arrived in New York. He may have made women’s clothing professionally, but he would also often make coats for his grandson, my father. He would take the best tailors he had and stop them from what they were doing to ask them to make the best coat they could because, even though he had become famous, he still remembered his roots. 

Place(s): Russia, New York
Year: 1900

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more