The New York Times' recent profile of Eddie Feibusch, the octogenarian proprietor of ZipperStop, reminds us not only of the oft-forgot importance of zippers, but also of the many incredible fashion-related jobs in the city.
Feibusch is the garment industry's last standing zipper extraordinaire, stocking hundreds of thousands -- millions, perhaps -- of every type of zipper in more than 500 colors, with the guarantee that he can find what you're looking for in 30 seconds to boot (from simple nylon styles to a hot-air balloon cover).
He opened his three-story shop the day Pearl Harbor was bombed and has, over nearly 70 years in operation, zipped up Harry Truman's daughter on her wedding day, Nike-outfitted Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, and an imprisoned Bernie Madoff. ZipperStop is the exclusive partner of Japanese YKK zippers, whom Feibusch described to the Times as the best because, well, "nobody makes them better."
The profile serves as a reminder of the few garment industry gigs still remaining in the city, and how they struggle to stay afloat. In this case, Feibusch took up residence on the Lower East Side, as opposed to the debated-over Garment District, home to highly-trafficked shops like M&J Trimmings and Pacific Trims. As the industry charts a new course in the city, it will be interesting to see where these vendors end up -- be it back in the Lower East Side, spread to the outer boroughs, outsourced completely, or safely housed in the Garment District.