Monday, December 3, 2012

NYC Fabric store review: Elliott Berman... Outrageously great store.

Over the past few years, before I took over this blog, Elliott Berman Textiles had been mentioned a few times, in a few different posts.

Yeah, just a few times...

Post 1
Post 2
Post 3

And, for some reason, I felt as if I had been there before, and maybe didn't think too much about it, since I'm not particularly swayed by designer names, or "exclusivity" for exclusivity's sake?  Heard the name before, I'm sure... didn't place it too high on my priority list.  Colleagues with decades' worth of experience had heard of them too.  But had they ever been?  "I think maybe once...wait, I'm not sure... I know the name.  What street is that place?" No particularly ringing endorsements. No gasps or sighs, nothing. Whatever. But, I'm here to tell you... Whoa.  Now that I've reported back to them just what I've found... they have ALL put this place on their priority lists.

Inspired to go after talking to the lovely Australian who sang their praises at length, this place started to intrigue me, and, to top it off,  an extremely warm written welcome from Eugenia made it a must-see.

So I went.

And man, oh man... where do I even start with this place?

For starters, it is upstairs.  In an office building.  On 35th Street.  You won't pass this place by accident.

I started my research by visiting their website, and I fell in love with this fabric. Wanting it desperately, I knew I wanted to just visit and touch it, before making a final decision.  I gave myself a little mumbly-pep talk in the elevator on my way up, promising myself not to shop, just explore and think a bit, since my unstarted projects pile is getting to be a bit ridiculous. So, I stepped off the elevator, and headed down the hall a bit to the showroom.

And when you do go, (and I'm thinking you will...) you will find a showroom set up for wholesale, not retail, which can be intimidating.  But the key here, is... Eugenia.  Lovely, engaging Eugenia is welcoming, engaging, and gives you all the information you need to just dive in to the beautiful selection this store has to offer. 

First off, the organization of the fabrics is set up in a wholesale-friendly way.  Fabrics are grouped by fiber content and by width, since production is concerned specifically with the width of the goods, and in the garment biz, their patterns are already made, and cutting layouts planned.  You won't see any color story, other than "current", since it isn't set up for the retail customer. Sourced from mills in Italy, Switzerland and France, primarily, the fabrics are just TO DIE.  I mean that.  I challenge anyone to visit and tell me differently. Seriously.  I'd bet you money...

They also have a great website, listed as a favorite by some of you who responded to the survey!

So, why here, instead of the gazillion other fabric stores?  Quality.  Oh, and BEAUTY.  Crazy, like heart-palpitation style beauty.

Eugenia holding a fabulous silk header card.

Now, on their website, they share that many of these fabrics are remaining goods from design houses like Chanel, Milly, Dior, Missoni, etc.  This isn't the stuff someone found laying in a corner of those design houses.  Nope. Not the rejects, either... The ACTUAL fabric the designers used.  Just touch it.  It speaks to you. And wait... the goods they are selling that come from these design houses isn't from past collections... not from past collections... from the NEXT collection, and some from custom projects done for private clients, and no one else.  Yes.  That current, and that exclusive.  Many of the fabrics were custom done for the design houses, and some are "signature prints" (meaning the designer's logo or print is repeated in the print of the fabric itself) and lots more beyond those.  

Oh, and the knits!  The resilience!  The hand! The artistic value of the prints and colors!  So gorgeous!

What would scare me at this point, if I were you, is talking about price.  Believe it or not, this place has prices you can do, with some fabrics near $20 or so a yard, and on up, depending on how fancy you wanna get.  Most things I loved were somewhere in the $30-40 range retail.

So what happened?  Did I buy the fabric?  Well... *Clears throat and mumbles*  Ummm.... I have to go back, with a bit more money... to get that fabric, and a couple other things...

So go.  And tell them I sent you.  And, if you order online, they are ready, willing, and able to serve the international customer!

Elliott Berman Textiles
225 West 35th Street, 7th Floor    
New York, NY 10001 
Tel: (212) 764-0180

Fax: (212) 764-0241
Toll Free: 1-800-609-6072

And, for you designers and fanatics out there attending the DG Expo, be sure to visit their station, and tell them hello!

What, you haven't heard of the DG Expo?  Stay tuned for the next post!


  1. Just spent an hour at Elliott Berman and bought some gorgeous shirting, with expert assistance from Eugenia. You're a terrible influence, Mimi! ;)

    PS - Will you be at Wednesday's PR part there? (6:30 to 8:30)

    1. Yes, I will, Peter! And I am a terrible fabric seductress. It's true...

  2. This is one of my favorite stores, just not their website. Eugenia is lovely, willing to help the home sewer and not at all pushy. I almost always buy something here. I've bought some really luscious knits here.

    1. So great. I loved it. There are a good number of people who reported back that this store is one of the web favorites - looks like the quality of the goods alone is a huge part of that fact! In the spirit of constructive criticism, Nancy, what don't you like about the website?


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