While working on SouthCoast Style I had the opportunity to visit and photograph one of the largest textile manufacturers in the South Coast, Joseph Abboud.
Joseph Abboud is a high quality suit designer, that manufactures in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Abboud's suits are found all over in Jos. A Bank and Men's Wearhouse stores.
I met with Anthony Sapienza from the Joseph Abboud manufacturing plant in New Bedford and asked him a few questions about manufacturing in the South Coast. Joseph Abboud is one of the largest textile operations still manufacturing out of the South Coast.
Q: How long have you been manufacturing in New Bedford?
A: The predecessor companies started in New Bedford in 1930s and there have been a series of ownerships. The key date is spring 1987 when Joseph Abboud launched his first collection with suits made in the factory.
Q: Why did you choose to manufacture in New Bedford?
A: New Bedford had been a vibrant textile and apparel community with numerous factories and skilled workers. These skilled workers are essential to maintain the quality level of the suits we produce.
Q: What are some things the South Coast community could do to grow the fashion industry in this area?
A: The community could continue to promote the success of the various companies, continue the fashion programs at the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School and other area high schools, and promote the Textile Design curriculum and programs at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
I enjoyed learning a little more about South Coast textiles from Mr. Sapienza, and the images I captured really represent the textile industry here.