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by Grace Bulfamante
May 23, 2011
Grace Bulfamante grew up in New Rochelle and remembers Liebman’s Children’s Clothing from her school days at Blessed Sacrament. She happily still lives in New Rochelle with her husband Sebastian and is now a mother of three bright and wonderful children : Annina, who attends The Ursuline School in New Rochelle, and Domenick & Carmelina who attend the Saints John & Paul School in Larchmont. She and her children represent the two most recent generations of a long line of families who have made Liebmans Children’s Clothing Store a downtown New Rochelle landmark for more than eight decades. As Grace Bulfamante shares with us, there are three great reasons for its long history in our community: service, selection and price!
As the busy mother of three active children, I come downtown often to shop with my children at Liebman's Children’s Clothing Store, as I did with my mother Carmelina when I was growing up in New Rochelle, and as have innumerable other parents and their children for generations.
Liebman’s has been located at 510 Main Street, on the corner of Church and Main Streets, in the heart of downtown New Rochelle since 1926. Founded by Herman Liebman and his partner, Herman Pinals, it has been family owned and operated from its inception; this small town store with a big heart and excellent merchandise and prices depicts what is best about Main Street’s past and present. For generations New Rochelle children have, and eagerly continue to walk through their doors to buy their seasonal wardrobes. Unlike any other Main Street store, Liebman’s Children Clothing has been in its same location for 85 years.
I enjoy shopping at Liebman’s because I always find something great and affordable for all my children. I started shopping here for my children when they were first born. Liebmans has a large selection of delicate and adorable newborn garments and accessories and is a great source of gifts for baby showers.
My kids are now older, but I continue to shop at Leibman’s for their unique assortment of casual clothing which changes from season to season, as do my children’s taste. Jonathan Newman, Liebman’s owner, continually stocks this landmark store with beautiful and stylish apparel for girls and trendy and cool apparel for boys. He is very aware of his clientele and their tastes and does a terrific job meeting our needs!
Liebmans is also our destination for special occasions. My daughters love to shop there because they always find a beautiful dress and I know I can find a handsome suit for my son. We always find something that I think looks great, fits my pocketbook, and makes them happy. I know that this combination of a good selection and affordable prices is not easy to find these days, but I know I can rely on Liebman’s to have great variety and values … and service.
Talking of service, Jonathan Newman, the newest generation to operate Liebman’s, brings nearly 15 years of retail experience to the store and a love for New Rochelle. Jonathan was born and raised in New Rochelle. He attended Salesian High School and then Iona College, where he earned a Graduate Degree in Business Management. Jonathan started at Leibman’s in 1997, as an associate of then owner Jim Stillman. As Jonathan likes to reminisce, when he first started, he was impressed that Liebman’s had become such a beloved institution in his community. He fondly recalled that then, when Jim referred to him as the “new kid on the block”, he always found it irresistible to hear Jim relate: “Just yesterday, I had a woman in here shopping for her great grandchild. Of course I knew her by name - we outfitted her kids and grand kids!" Now Jonathan is proud to be carrying this tradition forward.
With Jonathan at the helm, my shopping experience at Liebman's has always been friendly, personable and always professional. Jon and his staff are very knowledgeable and always accommodate me and my children’s needs. Jon has extended himself on several occasions with prompt phone calls to let me know when my skirts or pants have been altered. If something is out of stock I am always informed of how long I may have to wait and when it is received I always receive a prompt call. His personal interest about his shoppers is always felt and truly appreciated. You can't find that in any other store!
Liebman’s is also the prime source in the region for school, Boy Scout & Girl Scout uniforms. Whether I am searching for Saints John & Paul school uniforms, Girl Scout Brownie Troop attire, or even troop and merit patches, Jon has it in his store. It was as long ago as 1962, when Liebman’s started selling school uniforms. Since then, Liebman’s has become synonymous with school and scout uniforms throughout Westchester County and the Bronx. Next year, Liebman’s will officially celebrate 50 years of providing school uniforms to many generations of our community! A product of Catholic and Private School Education, Jonathan proudly strives to assist all families from all area Catholic, Parochial, and Private Institutions. From providing school uniforms to helping with fund raising, Liebman’s is completely committed to all of our schools and parishes.
In recent years Liebman’s has started supplying a full line of Communion and Christening clothing, shoes, and accessories for both boys & girls. The reception to this has been wonderful! With beautiful communion and fancy dresses from US Angels and Haddad Brothers to handmade suits from Europa, Lito, and American Exchange Apparel Liebman’s provides the finest for everyone’s special day! They also now carry children’s clothing for weddings whether it be a flower outfit for a girl or a tuxedo for the ring bearer.
I would be remiss if I didn’t give the local history buffs among us a bit of the history on 510 Main Street and Liebman’s.
The building itself evokes a wonderful era of architectural achievement on Main Street. The major part of the structure, built in 1875, was designed in an Italianate-style, constructed of brick with wood and metal trim. It included ornamentation such as dentils below the eaves and curved molding over the windows which for many represent our image of Main Street architecture. Step inside, and you’ll find an original, beautifully detailed, tin ceiling. As a result 510 Main Street preserves a vibrant glimpse of earlier commercial architecture and is in good company with the impressive number of historic buildings that fortunately still line Main Street, many being restored through the BID’s Facade Improvement Program.
The store originally sold fine children’s clothing, clothing that was produced right upstairs at 510 Main Street. Throughout much of the Great Depression and early 1940’s, it primarily served the community as an upscale children’s clothing shop. In the 1950’s, the production of children’s clothing moved to a new, larger factory, and the store branched out into other businesses. It was around this time that Liebman’s started producing and selling Camp Uniforms when sleep away camps became popular. In 1962 it expanded into school and scout uniforms, and since the 1980s Liebman’s has offered competitive prices on quality children's clothes, again meeting the changing demands of retailing.
Keeping a nice mix of children’s casual as well as dressy and fine apparel and school and scout uniforms, Liebman’s continues to meet the needs of its ever expanding community. Stop by and see all the beautiful things offered for your child or grandchild, or for that matter, your niece or nephew, or any child that you want to make happy. Today, from all parts of Westchester, parents come here for lovely clothes and lovely deals; school and scout uniforms; and the friendly, personalized service characteristic of Main Street, New Rochelle. Thank you Jon!
~ Grace Bulfamante
Liebman's Children’s Clothing Store
510 Main Street
New Rochelle, NY 10801
P: 914 632 2770
F: 914 632 1256