Jews of Philly Fashion: Les Schwartzberg

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Les Schwartzberg
Les Schwartzberg at his store, LR2 (Courtesy of Les Schwartzberg)

It’s the newest edition of Jews of Philly Fashion, introducing you to the Chosen few who dress our city. They might mix wool and linen, but they’ve got some strong opinions on mixing stripes with florals. In this space, we’ll talk to designers, sellers, buyers, influencers, models and more. This week, we spoke to Les Schwartzberg.

Les Schwartzberg, 73, came to Philadelphia from Houston in 1984, brought by a job as a merchant for the once-ubiquitous menswear store, Today’s Man. Though Today’s Man is no more, today’s man can still find Schwartzberg selling high-quality formal wear at LR2 (formerly known as Les Richards), located in Liberty Place since 2007. After the demise of Today’s Man, Schwartzberg was retired for a while, but he found he couldn’t stay away from the business.

“It’s in my blood,” he said.

What is your favorite piece of clothing?

I enjoy dressing up. Tailored clothing makes me feel comfortable after wearing it for over 50 years. I like mixing it with sportswear now. I love a cashmere blend double-breasted sport coat that I wear with stretch corduroy pants and a turtleneck. I also enjoy wearing bow ties.

What trend in formalwear would you like to see make a comeback?

I’d like to see a return to dressing for a specific occasion. There seems to be a sameness in dress today. Create your own persona.

And what trend are you content to leave in the past?

There were some crazy trends in the past, like leisure suits, Beatlemania and grunge. None had longevity.

What’s something you can’t believe you used to wear?

I use to wear a knit argyle bellbottom pant. That was in the ’60s.

Is there a current fashion trend that you detest?

Putting a suit coat tucked in your pants is pretty crazy.

What would you be doing if you weren’t selling clothing?

I really don’t know what I’d be doing if I wasn’t involved in menswear. It gives me purpose. It’s like a hobby. I enjoy adapting and creating.

What are you looking forward to this winter?

I’m looking forward to a rewarding holiday season in the store and good times with my family.

What’s the most likely result for the 76ers this year?

I’m hoping the Sixers go all the way. Been an avid fan for over 30 years. My kids, grandkids and I love going to the games.

What item of clothing should more people be wearing?

The trend in my store seems to be men want more sport jackets. They can wear them with jeans or dress them up.

What person’s style do you admire?

I like the way Lester Holt and Leonardo DiCaprio put themselves together.

What talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to be more tech-savvy.

What is your most defining characteristic?

My ability to get along with people. I like talking to people. It’s always interesting.

What’s your favorite restaurant in Center City?

I love having a good steak at Del Frisco.

[email protected]; 215-832-0740

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