Susan Sherman, Phyllis Langsdorf to talk STL fashion on “Coffee Talk with SnL”


Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

Tuesday, March 21 marks another round of “Coffee Talk with SnL,” the nearly three-year-old gathering of local St. Louis voices hosted by National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis’ Past President, Susan Katzman, and Vice President of Membership, Lisa Gubernik .

“We started Coffee Talk as a way for members and non-members to stay engaged during the pandemic and NCJWSTL,” said Gubernik. “Since NCJW continues to bring their members important and serious issues and speakers, we wanted to find a lighthearted program for people and introduce them to people they might not have the opportunity to meet.”

On Tuesday, Katzman and Gubernik are welcoming special guests Susan Sherman and Phyllis Langsdorf to discuss the fashion industry in St. Louis. At one time, St. Louis was one of the premier locations in the United States for the design and production of clothing, hats, shoes and other apparel items for both women and men.

“Our program will explore what that world was like and how the non-profit Saint Louis Fashion Fund, which was co-founded by Sherman, has resurrected that industry here today,” said Katzman. “We will also highlight the current trends in fashion for spring and summer as well as the evolution of designers and nonprofits in St. Louis.


To get more prepared and in the “fashion” spirit, we reached out to Sherman and asked her to tell us five things about the St. Louis fashion industry, both past and present, that many Jewish St. Louisans might now know.

Susan Sherman’s Top 5

  1. The fashion industry in St. Louis is a $3.3 billion economic driver.
  2. St Louis is the knitwear capital of the United States.  Evolution STL is a first-of-its-kind high-tech knitwear manufacturing facility located in Grand Center. The Fashion Fund worked to bring them to St. Louis as they were considering other sites in New York, Michigan and North Carolina. Anything that can be woven on Stoll machines can be produced there.
  3. Major fashion companies like Soft Surroundings, Caleres and Weissman are based in St Louis.
  4. There are over 800 fashion-related businesses in St Louis city and county. Some top brands include Summersalt, Rungolee, Lux & Nyx and The Normal Brand.
  5. Mother Model, one of the most important agencies in the world, is based in St. Louis. The agency discovered Ashton Kutcher and supermodel and super businesswoman Karlie Kloss. Their models walk all the shows in Milan, London, New York and Paris.

“Coffee Talk with SnL” is set for Tuesday, March 21 at 8:30 a.m., and registration is free. Questions? Email Alec Rothman at [email protected] or call 314.993.5181.

Organizers are asking participants to wear a favorite piece of clothing, jewelry, hat, scarf, etc. for this program. Drawings will occur for a Fashion Fund swag bag and for a special fashion tour for one winner (and four friends) led by Sherman.