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Born in 1899, Robert Kaufman emigrated from Russia and settled in New York. Like most immigrants who came to America at this time, Robert was eager to create a prosperous future for himself and his family. By the time he reached his early twenties, Robert had attained his goal as the proprietor of a very successful menswear company named Meadowpark Clothes. Unfortunately, after the stock market crash of 1929, he experienced the demise of his company. Robert continued to persevere and in 1942, from a showroom on Fifth Avenue in New York City, he set in motion the company that exists today. As a jobber for men's suits, the company endured a difficult wartime economy and emerged a successful fixture in the New York garment business.

In 1944, Robert's middle son Alvin was diagnosed with a severe case of asthma. Following doctor's orders, Robert, his wife Edna, their three sons Saul, Alvin, and Harvey, and daughter Gladys had to relocate to Los Angeles.

Although Robert practically restarted his business from scratch, the company flourished and he continued as a Los Angeles jobber for the next ten years. For a brief period during this time, Edna and Gladys ambitiously turned their Seventh Street office space into a thriving retail fabric store by adding a few well dressed mannequins to the window, and cleverly merchandising Robert's inventory.

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