Marion W. Anderson Sr., an accomplished Master Tailor and Pioneer in NY’s Custom Tailoring community, made custom suits for the elite in Harlem where he remained a longtime resident since moving to New York in 1949. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Adelphi University and graduated from the State University of New York’s Industrial Teaching Training Program. Master Anderson started by teaching at the Empire School of Design, a school that catered to Black World War II veterans, he also taught tailoring to New York City Department of Corrections inmates. In 1960, he convinced the NYC Board of Education to create a tailoring curriculum. He was hired and taught tailoring at Sterling High School in Brooklyn for 33 years.
Master Anderson was the first African American to be licensed by the City of New York to teach tailoring, specializing in men’s clothing. In 1987, he founded Manhattanville Needle Trade School, fulfilling his dream to own and operate a school in Harlem, NY. Anderson continued to teach until his passing in February 2015.