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Our History - Blazer Buttons

Bob & Sue Prenner

Bob & Sue Prenner

When Mr. Ben Silver died in 1978, his daughter and son-in-law, Sue and Bob Prenner, left their legal careers and took over the small company. This transition was made less difficult because Mr. Silver, a man of great personal style and charm, had been well respected by both his customers and suppliers for his integrity and intelligence, and therefore every courtesy was extended to his family after his death.

Within two years, the Prenners achieved a milestone in the esoteric world of button making, when they were awarded a contract to produce 350,000 sets of Blazer Buttons as commemorative gifts for the 1980 Ronald Regan Presidential Inaugural Ball. The Prenners then moved the company from wholesale into direct retail sales with their first mail order catalog, and soon afterward, into their retail store location on historic King Street in Charleston, South Carolina.

Closeup of blazer buttons

Returning to the focus of the founder on men’s apparel, Sue and Bob introduced a quality blazer to serve as the backdrop for the jewelry blazer button. The traditional customer they served longed for the classics that had become increasingly difficult to find in the high-style 1980s, and the blazer became an immediate success. What was needed to complete the traditional look was traditional striped neckwear, which Bob himself had long sought to no avail. In 1984, however, on a buying trip to England, Sue and Bob noted the availability of authentic English striped neckties. It was then that the Prenners developed relationships with the English silk mills, and became makers of pure silk authentic British striped and created hand sewn neckwear. With the introduction of regimental neckwear to America, word spread and the demand for their classically styled product grew. In time, they added fine shirtings to the product mix, as their apparel collection began to broaden to include fine shoes and leather goods and eyewear.