R. Kaye Ltd.

“R. Kaye is adaptable and capable of fulfilling orders of any type or size.”

Richard KorensteinCEO

“Never would I have imagined that I would work in fashion!”

Richard Korenstein’s career in fashion did not start in the most conventional of ways. In fact, Richard attended culinary school, deeply convinced at the time that he would pursue a career in the food industry. However, back in 1978, his mother introduced him to one of the players at her Bridge Club who was looking to hire ambitious employees for his fashion accessory business. Intrigued, Richard joined the New Vogue team, contributing to its growth and success for many years. In 1992, he decided that it was time for him to start his own business — R. Kaye, Ltd. Originally a button design and manufacturing studio, R. Kaye acquired a costume jewelry company in 2012, thereby expanding both its product offerings and capabilities.

Faces of the Garment District - R. Kaye Ltd Costume Jewelry
Faces of the Garment District - R. Kaye Ltd Richard Korenstein

“R. Kaye is adaptable and capable of fulfilling orders of any type or size.”

Kaye’s mission is to be an honest and reliable go-to resource for all those in need of costume jewelry, buckles, clothing ornaments, and buttons. Thanks to its central location in the Garment District, R. Kaye has always also been central to the Broadway community, creating costume jewelry for such musicals as Hamilton, Frozen, Moulin Rouge, and many more.

The company designs and manufactures hundreds of ready-to-purchase designs and styles, and also excels at customizing all types of orders. The process starts with R. Kaye Ltd.’s existing or custom molds, and high-quality products get created from there. The company offers 1,200 existing jewelry molds and 5,500 existing button molds, with each mold capable of producing anywhere from five to twenty different pieces.

It’s customization that gets Richard most enthusiastic, as he loves collaborating with clients to create pieces that are specific to their particular needs. It’s also because of this desire to cater to his clients’ specific needs that he has always been adamant about not requiring minimum order sizes. R. Kaye is also proud to use CAD design and 3D printers to ensure that detailed and original products that are aligned with clients’ expectations are created.

“We are currently focused on sharing our company’s mission with a larger digital audience.” 

Although business has flourished in the past two decades, and particularly ever since Richard integrated costume jewelry into its product line, COVID brought the theater industry — and those catering to it — to a standstill. With over 25% of R. Kaye’s business coming from Broadway, the company experienced a difficult period with much fewer orders coming in. While Richard had to shut the R. Kaye down between March and June 2020, resilience and out-of-the-box thinking allowed him to retain his entire staff — as an example, he partnered with a belt design and manufacturing company to generate additional business.

Such resilience is nothing new for this industry veteran, who also credits his company’s success to some key principles. R. Kaye always delivers products of the highest quality, and handles each and every client with the utmost care. For Richard, honest relationships are critical and foster customer loyalty. Despite the company’s current focus on expanding its digital audience, Richard hopes to keep his office space as a physical entry point for all clients, so that they can see and feel his products and processes for themselves. Even more so following a year marked by social distancing, face-to-face interaction remains a valuable way of connecting and building trust.

Faces of the Garment District - R. Kaye Ltd broadway costume accessories -

Q&A with Richard Korenstein

What keeps you motivated?

I enjoy working hard and particularly love seeing our products come to life; it’s very rewarding.

Who influenced you most?

Both of my parents. My father was a commercial real estate broker, and my mother owned and operated a Bridge club. They both had the opportunity to be their own person, and grow accordingly.

What is your advice to someone starting out in this business?

If you are really into fashion and the makings of it, go for it, and if you were thrown into this space like I was then get ready for the ride.