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SP A EC R K IA ET L IS SU

JULY 2017

MR AWARDS ISSUE Celebrating Excellence in Menswear

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OUR INDUSTRY HAS MANY TALENTED EXECUTIVES BUT THERE ARE ONLY A HANDFUL OF TRULY GREAT OPERATORS, AND

RONNY IS THE “BEST OF THE BEST.” RONNY GROWS BUSINESSES, FIXES PROBLEMS AND DOES IT ALL WITH INCREDIBLE ENTHUSIASM. RONNY IS THE MASTER OF MENSWEAR AND I AM PROUD TO BE HIS PARTNER AND HIS FRIEND. – Manny Chirico Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


RONNY IS ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE, PASSIONATE AND BRILLIANT EXECUTIVES IN OUR INDUSTRY.

HIS BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS ARE COUNTLESS, BUT HE IS ALSO A RESPECTED LEADER AND VALUED FRIEND TO MANY. RONNY IS A TRUE MASTER OF MENSWEAR -- THIS HONOR IS SO WELL-DESERVED. CONGRATULATIONS, MY FRIEND. – Ken Duane Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Brands and North America Wholesale


PVH CORP. CONGRATULATES

RONNY WURTZBURGER PRESIDENT, PEERLESS CLOTHING INC. ON RECEIVING THE FIRST EVER

MR MAGAZINE MASTER OF MENSWEAR AWARD


50 RONNY ROCKS

How Peerless’ Ronny Wurtzburger has built the largest clothing company in America.

100 BY GIORGIO!

Giorgio Canali’s dedication to his family and his family business has made him a singular fashion icon.

89 INTELLECT, INSTINCT, INSPIRATION

Harry Rosen’s Jeff Farbstein continues to raise the bar for his business and his community.

106 THE LITTLE STORE THAT COULD

Minneapolis’ MartinPatrick3 has grown into one of the nation’s most recognized specialty stores.

110 AG JEANS EARNS AN A+

Contents

The California-based denim brand earns raves from customers and retailers alike.

Also in this issue: 12 Editor’s Letter 14 Guest Editorial 16 Guest Editorial 18 Scene 22 Ones to Watch 26 Technology 29 Celebrity Style 36 Accessories 38 Trends 44 Eyewear 114 Fashion 156 How Liz Rodbell Works COVER: ON HIM: TUXEDO & SHIRT CANALI; BOW TIE TOM FORD; POCKET SQUARE KITON. ON HER: DRESS MI JONG LEE; GLOVES CAROLINA AMATO; BRACELET OCINA BERNARDI; EARRINGS TIFFANY & CO. THIS PAGE: WATCH GEORG JENSEN

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Dear Jeff, I would like to express to you my personal and sincere congratulations on the prestigious “Merchant’s Merchant Award” that has been awarded to you by the distinguished publication MR Magazine. I know that you are a good man and this acknowledgement testifies to your long-standing career featuring successes but above all human relationships built on trust, respect and dignity. My warmest congratulations, my dear friend, wishing you that your soul can always be the source of great thoughts. A special, heartfelt thank you to Larry and his family. May the Creation enlighten our path. With deep esteem,

Nature is full of infinite causes Leonardo da Vinci


{ EDITORIAL }

LIFE LESSONS What I’ve learned from our industry icons.

ALTHOUGH I OFTEN FORGET, I know I’m very fortunate to have spent the past 37 years at a career that’s allowed me to learn from some of the most inspirational people in the universe. In this year’s Awards Issue of MR, we profile a few of our industry’s finest: Peerless president Ronny Wurtzburger, Harry Rosen’s top merchant Jeff Farbstein, Italian style setter Giorgio Canali, AG’s fearless leader Sam Ku and the highly creative team from MartinPatrick3. These industry innovators have proven that nice guys can finish first and that motivational leadership requires heart and humility as much as vision, strength and discipline. I’m also convinced (well, kind-of convinced) that working hard need not preclude having fun and that genuine relationships based on mutual respect are every bit as important as great collections.

A F E W BR I E F C A L L- O U TS O N T HI S Y EA R’S AWA RD WI NNERS: ● Who knew about the many disadvantaged young people Ronny Wurtzburger has taken under his wing

over the years, supporting them both financially and emotionally by finding them apartments or jobs, helping them out until they get back on their feet. (Typical Ronny: he never even mentioned these acts of kindness to me in our interviews.) ● Can we say enough about Jeff Farbstein’s amazing ability to raise the bar for his vendors, giving them business advice, connecting them to great people and spending time to make their companies stronger while building Harry Rosen into the best men’s specialty store in the world? ● And then there’s Giorgio Canali’s unique talent of connecting with people while elevating the Canali brand to top status in North America. As retail legend Mario Bisio puts it, “If you’re a Canali customer, you know Giorgio. It’s rare to have an owner of a global brand be so generous with his time.” ● We’re so impressed with Sam Ku’s consistent emphasis on quality control and sustainability at AG, well above and beyond industry standards, just one of the reasons AG is without doubt the Denim Brand of the Decade. ● And how we admire the empowering management style of Greg Walsh and Dana Swindler at MP3. This, and their creative, eclectic approach to merchandising, has made their Minneapolis store a role model for every merchant’s current goal: creating an exceptional in-store experience. We hope you’ll be as inspired reading about these industry icons as we were writing about them. Also in this issue: guest editorials from industry experts who provide insight on the profound transformation our industry is experiencing, a look into Liz Rodbell’s new downtown office (and her life), some fabulous NYC bar and restaurant recommendations for market week, a few exciting new menswear brands to add to your roster, our special MRket/Project preview, and much more. Check out too our fashion tribute to JFK Jr., a style icon and potential leader, whose tragic and untimely passing 18 years ago cut short what might have been, reminding us once again that life is precarious: let’s make it meaningful, let’s do it now!

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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PH OTO BY KEIT H BARRACLO UG H PH OTOG RAPHY

“From this year’s award winners I’ve learned that motivational leadership demands heart and humility as much as vision, strength and discipline.”


HONORING THE INNOVATORS

& ICONS OF OUR INDUSTRY Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are proud to salute this year’s honoree of the first-ever

MR MAGAZINE MASTER OF MENSWEAR

RONNY WURTZBURGER President, Peerless Clothing


{ GUEST EDITORIAL }

TRANSFORMATION TIME! Department stores and brands should either part ways… or work together on exclusives. BY FRED ROSENFELD

I BELIEVE that we’re at the forefront of an industry- changing divergence in the retail/vendor world. Much has been written about the need for a major transformation, not just a transition. This is the beginning: department stores and brands/vendors will go their separate ways. These thoughts are based on a five-year forecast. In yesterday’s well-established business model, vendors had a clear linear path to success: develop a specific strategy to create brand recognition with both the consumer and the retailer. This brand recognition would be rewarded with increased sales and higher margins. Today, this no longer happens. With rare exceptions, brands doing business with department stores struggle to fight the markdown demands, the compliance charges, the advertising requirements and the demands for guaranteed sales and margins. Worse than all these challenges, brands now risk losing the intrinsic status they worked so hard to create. As they become immersed in Friends & Family events, one-day sales, coupons, etc., their prestige with the consumer diminishes. Department stores have been using the glow of these halo brands to create validity for their store brands. After all, why have consumers been frequenting department stores for all these years? Mostly because that’s where the good brands were. Not surprisingly, these newly at-risk brands are now opening their own retail stores and direct-to-consumer websites. In the beginning, department store management welcomed these vendor stores, believing they added visibility and credibility to these brands in their department stores. However what’s clearly happening is that these brand stores are now cutting into department store business. A Tommy Bahama shirt sold in a Tommy Bahama store now means one less Tommy Bahama shirt sold at the department store. This is true for luxury, active and mainstream brands. Be careful what you wish for; be careful what you create. The solution is two pronged. First and foremost, department stores need to vacate the iconic brands. No more Polo,

Izod, Nike, Armani, Tommy Bahama, Calvin, Coach, etc. Department stores need to build the brands they can control, which used to be called private label, then private brands. These store-owned brands enable the retailers to set the marketing, the prices, the promotions and the extra margins. It also transfers the risk of doing business to the department stores, which I contend will make them better merchants. Brands that opt to be exclusive to individual stores will also play a key role in this scenario, assuming they are desired, modern brands. Relying on old, washedup names that are no longer current will prove self-defeating. Use the brand awareness of millennials as the litmus test: what better raison d’etre could a department store have than being the only place that carries a truly cool brand? Looking ahead, vendors must create their own distribution system that includes both their own stores and the Internet. They need to control their image, pricing, margins and become masters of their own fate. This will be a dramatic change for most, who must now become retailers in addition to their brand building, designing, and sourcing roles. And retailing clearly requires a totally different financial commitment, not to mention increased risk. The financial implications are huge and most vendors will initially take an enormous hit, but better a hit now than to go out of business in five years. The other vendor alternative is to take their brand and create an exclusive arrangement with a department store. With proper agreements, this can be good for both parties. Admittedly, I am unclear on how all this will affect the offprice market. TJX, Ross and Burlington are today’s most successful retailers, with rules that state they can buy only those labels represented in the department stores. How will they handle the transformation? We’ll be watching. ●

“What better raison d’etre could a department store have than being the only place that carries a truly cool brand?”

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Fred Rosenfeld is an industry consultant and can be reached at frosenfeld@comcast.net


{ GUEST EDITORIAL }

FAIL FAST BY MARC WEISS

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he Cloud, and the technology being developed, has changed our behaviors and the way we address our business. The access to real-time data, with smart actionable analytics, provides small retailers with a gateway to the same resources that were previously only available to big-budget stores. Small businesses, and especially independent specialty retailers, now have a runway to compete and grow. Their smaller size can be a powerful, nimble advantage. I was speaking with Robert Rosenthal, President of Next and thing is not working…act on it. The consequences of inaction, esXhibition stores in Cleveland. They pecially when competition is accelerating, can spell trouble to your are one of the premier men’s conbottom line. temporary, advanced contemporary Robert is bullish on the opportunity for independent specialty and streetwear retailers in the U.S. I retailers. He and his business partner, Steve Silver, have helped was asking him about the success build their business through collaboration with vendors and other they are enjoying and his outlook for corporate relationships. Robert sees the playing field as having the near term. Robert has boundless been leveled out; technology has made it much easier to compete. energy and is one of the most creRobert talks about being in a “fast, digitally driven market.” By ative and inspiring retailers I know. hiring creative people, you can “tell your story digitally and look He introduced me to the term as good as the big guys.” By acting quickly on information, and “Fail Fast” and, in his words, “It is a having the digital platform to reach your audience, you put yourphilosophy where speed is everyself in a position to win. thing. It pushes you to answer The availability of bits of information adds up to tell you somequicker.” Robert has been a first thing you can act on. As Robert suggests, “Color trend, size trend, adopter, which plays to his philosotraffic trend all can be pushed to the user instantly. It is all about phy, “First one to arrive wins.” He speed and that information — that “something” — that can lead adds, “Do not expect everything to you to a point faster than your competition.” work 100%.” Busting out of conventional thinking opens the door to a fuLook no further than Zara, with ture full of potential and opportunity. Mickey Drexler’s confession their ongoing collection of data from in a recent Wall Street Journal article sums it up best: “I underesevery store, plus the feedback they timated how tech would upend retail.” receive from their managers and in“Fail Fast” is a culture that early adopters are employing to formation systems. They know what achieve rapid growth and capture market share. The edge of is working, or not working, and act tomorrow is here and, along with it, the opportunity for seizfast on that information. ing information to push your business forward. ● “Fail Fast” is not intended to be a tool to use in your overall strategy. Marc Weiss is CEO & President of Management One™ and Retail Instead, it can serve as a wake-up Orbit®, a predictive retail analytics and consulting company for call. When the data tells you someover 27 years. For information, visit www.management-one.com

“Fail Fast” will be presented as a Management One™ and UBM Exclusive Cocktail Party” event at MAGIC on Monday, August 14 at 5pm at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Attendance is limited, so RSVP at your earliest convenience. https://www.management-one.com/magic-vip-rsvp/

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www.baldessarini.com


{ SCENE }

TOP OF THE WORLD

A stunning sunset, a comfy couch, a luscious libation, a tempting taco — all to be enjoyed miles above the ground. These are just some of the ingredients for the perfect ending to a very busy day in the Big Apple. BY BRIAN SCOTT LIPTON

1. THE JANE ROOFTOP There are few more stunning settings to watch the sun set over the beautiful Hudson River than this rooftop oasis at the West Village’s bohemian Jane Hotel. Designer Sean McPherson has transformed the former apartment of the racy RuPaul into a comfortable terrace where you can end the day by sipping on signature cocktails like the Little White Lie (made with gin, Lillet White, apricot brandy and lemon). Just don’t have too many or you could end up playing a very dangerous game of “Truth or Dare.” (113 Jane Street. 212-824-6700).

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These gorgeous rooftop bars and lounges can give you an all-time high! 2.

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2. LOVAGE ROOFTOP & INDOOR LOUNGE One of midtown’s newest meccas, located on the 37th floor of the Addison Hotel, Lovage boasts 17-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, a glass roof and velvet-upholstered chairs (wth fabrics from the amazing Christian LaCroix) inside, along with outdoor views of many of the city’s greatest landmarks from the Statue of Libery to the Freedom Tower. And once you add in a selection of delicious drinks and fine food by executive chef Alan Wise, the result is the the after-work hangout of your dreams! (350 West 40th Street. 212-956-7020). 3.POD 39 ROOFTOP LOUNGE Do you want to head South of the Border, but travel no farther than the East Side. It can be done by visiting the Pod 39 Rooftop, perched 17 floors above the sidewalk. This two-level seasonal oasis offers spectacularly panoramic views of the city (including glorious glimpses at the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building, among other sights), a wide array of luscious libations ranging from Chilean sangria to tantalizing tequila-inspired cocktals, and, perhaps, best of all, tacos created by master restaurateurs Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield. Who could ask for anything more? (145 East 39th Street. 212-865-6700.). 4. THE CROWN Chinatown may still be the perfect spot for Peking Duck or pork lo mein, but thanks to the owners of the recently opened 50 Bowery Hotel, it’s now also home to one of the city’s hidden hotspots: The Crown. Inside this beautifully designed indoor/outdoor bar, you can sip oneof-a-kind Asian-inspired cocktails and nibble on street food from a variety of countries. And if you want to take in the views, there are two outdoor patios that will give guests the feeling that they’re flying high above the city streets. (50 Bowery. 646-630-8057).


BUGATCHI.COM


{ SCENE }

TREAT YOURSELF RIGHT

Bespoke cocktails, bourbon-flavored ice cream and frozen negronis, oh my. Gotham offers up a variety of refershing and delicious finishing touches to turn even the most stressful day into a fabulous night! BY BRIAN SCOTT LIPTON

1. THE LIQUOR CABINET In the late afternoon, the lobby of the Gregory Hotel transforms into this intimate bar space, where you can find fashionistas (and other folk) enjoying a wide selections of beers, wine and above all, specialty cocktails that have been cleverly divided into “Bespoke,” “Made to Measure” and “Tailored” lists. Try one of each on for size if you’re feeling up to it! (42 West 35th Street. 212-947-0200).

A quiet drink inside, an outdoor meal, or a late-night sweet treat? It’s your call!

2. TIPSY SCOOP Do you want a nightcap? Do you want something sweet? Thanks to the clever team behind Tipsy Scoop, you can have your ice cream and drink it too (sort of). This summer, the company’s new Kips Bay location will be serving up cups of more than 15 booze-filled flavors, including Maple Bacon Bourbon and Spiked Hazelnut Coffee, along with tempting ice cream sandwiches and other treats. And if you have trouble making decisions, you’re in luck, because there will be special four-flavor flights. So hurry up and get on board! (217 East 26th Street. 917-388-2862).

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4. LITTLE RIVER BEER GARDEN Tucked away on a serene terrace overlooking the East River (and adjacent to the excellent Riverpark restaurant), this dreamy destination naturally serves beer. (It’s from the Long Island Beer Project). But don’t let the name fool you: there’s also a fine assortment of wines and refeshing non-alcholic beverages such as a cool cucumber lemonade. And if you’re looking for a bite to eat, no problem! Choose among such tantalizing warm-weather fare as peel-and-eat shrimp, oysters on the half shell, fish tacos, lobster rolls, and even a fried chicken sandwich No offense, you might even forget you are in New York City by the time the sun goes down. (450 East 29th Street 212-729-9790).

DANIELLE ADAMS

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3. 180 TENTH This season, the beautiful outdoor terrace space at the High Line Hotel is hosting a new eatery from the folks who brought us Brooklyn’s famed Smorgasburg. There, you can quench your thirst on a refreshing summertime cocktail such as the frozen negroni (a house favorite) or sip a glass of the world’s finest bubbly. Your taste buds will be equally satisfied by such fabulous fare as citrus-cured fluke crudo with pickled fennel, crispy ramp polenta, arancini, housemade sourdough flatbread and even a burger and fries (for those of you less concerned about your waistlines)! (180 Tenth Avenue. 212-933-9375).


j o h nv a r v a t o s . c o m

Machine Gun Kelly New York, N Y 2017

Congratulations to our friends & partners, Ronny and Jeff and all of the MR Awards honorees!


{ ONES { CLOTHING TO WATCH} }

“Our focus moving forward is to maintain our price points while still manufacturing in the U.S.”

Comfort Zone

With a long-time love for product development and creating great merchandise, industry professional Matthew Singer felt it only right to break out on his own after serving as fashion director at luxury department stores Neiman Marcus Group and Bloomingdale’s. He initially launched M. Singer apparel exclusively with Gilt Groupe in 2014, upon his exit from Neiman Marcus Group, and followed up with an exclusive partnership with Bloomingdale’s for the past two years. His collection can now be found in better specialty stores around the country including Rothmans, Andrew Davis Clothiers, Shaia’s and Khaki’s of Carmel, in addition to his continuing collaboration with Bloomingdale’s. Singer’s line includes a strong representation of comfortable knits, with best-sellers including its original classic henley ($88), cotton polo shirt ($68), and hooded sweatshirt ($118). Singer stresses that his ultimate goal is to provide quality product at an approachable price point. “Our prices range from $48 for our classic pocket tee to $188 for our French terry field jacket,” he notes. “The majority of the product is under $100 at retail. It is very important for the brand to maintain an approachable price point. Today’s product has too much ego in it and not enough value.” As well as things are going today, Singer has one eye on the future. “We have seen signs of success and want to continue the momentum,” adds Singer. “Our focus moving forward is to maintain our price points while still manufacturing in the U.S., and continuing to create solid partnerships.” – SG

M. SINGER

Folk Hero S.K. MANOR HILL

After studying fashion design in Florence, Italy, designer Dominic Sondag began his career in fashion at London’s Chucs Dive & Mountain Shop, where he designed men’s items for the brand. When he eventually decided to move back to the U.S. in 2012, Sondag landed at Engineered Garments working with its design and development teams. He credits his interactions with designer Daiki Suzuki as his catalyst for diving deeper into the industry, which ultimately inspired him to launch his own men’s ready-to-wear collection, S.K. Manor Hill, in spring 2016. Sondag’s designs are heavily inspired by vintage garments and classic silhouettes from around the world. Popular items in his collection include his banded collar shirts with rounded hems as well as his folk robe, which is based on an Asian-style kimono. “The kimono has gained some resurgence in the past few seasons, but also maintains its traditional and timeless aesthetic, which in my opinion, works well for both a sophisticated yet casual look,” says Sondag. “The one I make is constructed in such a way that it can be worn in multiple ways, which adds versatility to a guy’s look.” Sondag’s unique aesthetic has found success with retailers all around the world, such as American Rag, Gentry, and Unionmade in the U.S., as well as Lost & Found in Canada and Maidens in Japan. For spring 2018, expect to find fantastic wood-block printed fabrics throughout the collection, along with carryover styles and some new silhouettes. – SG

“Sondag’s designs are heavily inspired by vintage garments and classic silhouettes from around the world.” 22

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{ ONES { CLOTHING } } TO WATCH

Nice & Easy LUDA

If you’re seeking a new easy-to-wear contemporary collection to add to your mix, then look no further then Luda. Founded by designer Luda Khanlari, this up-and-coming collection takes its inspiration from vintage items that Khanlari has collected over the years at the famous flea markets in Los Angeles. “My collection walks a fine line between both conceptual and commercial clothing,” says Khanlari. “There are some unorthodox designs that pique the curiosity of those who want to dress slightly differently.” Expect to find jersey and terry knit pieces that retail between $135 and $185, and shirting that retails between $245 and $295. But the standout category for the brand is its denim. The slightly dropped crotch and ease of the leg make these jeans effortlessly cool. Currently, the collection is available on the designer’s website; but the line will be sold shortly at American Rag in Los Angeles, Rand + Statler in San Francisco, Bodega in Boston and Xhibition in Cleveland, among other stores. So what’s next for Luda? “For the spring 2018 collection, we’ll be carrying over the Italian mesh fabric and mixing it with a lighterweight jersey to make tees and tanks that will be perfect for warmer weather and by the pool,” adds Khanlari. “We’re designing some custom patterned patchwork fabric to create shorts and pants that will evoke a South American beach feel. And we will also be offering a transitional nylon and cotton sports knit for lightweight overshirts. I’m really excited to see our growth going into next season.” – SG

Brighter Bottoms RE-HASH

Italian pant manufacturer Re-Hash may not be new to the market, with such existing retail clients as Harry Rosen, Liles Clothing Studio, Ziani and Vero Uomo, but the company hopes to gain new customers as it is focusing on expanding its presence in the U.S. market. “In the next six seasons we hope to be in 50 specialty stores and at least one department store,” says Giancarlo Ferrari of GC Fashion Group, the firm representing the brand in the Americas. “Our retail price points start at $225 and cap at $450, a great value for Italian-made product.” While Re-Hash is primarily known for its slim fit 5-pocket denim and chinos in a gabardine stretch that come in a variety of washes and colors, the brand is developing some exclusive product for the U.S. as well. “We are bringing in a new American fit in 5-pocket and chinos with a zip fly,” adds Ferrari. “And, for the first time, we will be introducing our luxury denim made up of Japanese and Loro Piana fabrics made in both slim and regular fits. The collection will have a lot of bright, beautiful color options, with some exciting fancies as well.” Look for Re-Hash in Vanguards Gallery at MRket New York this month. – SG

“We will be introducing our luxury denim made up of Japanese and Loro Piana fabrics made in both slim and regular fits. The collection will have a lot of bright, beautiful color options.” 24

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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR PARTNERS RONNY WURTZBURGER OF PEERLESS CLOTHING, GIORGIO CANALI, AG AND ALL OTHER HONOREES. Thanks for inspiring us with your passion, creativity and drive. We’re proud to celebrate the contributions you make to our industry.

Nordstrom Men’s Shop opening in Manhattan, Spring 2018


TECHNOLOGY

BALDWIN 199 Mott Street, NYC The Tents at Project NY : July 16th-18th The Tents at Project Las Vegas : August 14th-16th Sales inquires: wholesale@baldwin.co

@BALDWIN

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BALDWIN.CO

With the proper design, the result of using these chatbots is a customized experience that improves the customer’s experience and eases customer service options for the company. Chatbots allow brands to respond more quickly to customers while reducing their spending on customer service associates. What Is The Right Chatbot Strategy? Increased customer satisfaction, reduced costs to scale, and improved ability to engage customers across many mediums (from social media, websites and apps to messaging) are just a few of the reasons that this technology is being adopted globally. Both times and technology have changed and new opportunities have emerged. Facebook, Kik, WhatsApp and others have now enabled users to interact with businesses on their platforms, through what is known as Application to Person (A2P) messaging. Companies have deployed chatbots which can assist customers with tasks such as simple questions about a brand or product, scheduling appointments and even making payments for products and services. Aligning Chatbots With Your Brand? Chatbots have shown promising results in many scenarios, but these conversational commerce helpers may not be right for every business. Here’s the thing with chatbots; they are a relatively new technology when it comes to the marketplace. Therefore, most consumers have never interacted with a bot and so may be hesitant when it comes time to engage with one. But as more chatbots engage with customers, the more accurate and efficient they will become, improving the customer’s overall shopping experience. So how could a chatbot assist both you and your customers? If you are looking for a way to start using bots to interact with your customers, an easy entry point may be through automating some of your routine customer service queries. For example, take the frequently asked questions that your customers commonly ask, and set up a bot to handle those. This will give you a feel for what your customers’ reactions will be before you invest in building more complex tasks that require the development of new software. ● Brian Heikes is vice president of product at 3Cinteractive, which extends the connection between customers and brands, driving increased loyalty, brand awareness, and results.


{ CELEBRITY STYLE }

RYAN SEACREST: MAN OF DISTINCTION The entertainment idol is equally excited about his new starring role in fashion and skincare

PAWEL KAMINSKI, DISNEY/ABC HOME ENTERTAINMENT AND TV DISTRIBUTION

BY BRIAN SCOTT LIPTON

A

t age 42, Ryan Seacrest has accomplished more in the entertainment industry (and held more various positions) than almost anyone in the business, from hosting the toprated radio shows “America’s Top 40” and “On the Air with Ryan Seacrest” to doing red carpet interviews for all the major awards on the E! network, succeeding the legendary Dick Clark as the host of ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” and, most notably, spending 15 years as the host of the ultra-popular TV show “American Idol”(a gig he’s talking about returning to when the show is resurrected later this year on ABC). Most recently, he has landed in the co-host chair beside Kelly Ripa on the syndicated talkfest “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” which has required a move to New York City. But Seacrest isn’t content to just make his mark in one industry. In 2014, he launched Ryan Seacrest Distinction, a line of tailored clothing and furnishings that is sold exclusively through Macy’s, and which will expand this fall to include some sportswear and outerwear. More recently, he teamed up with popular Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer on a new line of men’s skincare called Polished by Dr. Lancer, which hits the market this summer. MR recently chatted with Seacrest about his fashion and skin-

care lines, his own personal style, his take on what male stars wear on the red carpet, and his most needed pieces of apparel. Did you foresee the success of Ryan Seacrest Distinction? We did a lot of diligence before we launched, so I was confident we did our homework and had a reasonable chance of success. But as with all things, no matter how good you are or great the product is, it’s a little bit of luck and timing too. That said, in this case, we also sought out the best partners in Randa, Peerless, PVH and, most recently in Itochu, along with Macy’s. I attribute much of our early success to their efforts to put us on the map in menswear in a significant way. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished so far , but I’m even more excited by what’s ahead, especially the expansion into sportswear with our fall ’17 collection. Why are you so excited about the new collection? We designed the fall collection to give men flexibility in how they dress in today’s modern culture. They may dress up a t-shirt or jeans with a blazer, or dress down a shirt and tie by pairing it with casual pants and sneakers. Everything in the line is easy to wear and comfortable, and lets guys’ individual style come through with interesting textures, fabrics and detail. (Continued on Page 34)

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FURNISHINGS

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he details truly make the man and no detail is left un-turned when it comes to Italian furnishings, from the beautiful silks created in Como that become ties and pocket squares to hand linked socks, cashmere scarves and gloves and of course beautiful golden cuff links. MARCHESI DI COMO

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CORTIGIANI

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COLLECTIONS talian collections cover you for fall, head-to-toe, literally. From shoes and socks to outerwear and hats and gloves, collection dressing allows you to look completely pulled together without having to do the work.

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{ CELEBRITY STYLE } Have you thought about what’s next for the Ryan Seacrest Distinction collection? Yes. We’re not quite ready to unveil it yet, but it will include some casual, refined, yet relaxed silhouettes and patterns inspired by the colors and textures of the Mediterranean. I am definitely looking forward to it. Tell us about this new men’s skincare line called Polished with Dr. Harold Lancer? I’ve been using the doctor’s products for years, so developing and endorsing this line with Dr. Lancer was easy for me because I know it works well. Also, after seeing Harold as a patient for 10 years, we got to know one another pretty well. We share an entrepreneurial spirit, so it seemed like a great idea to team up and launch a line of skincare developed specifically for men, since they have different skincare needs than women. We’ve been talking about it for a long time so it’s exciting that we’re finally launching it! Our brand tagline is “Nothing Standard,” because it’s skin care for guys who know the importance of putting their best self forward and won’t settle for anything but the best in every aspect of their lives.

What is the one piece of apparel or accessory you can’t live without? A belt! I wish I could come up with something more exciting, but I actually think a belt is a very important accessory that is underestimated. Is there any piece of apparel/accessory still on your wish list? With my recent move to New York City, I have to say that I’m on the lookout for warm clothes. I am scared of winter! I need a heavy snow jacket and boots! ●

Are you finding it as challenging to look as good on TV doing “Live with Kelly and Ryan” at 7am as you did on “American Idol”, which aired in the evening? Going on TV at any time is scary even for me after all these years. Luckily, I have a great team to help me look great every day. Without them, I think I would be a little lost on the grooming and fashion front. I’m like a lot of guys I know. We all need help! Which male star do you think has the consistently best red carpet style? Despite the many, many red carpets that I’ve been a Going on TV part of throughout my career, I’ll be the first to tell at any time is scary even you I’m no expert in red carpet fashion. However, since launching Distinction, I definitely for me after all these years. pay more attention to what guys are wearing Luckily, I have a great team to when I interview them. It’s hard to say who is help me look great every day. the “best,” but I love seeing more risks on the Without them, I think I carpet, and thankfully, today’s trends really would be a little lost on the allow for that. At the Oscars this year, we saw grooming and fashion front. a lot of variety in both color and texture. Of course, lots of men also wore the classic black I’m like a lot of guys I know. tuxedo, which is never a bad move. We all need help! What is your favorite personal “off-camera” look? For me, it’s all about comfort, ease and individuality, so my “off-camera” looks aren’t all that different from the ones you now see every morning on TV.

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ZABEO CASHMERE ALESSANDRO SIMONI

LORENZONI

KNITWEAR rom the hills of Valsesia to the mills of Biella, Italians produce some of the most sumptuous knitwear in the world. In Italy knitwear is not just commerce, it's a way of life.

F

IMPULSO

MONTEVERDI CASHMERE

MISTERNIC

MONTECHIARO

GIOFERRARI

Visit us at Italy@MRKETNY | July 16-18, 2017 | Javits Center, NY EMAIL - NEWYORK@ICE.IT

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FILIPPO DE LAURENTIIS


{ ACCESSORIES }

THE RETURN OF THE

FANNY PACK

A once divisive accessory returns to the runway and hits the streets in style. BY MICHAEL MACKO

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PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON MALLETIER

W

hen Kim Jones sent the A/W ‘17 Louis Vuitton collection down the runway in January, he caught the attention of the fashion elite in attendance. The Paris house, known for it''s collaborations with artists like Jake and Dinos Chapman and Jeff Koons, and other designers like Stephen Sprouse and Comme des Garcons, had joined forces with the uber-cool street brand Supreme for a series of products that included denim jackets, skateboards, iPhone cases and bandanas. But it was the opening look, considered the most importantone in a fashion show and which sets the designer’s mood for the collection, that really caught everyone’s eye. Slung across LV exclusive model, Noah Luis Brown, was a bright red leather fanny pack emblazoned with the Supreme logo. Before that seminal moment, we had seen fanny packs creep into the fashion ether, primarily in women’s wear, and, then from the street, worn by the cool kids (with the requisite sense of irony). But when two of the coolest yet most disparate brands in fashion joined forces to create a hugely divisive accessory, it was hardly surprising to find that it would soon be embraced by a wide variety of men. Perhaps the most ironic thing about the modern fanny pack is that it’s no longer worn on or near the fanny, or even around the waist, for that matter. Rather, it’s slung over the shoulder; in fact, many brands are even trying to take away the “fanny “ stigmatism by calling it a “sling” bag. Now, there are actually some strong arguments why men should adopt the fanny pack: it’s not a huge backpack that makes you look like a college student; it’s large enough to hold the “WPK” (wallet, phone, keys) ; and it leaves both hands free, so you can carry a cup of coffee in one hand and your phone in the other. And lest you think you are going to look like an ugly-American tourist with a farmer’s tan and unfolded map while wearing one, take note that may designers besides Louis Vuitton have added the fanny pack to their accessories lines, including Gucci, Valentino and Ovadia & Sons. And if you have your heart set on the Louis Vuitton x Supreme version, and you’re not already on the wait list for it at one of the Louis Vuitton stores receiving it, that’s too bad. You’re just going to have to get into a bidding war on eBay. ●


GALLIA

MONTALIANI

TINTORIA MATTEI

MAROL

SHIRTS & PANTS he tailoring of Italian brands is so impeccable, you could wear a pair of Italian pants inside out and not be able to tell. Each Italian shirt is a wearable work of art, not only beautiful, but beautifully made.

T ANDREA BOSSI - ITALWEAR

RODRIGO

RE-HASH

VINCENZO DE LAUZIERS ALESSANDRO GHERARDI

CALIBAN

Visit us at Italy@MRKETNY | July 16-18, 2017 | Javits Center, NY EMAIL - NEWYORK@ICE.IT

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TACCALITI SHIRTS


{ TRENDS }

8 MUST HAVE TRENDS FOR SPRING 2018

Don’t forget to look for these items when shopping the trade shows this season. After all the dust has settled from our many forecasts for the last 24 months, we're left with a handful of essential must-haves for spring/summer 2018 that are all confirmed and validated in upcoming cultural shifts. Things like a focus on artisanal craft and a renewed appreciation for heirloom-worthy design to surreal expressions of the great outdoors and ways to incorporate the best parts of activewear into tailored clothing are all on our radar for next season's assortments. Here are eight of the best. BY MICHAEL FISHER

BEST OF SHIRT Classic shirtings are a perennial part of menswear, but many guys want to stand out from the crowd with some tongue-and-cheek updates in order to be anything but basic. Consider this the shirt translation of fun socks!

THREE-BUTTON SUIT Spring heralds the return of the three-button suit. With the absence of neckwear in many collections, the higher button stance makes sense again. Pronounced shoulder roping or super-soft construction are both ways to offer new interpretations of the power suit.

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{ TRENDS }

TWISTED ALOHA SHIRT Dad style has never been cooler, from hats and windbreakers to tourist shirts for summer. Darker grounds, more abstract tropical motifs and lustrous fabrics make it feel like vacation everyday.

NEW PLEATED PANT It took a very long time to get most men out of boxy pleats with no shape, and that's not going to change anytime soon. However, some of the younger guys in the contemporary market are gravitating back towards some of the more hypertraditional styles and updating the overall fit to keep it relevant.

OLD SCHOOL ANORAK: For the next couple of seasons, the bomber jacket has finally decided to take a backseat to some other oldschool styles, one of those being the pullover anorak. As a great complement to the active-inspired styling that prevails in the market, anoraks can look much more sophisticated than before, with innovations in nylons leading the way in performance, along withmore tailored shapes.

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{ TRENDS }

CLEAN TRENCH Luxury outerwear is quickly becoming one of the most essential parts of any season's assortments, putting focus on coats as the starting point for many men’s daily looks. We’ve seen a major return to the classics over the last few seasons, with younger guys discovering the charm of a trench coat. For spring, look for styles that are free of unnecessary embellishments, as well as novel ways to elevate the utility of this style.

TECHNO SUIT Another extension of athleisure is in tailored clothing. Flex fits are subtle yet essential, while other styles are rendered in sporty nylon, underpinned with activewear, or finished in outerwear details.

ELEVATED TRUCKER A great trucker jacket is never out of fashion, but for spring ‘18, more designers are getting into the game on a whole new level. Consider fabrics other than just denim to “fashion it up” a bit, such as leather or nylon. Others make it truly fit for an individual by making use of patterned sleeves. Michael Fisher is the vice president of creative for menswear at leading trend forecasting service FashionSnoops.

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MARCO DE LUCA BOSSO

OUTERWEAR he beauty of Italian outerwear is that it might not make you look forward to winter, but you definitely won't dread it as much if you are wrapped in the warmth of Italy. From the luxury of leather and shearling to cashmere and wool, Italian outerwear has you covered.

T

DI BELLO BY NIPAL

ALFREDO RIFUGIO NAPOLI

GIMO'S

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ZENOBI

BELTS + DI PIAZZA STEFANO

SHOES & LEATHERGOODS taly is as famous for it's beautiful shoes as it is for it's delicious food, not only beautiful, but artisinal in their craftsmanship. The leather does not stop with the shoes, Italian belts, gloves and bags are also exemplary for the handwork that goes into their construction and dyeing.

I

PAOLO VITALE GP&MAX

BRADOR

PAOLO SCAFORA NAPOLI

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{ EYEWEAR }

SHADY BUSINESS

COLOR MY WORLD: For next year, men have a plethora of sunglass options to choose from. But if there’s one rule to follow, it’s “start with the color”, says Lindsey Ruhe, the fashion eyewear expert with The Vision Council, “Color trends in eyewear tend to follow closely behind the Pantone colors”. So it’s no surprise to see the Lemtosh frames (above) from Moscot in a color they call “blush” (reminiscent of Pantone’s Rose Quartz) and which has now become commonly known as “Millennial Pink”. BY MICHAEL MACKO PILOT S EA SON Aviators are sqaured off, while the lens becomes a shield for the face. Some frames have a double rim in contrasting materials, pushing the boundaries of conventional eyewear silhouettes. The Vision Council call this “vintage made new” according to Ruhe.

Randolph

Ray Ban

Tom Ford

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Perverse


S HELL GA ME Tortoise shell is back, but not in your grandad’s color and scale. They’re brighter, bigger and bolder than ever. It’s also combined with zero gravity lenses and graphic hardware that creates a new modernity.

Retrosuperfuture

Moncler

Prada

Max Piton

N ATURE BOY Organic and natural elements such as wood, metal, stone, leather and even cactus fibers (being used by Shwood, below) are just some of the materials found in the trendiest of eyewear.

DSquared2

Westward Leaning

Tod’s

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g e t a s n e a k p e e k at t h e

latest fashion collections for wholesale visit shopthefloor.com >


Congratulates

RONNY WURTZBURGER on his well-deserved honor. His lifelong contributions and accomplishments make him a great leader in business and philanthropy, and an inspiration to us all.

GIII APPAREL GROUP, LTD | 512 SEVENTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY, 10018 | GIII.COM


MR AWARDS

RON WURTZBURGER J E F F F A R B S T E I N G I O R G I O C A N A L I M A R T I N PAT R I C K 3 A G J E A N S


PHOTO: GREG VAUGHAN


{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

RONNY ROCKS! While building the largest clothing company in North America, Ronny Wurtzburger has kept us all enlightened, inspired and entertained. BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN

T

You have to earn your business every day; you can’t ever give anyone a chance to take it away from you.”

ment you meet him. A true genhere are many great salestleman. When God created men in the men’s clothing Ronny, he threw away the industry but only one mold.” Ronny Wurtzburger, the wellA third-generation clothing loved, highly respected, funny, salesman on both sides of his smart, generous, gregarious inRonny Wurtzburger family, Ronny says selling dustry godfather with a passion schmattas was his only career for the tailored clothing business option. “No med school or law second to none. school for me!” he maintains. “It Says Alvin Cramer Segal, chairman and CEO of Peerless Clothing Inc., “I met Ronny almost was pre-ordained that I’d end up in the clothing business. My 28 years ago, when Peerless was looking for someone to build our mother’s father founded Eagle Clothes and became very successful. American company to sell men’s tailored suits all over the United My father’s father was a retailer who opened a little a store on StanStates. Before we broke our handshake, he had the confidence to ton Street originally called Wurtzburger’s. He was known as ‘Big say, ‘It will be the biggest and most successful company in North Stock Joe’ because he always had too much inventory. My dad evenAmerica’—which is exactly what happened. He had the imagina- tually ran two stores: one on Broadway and 40th, the other in Valley tion and the expertise to make that notion a reality. Ronny is a Stream. It was that amazing era of specialty retailing: in NYC alone selling machine of ideas and confidence. He has a heart of gold there must have been 70 great menswear stores.” Ronny’s first foray into tailored clothing was at school. “I was and you can’t but admire his honor and integrity from the mo-

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{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

Ronny always turns the mundane into fun and has a positive attitude toward life, regardless of the stresses.” Poppy Wurtzburger

14. For a project, I had to give a report in front of the class. It could be on any topic, but when my grandfather learned about the assignment, he insisted I choose ‘How to Construct a Suit.’ I started to cry: I didn’t want to write about suit construction. But my grandfather said he’d help me write it and he did, creating a major thesis on shoulder pads, interlinings, lapels, buttonholes, etc. I succeeded brilliantly in putting the entire class to sleep!” When eventually Ronny went to work for his grandfather and uncle at Eagle Clothes, things didn’t start well. “They treated me like I was the dumbest kid in the world. My uncle would say things like ‘Who invited you to this meeting? Get out!’ The hot item at the time was a black mohair suit: we’d sell 5,000 to 10,000 units in a fall season. So one day a retail customer called asking for this popular suit in a 40 regular. Now the one thing I’d learned was that if a

insist that my salesmen dress the part: in a nice suit and tie and properly groomed. My father was fastidious: if a salesman showed up at his store inappropriately dressed, he’d ask him to leave and come back in proper clothes!” As a kid, Ronny worked in his father’s store. “My job was to keep things neat, to make sure all the suits were lined up like soldiers. One very busy day, my father finally let me wait on a customer. As luck would have it, this six-foot-four guy walked into the store wanting a brown striped suit in a size 44 extra long. I knew the inventory well so I told him we didn’t have it. The customer left and my father proceeded to fire me, teaching me an important lesson: if you don’t have exactly what the customer wants, bring him something close. If he doesn’t react positively, say, ‘I don’t like that model on you, this one is better!’ Keep working it until you get something on his back

Ronny and Poppy with Terry Lundgren (far left), Bill Clinton (center) and Major Jackson Drumgoole II (far right)

Ronny with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

retailer called asking for a specific suit in a specific size, it was because he had a customer right there wanting it. I told the retailer on the phone that we were out of 40 regular but I’d see if I could steal one for him from another order. I got right back to him and told him I managed to find one. He was delighted and the next time he came to New York, he wanted to meet the amazing kid who miraculously got him the sold-out suit he needed. I loved the attention and started doing this regularly. Eventually my uncle called me into his office, demanding to know how come so many retailers were asking to meet me. I told him what I’d been doing and finally, he gave me a little credit for being somewhat smart.” Among the lessons Ronny learned from his dad: the value of proper attire. “My father worked long hours (which is why my mother pushed me toward manufacturing rather than retailing) so when he’d finally get home at 7:30, he’d sit down to dinner in his jacket and tie. We always waited for him, and out of respect, I always wore a shirt and tie. It’s stayed with me through the years and I still

that he likes. Then a few weeks later, follow up with a phone call, make sure he’s happy, let him know what else has arrived in his size. Also important: write a personal note. I treasure many of the handwritten notes I’ve received over the years, be it from Terry Lundgren thanking me for a charity donation (always in brown ink on nice stationery) or from Alex Gushner thanking me for an internship. I read and delete my emails within a few seconds but a handwritten note can stay on my desk for months.” Industry insiders agree that Ronny can write the book on relationship building (although he admires Jack Mitchell for doing it first). “When a customer comes into your showroom, treat him like a guest in your home. Greet him warmly, stay with him throughout the visit, walk him to the elevator and wait there until he leaves. Then stay in touch! Don’t make him crazy with too many phone calls, but don’t call only when you want an order (he’ll figure it out and eventually stop taking your calls). Maybe call him with a book recommendation (better yet, send him the book!) or an article he

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Our warmest congratulations to

Ronny Wurtzburger of Peerless Clothing

on winning MR Magazine’s Master of Menswear award 2017


{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

Ronny has a glimmer in his eyes that I imagine he’s had since he first started in the business. It’s enviable to still love what you do after so many years.” Ryan Seacrest

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CONGRATULATIONS RONNY WURTZBURGER ON BEING NAMED MASTER OF MENSWEAR! TO US YOU WILL ALWAYS BE GRANDPA! WE LOVE YOU! MATTHEW, JOSH, NICOLE, ZACK, JARED, RYAN, GAVIN, HARRISON, EVELYN, AND JJ


{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

Ronny is one of the finest human beings on Earth. It is rare to find a person who can build a monopoly in our business while maintaining the highest level of integrity.” Morris Goldfarb, G-III

Ronny with Pope Benedict XVI

Ronny with Ronald Reagan

might find valuable. Take the initiative, go the extra mile (whatever it takes) and just make it happen.” Among the myriad examples of making it happen, Ronny remembers all the years he tried in vain to get an order out of Dayton Hudson. “Then at some point, one of their vendors disappointed them and they desperately needed 2,000 suits in two weeks. I called Claire, our COO, and she immediately said, ‘You’ve got it!’ So we made them 2,000 suits in Montreal, shipped them within two weeks and ultimately became their biggest supplier. I’ve always believed that you have to earn your business every day; you can’t ever give anyone a chance to take it away from you. And these are the lessons I’ve tried to teach my salesmen.” Peerless USA has about 20 star sellers and a total of 50 associates in the New York office. “Our NYC team does the selling, merchandising and advertising (all in-house); everything else is done from Montreal. Claire, Tony, Pat and their team run the whole inside of the business and they are amazing. I get angry when people say Peerless won’t be the same without me. My sellers are the best in the business: most have been with me for 20-plus years; they’re all under 50 and they’re terrific! With youth on their side and all the new technology available to them, this company will keep getting stronger even after I retire: Peerless is the Rock of Gibraltar.” With more than two dozen top licenses (mostly American designers and celebrities including Calvin, Ralph, Tommy, Michael Kors, John Varvatos, Todd Snyder, Hart Schaffner Marx, Sean John, Ryan Seacrest, IZOD, Michael Strahan) and a strong private label business, there’s no doubt that Peerless already owns a disproportionate share of the U.S. clothing market. The two Peerless-owned brands, Tallia Orange (fashion) and TalioRED (luxury fabrics at

great value), are also growing rapidly. “The hardest part is ensuring that each line has a distinct point of view,” Ronny explains. “Within all the collections, there’s not one repeat swatch. It’s a full-time commitment but I believe that each collection must be 100-percent exclusive.” (Editor’s note: you can’t walk into Ronny’s office without finding piles of swatches on his desk; his associates say he still gets as excited about selecting swatches as he did 25 years ago.) One of Ronny’s first suit licenses was Kasper, a relatively successful women’s wear designer who was virtually unknown in men’s. “Truthfully, I had no interest in acquiring this label—all I could think of was a friendly ghost. But Glen Schanen and Jim Edelman from Macy’s strolled into my office one day, encouraging me to take the license (and casually mentioning that Kasper was Macy’s CEO Allen Questrom’s best friend). Of course I wanted this fantastic label; I told them yes without hesitation.” Sometime later, Ronny received a phone call from another good friend, who happened to be dating Ralph Lauren’s secretary, asking if Peerless was going after the Chaps label. “So I called Peter Strom who told me I was too late—the contract was already at the lawyer’s. I asked him how he could give it away without even seeing what we could do. I ran over to his office (it was a Tuesday) and pleaded with him to give me until Friday and I’d show him a garment he couldn’t refuse. I called Alvin Segal, who said he could do it, then ran out and bought yardage (gray flannel and navy pinstripes: we couldn’t go wrong) and rushed to the Polo store to buy suits to copy. Friday came and I went with my daughter Mindy (a Tufts graduate and our first employee) to show our samples to Strom. The first thing he said was ‘These look more like Polo than Chaps,’ to which I

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TAILORED BRANDS is proud to congratulate

Ronny Wurtzburger Peerless Clothing Master of Menswear Award Honoree

tailoredbrands.com

17-1052816_TB


{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

My father taught me that when you give charity, give enough so that you have to give up something you love.” Ronny Wurtzburger

George W. Bush with Ronny

Sylvester Stallone and Ronny

quickly responded that I wanted to show him we were also capable of producing luxury clothing. Then Mindy handed him a report she’d put together (entitled Shame on You!), slamming the Chaps company for having the wrong product, the wrong people, the wrong fit, the wrong distribution, etc. Strom listened without reacting, then showed us gifts he’d received from the other suit companies vying for the Chaps license: a burnished leather portfolio, an antique cigar box, etc. All these gorgeous gifts while we offered Shame on You! in a stained manila envelope. But we got the license! Strom told me, ‘Ronny, you’re full of it! But you make a beautiful suit and we trust you.’” Postscript: Before signing the contract, Ronny and Alvin Segal went to meet with the team at Chaps. “One thing about Mr. Segal,” Ronny notes, “is that he always tells you exactly what’s on his mind, whether or not you want to hear it. He happened to be wearing a modern, Hugo Boss-style suit that day and had no trouble telling the team at Chaps: ‘Who wants Chaps? This is what the young customer wants! We can make you beautiful suits that look like this!’ I was sure we’d lose the deal immediately.” Recognizing the role Alvin Segal has played in his career, Ronny shares some insight. “He’s an inside guy and loves to challenge people,” Ronny explains. “He likes to stir the pot in that he’s never satisfied, even when things are going well. You can do 100 things perfectly and he’ll find the one thing that’s slightly less than perfect. This ensures that we’re all on our toes: complacency can’t happen here!” Ronny also expresses tremendous gratitude for Segal’s contributions to numerous charities, a priority they both share. “I can be generous because Alvin Segal is generous. And more than anything else, I believe we’re here on Earth to help people. Years ago, companies used to help other companies that were struggling. If a retailer

got in trouble, manufacturers would take goods back or give them extra terms or even send in their controllers to help out. “Today, no one seems to care, which is a real shame because we’ve lost a lot of great stores,” he adds. “There was a time when Peerless had almost 3,000 accounts; today it’s a few hundred. I do believe, however, that conventional stores will survive. They’ll be different, but they’ll survive.” Among Ronny’s mentors before Alvin Segal was Paul Wattenberg. “He was very good to me, probably because my family owned Eagle Clothes so he thought I had money. (In fact, I had about $17.85 and a big mortgage!) Paul was the best seller I knew, certainly the most tenacious. When someone said no to him, that’s when he first got started. He could be overpowering, however, which was a good lesson for me. I learned to analyze why the person said no and come up with reasons to change his mind. No is just a word, but to convert it to yes, you’ve got to be skillful. Selling is an art form, and while it’s great to be a natural seller, it’s a skill that can be learned.” What can’t be learned, however, is intrinsic character, values that come from within. “The essence of Ronny is his compassion and playfulness,” says his wife Poppy, who knows him better than anyone. “Although his work has always been paramount, Ronny will stop everything to help a friend. He gives personal and business advice, medical information and referrals, and even lends office space for anyone out of a job. “His lightheartedness has been an important contributing factor to our wonderful life together,” she continues. “Ronny always turns the mundane into fun and has a positive attitude toward life, regardless of the stresses we may face. He is the most loving, empathetic, supportive husband, father, grandfather and friend—I’m the luckiest woman in the world to be married to him.” ●

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BLOOMINGDALE’S CONGRATULATES

GIORGIO CANALI RONNY WURTZBURGER AND OTHER HONOREES

GIORGIO AND RONNY, WE SALUTE YOUR TREMENDOUS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE INDUSTRY AND VALUE YOUR SPECIAL PARTNERSHIP AND FRIENDSHIP


{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

THE INNER CIRCLE:

FEARLESS AT PEERLESS W

hile many marvel at a unique corporate culture that some consider as much a cult as a company, Ronny’s inner circle describes Peerless Clothing as a family. To figure out how this eclectic group grew to dominate the moderate clothing business, acquire virtually every great designer and celebrity license in the business, and have tons of fun in the process, we gathered together a few longtime Peerless associates (most of whom started working there when they were practically kids). Here are parts of our conversation with them: What have you learned from Ronny, and what’s his most endearing trait? JASON HOCHMAN: Ronny hired me when I was 18 (as a favor to my

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father’s friend who wanted to find me a job) and 31 years later, everything I am is thanks to Ronny. He taught me life. He taught me how to make a deal, how to make dinner reservations (insist on a round table!), how to treat people, how to have fun! To me, he’s the godfather. ANDI COHEN: I was working at the showroom next door and Ronny hired me as a secretary. He didn’t talk to me for the first few weeks because he couldn’t remember my name (he eventually wrote it on a piece of paper and taped it to his wall). Then when we finally got Dillard’s as an account, Ronny gave me a try in sales, where I am today, 22 years later. Ronny’s most notable trait: he has the biggest heart. If you ever need help, he’s there for you like that! And he’s so smart: so many of the decisions I make are based on the mantra “What would Ronny do?”


WE SUPPORT THE 12TH ANNUAL MR AWARDS AND SALUTE HONOREES RONNY WURTZBURGER OF PEERLESS CLOTHING, JEFF FARBSTEIN OF HARRY ROSEN AND GIORGIO CANALI.


{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

I’m lucky to have Ronny not only as a mentor but also as a dad. In both roles he has taught me to be strong, do my best work and speak up for myself.” Mindy Shulman

STEVEN FLICK: I was a buyer at Lord & Taylor and Ronny once told me that if I ever wanted to change sides, I should call him. So one Monday I came up to the Peerless showroom, asked for Ronny, and overheard him tell the receptionist that he didn’t have an appointment with Lord & Taylor. I explained that I just quit my job and asked when I could start. There was no empty desk in the showroom so Ronny let me move into his office (facing the wall so he wouldn’t have to look at me), and here I am, all these years later… What I mostly learned from Ronny: the art of the deal, how to never leave anything on the table. But I also learned about compassion, about what really matters in life. JOHN ENOCHTY: Ronny is indeed the master of menswear: master dealmaker, master salesman, master swatch picker, master leader of both Peerless clothing and the men’s clothing industry. He has

TEAM Memories •At Caravelle (pre-Peerless), Ronny stuffing his pockets at the end of the day with 50 “while you were out” messages, diligently transcribed by his thensecretary Ruth Elmowitz. • Also from Caravelle days: traveling to Romania with Ronny and Paul Wattenberg, sending hundreds of telexes, Ronny stuffing his pockets with fabric swatches. • Ten years ago when we moved from 1350 Sixth to 641 Lex, the offices weren’t ready so we all sat with Ronny at little desks in the kitchen. We were miserable but he loved it: he knew every detail of our lives! • All the Daube trips in Palm Springs with so many great B&T retailers. • All the hours spent together on the dirty floors of America West terminals waiting for flights to Vegas that were always five or six hours late. • Ronny’s 50th birthday at the Café Iguana with a cake that read “Hasta La Vista Baby!” • All those Peerless parties in Vegas at the Riviera penthouse. (A buyer once said that when he wants a bar mitzvah, he goes to the Peerless party, but for some real action, he goes to Sheldon Brody’s bash at the Liberace Mansion.) • The Collective Show, when Ronny didn’t like the sportcoat Frank Kick from Surrey’s was wearing, so he threw it out the 32nd floor window of the Rihga Royal hotel. • All the NAMSB shows when Ronny would drop his pants for an order. • All the practical jokes Ronny continues to play (mostly on his retail accounts): the water fights with Anthony, ordering pizzas for Portobella, the spoons in Mike McNiff’s suit pocket, the dead fish in Mike Landau’s suitcase, changing the prices on restaurant blackboards. • The feeling he always gives us that we’re the ones who helped build this business, and that he couldn’t have done it without us (although we all know he could have).

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the uncanny ability to foresee market trends, act on them quickly, and keep the marketplace buzzing. His enthusiasm, dedication and drive know no bounds and his personality shines through in any situation. Whether it’s the stock guy on the clothing floor or the department store CEO, Ronny can make each feel like he’s the most important person in the world. He is also a great humanitarian who gives so much of his time and energy to help those in need. DOUGLAS RAICEK: First three things that come to mind for me about what makes Ronny so special: - Compassion: Ronny is willing to go so far out of his way to help those around him. He treats friends and employees like family. - Optimism: Ronny is never satisfied with what he has accomplished. There is always room to grow and room to improve. Ronny is a master at turning a problem into an opportunity. - Charm: Ronny has the gift of getting a laugh for saying something that would get anyone else a punch in the face. MINDY SHULMAN: I’m lucky to have Ronny not only as a mentor and boss, but also as a dad. In both roles he has taught me to be strong, do my best work and speak up for myself. He’s instilled in me a tremendous work ethic, always teaching by example. Drive is key in life: be the first one in the office and the last to leave. Most importantly, Ronny is special because he makes everyone around him feel important. And he’ll go out on a limb to help anyone he knows. He works harder than anyone but has time for everyone. RICH WURTZBURGER: He loves his work: it’s his passion and his hobby. He’s always thinking about business and his customers always come first. What I’ve learned: Second place is for losers. Make it happen. Always be ready to call an audible. SUZANNE ANDERSON: He’s one of the last true merchants left in our industry. He’s the most savvy business person I know, yet he also understands product and what newness is needed to drive sales. He’s always willing to take a risk if he believes in something. And when he gets excited about something new, there’s no stopping him. He’ll call every store president, VP, GMM, DMM and buyer to share his new passion. I’ve learned from Ronny to have tough skin. Learn to forgive and move on. ANNA FERREIRA: What makes Ronny tick is his ability to connect with people. He loves his showrooms full of customers, and he goes from one to the other greeting everyone and making jokes. He’s a tornado of energy that enlivens any room he enters. CLAIRE SAAD: I’ve worked with Ronny for 27 years and I’ve learned everything from him. We’re very different: his strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa, so we depend on each other and we’ve learned how to deal with each other through good times and bad. He is the warmest, most genuine person I know and a total softie: his heart goes out to anyone who needs him. If I had a problem, I know he’d be on the first flight to Montreal to help me. LORI PULICHINO: Although I’m relatively new here (SVP for HSM and Todd Snyder), I’ve come to know a man of great love, enthusiasm and respect. Ronny has an amazing eye for detail, a wonderful


WE PROUDLY CONGRATULATE RONNY WURTZBURGER PEERLESS CLOTHING FOR RECEIVING THE 2017 MR MAGAZINE MASTER OF MENSWEAR AWARD HONOR


{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

Ronny is incredibly smart and intuitive. Whenever I’m on the road and call in, if I try to BS him, he knows immediately.” Jason Hochman

way to make a collection tell an individual story, and a real sense of what it takes to get the job done. You can see it in how his eyes light up during a line presentation, by the pile of tear sheets he brings to spark inspiration, and by the impromptu meetings in our lobby, bringing together total strangers. The incredible talent that walks through our doors also speaks to Ronny’s fantastic way with people: from Joe Namath tossing a football down the hallway to Pedro Martinez signing baseballs in Ronny’s office, John Varvatos reviewing his line, Todd Snyder pushing a trunk down the hallway and always the best buyers from the best stores in the world, all coming to meet with Ronny at Peerless. There’s no one like Ronny anywhere else in the industry: of this I am sure. TONY NARDI: Ronny is the Energizer Bunny: his work ethic puts younger co-workers to shame. He’s incredibly passionate about men’s tailored clothing, always looking ahead and coming up with fresh ideas. There’s never a dull moment with Ronny: he’s always joking, always fun to be around. He’s also a bit crazy: relentless about getting more business and very much a perfectionist. But mostly, Ronny is a man with huge heart. Peerless will never be the same without him. JIM PETRINO: His talents are too many to pick just one. His essential message: work should be fun!If life is a game, Ronny’s certainly won. Any specific anecdotes that reflect Ronny’s unique character?

impossibly short time. Of course I said no we couldn’t do it and then 10 minutes later I got a call from Ronny. I asked him if he was calling about the six suits and he said no, just calling to compliment you on how nice the samples have been coming in. He went on to ask about my family and my plans for the weekend and before I knew it, I had agreed to make the suits. Ronny has a way with words: he can charm you into doing the impossible. He is one in a million: a man with great vision, passion and charisma. SUZANNE: Ronny started as my softball coach in 7th grade and now he’s my business coach and my life coach. He gives me advice on how to manage my team and work with colleagues but he’s also the first person I turn to for advice on family matters, problems with my children, college advice for my teenager, etc. JOHN ENOCHTY: Years ago I was asked to do a eulogy for a dear friend who died at 51, leaving a husband and three children. Not being a good public speaker and still in shock from her death, I was terrified. So I turned to Ronny—the one person I knew who could give me good advice. He calmed me down, looked me straight in the eye and told me I was going to be just fine. He told me not to worry about how I’d look up there and just concentrate on what I wanted to say about my friend. “Don’t worry if you break down and get emotional: that’s normal.” Just before I got up on stage, I took a swig of whiskey and thought about Ronny: I got through it just fine!

JASON: He’s incredibly smart and intuitive. Whenever I’m on the

road and call in, if I try to BS him, he knows immediately.

Could you describe the corporate culture at Peerless?

STEVEN: He’s all about family. When I first started at Peerless shar-

STEVEN AND JASON: No. RICH: Childish, immature and hilarious…but highly motivated, ex-

ing an office with Ronny, Rich came in with a phone bill and wanted to know who made the 45-minute call. No one admitted to it so Ronny dialed the number and got an answering machine. I freaked out: it was my mother! Ronny admonished me, noting that 45 minutes during work hours is excessive; why not make shorter, more frequent calls? But at some level, I knew he respected me for caring about family, for that’s what Ronny is all about. He’s also about the independent store merchants. As much as Ronny wants the 10,000 units, he really wants the one. RICH: One time I had a customer who kept asking to return 12 tuxedos. The customer asked four times and we said no each time. So when he asked a fifth time, Ronny threw him out of the office, all pissed off. When the guy was outside the office, Ronny said to me, “I don’t need his crap for a few thousand dollars of business!” I told him we did almost $2 million with them last year. Ronny quickly opens the front door, and yells to the customer to come back, he was only kidding, and of course he’ll take back the tuxedos. It’s all about the order. JASON: The first sales call that Ronny sent me on was to April Marcus. He didn’t tell me that the buyer was his father. ANDI: If ever he gets a call from someone dealing with cancer, even if it’s a friend of a friend, someone he doesn’t even know, he stops whatever he’s doing to take the call. PAT CARUSO: We sometimes make clothing for celebrities and once we were asked to rush out six suits for a celebrity shoot in an

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tremely productive and enormously successful. It’s perfect for a sitcom on cable TV. LORI PULICHINO: The team here is a family, first and foremost. Most of those I work with consider Ronny a second father and it’s easy to see why. Loyalty and family are the hallmarks of how Ronny manages his people. While he asks a lot of us, it’s never anything impossible to deliver. He’ll tell you to go for something outside your comfort zone and then will add “Don’t worry: I have your back…” And when the work is done, there’s time off for all of us to spend with our families. Giving back to the community is another important piece of life with Ronny at Peerless. I’d never been to so many charity events! It’s wonderful to know that our hard work not only puts food on the table at home, but also helps support great causes like Ronald McDonald House, education and cancer research. MINDY: Ronny manages the office with a work hard, play hard mentality. Expect to find workers in the office late at night (Ronny’s motto: “second place is for someone else”) but also expect a football to come whizzing by you in the hallway outside the showroom. SUZANNE: Ronny is one of the toughest people to work for: he’s incredibly demanding and has no filter. He’s also one of the most loyal and caring people I know. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for someone on the team. He treats us like his children: he’ll argue, yell and scream until something is done right but he’ll also laugh, cry and hug when you need it the most. ●


{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

Ronny’s Favorites

Nickname: Ronny Armani Saying: “Second place is for someone else” and “Make it happen!” NYC restaurant: Primola. I love the baked clams and baby lamb chops. (With a side of pasta!) Vacation spot: Our house in Boca Raton Sports to play: Tennis and golf Sports to watch: Baseball and basketball

that as president, he represents the whole country and should wear a hat as a sign of respect. From then on, he often carried a hat. Charity: Save the Children, Pediatric Cancer, Ronald McDonald House Movie: The Godfather Actor: Al Pacino Singer: Frank Sinatra

Teams: Yankees and Warriors (because they play as a team, which is the right way to win).

Most inspirational book: The One Minute Manager: I give it to everyone because I believe it sets the stage for life. Athletes: Oscar Robertson, Mickey Mantle, Roger Federer (a real class act and good for our industry). Politician: JFK, for his values and style. You know he never wore a hat, so when he got elected, my grandfather sent him a letter saying

Journalist: Clara Hancox, who wrote the first article about Peerless in 1990 and believed in me from day one. I often told her that she made me; before she died, she wrote me a beautiful letter insisting in no uncertain terms that I made myself. Retailer: The big, the small, I love them all. Life lesson: My father taught me that when you give charity, give enough so that you have to give up something you love. If you don’t feel any loss, you haven’t given enough.

my wife. (You can use your imagination for the rest!) What you’d change about yourself: I’d be 6 foot 2 with thick hair and a great jumpshot from the corner.

Soulmate: My wife Poppy. We met before college through Carol Bayer Sager (who was my best friend). We were at a wedding and Carol said, “This is my friend, dance with her.” And as soon as we started dancing, we both kind of melted. Then she went off to college, started dating other guys, and we broke up. Years later, her mother told my mother that she was divorced so we made a date. I brought a few gifts she’d given me; she brought gifts I’d given her, and that was it. To this day, whenever we dance, it’s that same chemistry. She’s the smartest person I know, and the most thoughtful; I can turn to her for anything, and she always keeps me on the right track. A perfect day: I’d get a big order first thing in the morning, then have lunch with my children and/or grandchildren, play a round of golf, then have a romantic dinner with

Mentor/role model: My father and my grandfather. Regret: That I never tried to own my own business. But thanks to Alvin Segal, everything’s worked out fine. I’ve had considerable success in business, a beautiful marriage, eight terrific kids (I include their spouses), 10 fabulous grandchildren and many real friends. I believe I’m the luckiest guy in the world.

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o n th e M a s te r of M e n s we a r Awa rd

RONNY It suits you.

F R O M Y O U R P A R T N E R S AT

CONGRATULATIONS Master of Menswear Award honoree,

Ronny Wurtzburger Belk joins MR Magazine in honoring Ronny for his dedication and achievements in the menswear business.

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CONGRATULATIONS RONNY WURTZBURGER, MASTER OF STYLE

IT HAS BEEN OUR PLEASURE TO CALL YOU A COLLEAGUE, AN INSPIRATION AND A FRIEND FOR OVER 20 YEARS. WE CELEBRATE WITH YOU AS MR MAGAZINE’S MASTER OF MENSWEAR HONOREE, AND COMMEMORATE YOUR LIFETIME OF UNPARALLELED STYLE AND SOPHISTICATION. A CAREER TAILORED TO PERFECTION.


Congratulations to Ronny Wurtzburger

pery.com

for receiving the prestigious MR Magazine’s Master of Menswear Award. You are a legacy in the industry. We applaud your exemplary leadership.

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I T O C H U

P r o m i n e n t

U S A

L L C


{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

Ronny’s Takes On current business: The worst thing that’s ever happened to tailored clothing is year-round fabrics. Whoever pushed seasonless suits should be shot! I mean how stupid is it that I can wear the same suit in August that I wear in January? The industry has cut its volume potential in half! I understand that the goal was to alleviate markdowns but it ended up eroding the entire business. On Business Casual dress codes and the future of suits: It’s ironic because while Business Casual has decimated much of our suit business, few guys know how to do it right! Sportcoats are giving tailored clothing a bit of a boost

but unfortunately, suit business is not returning to what it was. It’s like a first wife: you have to recognize that she’s not coming back! That said, manufacturers must keep trying to build a better mousetrap. On e-commerce: It’s important and growing but not yet a solution. The customer’s not sure of his size so he orders both a 40 and a 42 and returns at least one, probably in bad condition. Or else he goes online and orders pants in several colors and returns four out of five. Ultimately, the only people making money are the transportation companies.

On the trouble with kids these days: I see so many young people come into this business who are book brilliant but with no people skills, and no idea how to get things done. There’s also this unwarranted sense of entitlement. I’ve always tried to teach my sales people humility. When we used to do NAMSB shows, I’d have them help me push our clothing racks down Sixth Avenue from 52nd to 34th Street, not just to save a few bucks but to teach them values, to be conscious of how much they’re spending. On building a team: I like to think that I’m Billy Martin and my associates are the Yankees—all

great players individually, and as a team: unstoppable. Like Billy Martin, I might get beat up for various reasons but I follow the rules and we win. On his team: I’m very lucky that my son Rich gave up coaching hockey to become my right hand at Peerless. We’re very different but he makes me look good every day. Then there’s Steve Flick, a great seller who’s now heading up Tommy Hilfiger. I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t love him. And Jason Hochman, who runs Calvin, would sell the furniture here if I let him! And Andi Cohen, our

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BON-TON CONGRATULATES

RONNY WURTZBURGER OF PEERLESS CLOTHING

MR MAGAZINE’S

M as t e r o f M e nswe a r Awa r d RECIPIENT

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It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Ronny on his illustrious career and wish him continued success going forward. There is nobody more deserving of this honor!

All the best from Joel Simon and Ravi Toshniwal of the Jo/Ri and Banswara team.

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HART SCHAFFNER MARX CONGRATULATES RONNY WURTZBURGER FOR RECEIVING THE FIRST EVER MASTER OF MENSWEAR AWARD


{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

CONGRATULATIONS

first female seller who started as my gum-chewing secretary and is now doing an outstanding job selling Dillard’s. John Enochty is also in our 20-year club: he might seem soft-spoken but he’s been known to throw things at me. Jim Petrino worked with me at Caravelle and I was fortunate to get him back: He adds much prestige to our company. Michael Holdstein is doing a great job managing the sales

force and Leon Goodman does an outstanding job as president of the boys division. Mike Scimeca and Ellie Pickett are doing great in the early stages of our outerwear division and Dana Mason, who just moved from piece goods to sales, could end up being the number one seller at Peerless! Then there’s Raffi: We refer to each other as brothers. We’re R&R: he designs it, I sell it. He’s got the smartest manufacturing mind I’ve ever known.

RONNY WURTZBURGER OF PEERLESS CLOTHING ON BEING NAMED THE FIRST EVER MASTER OF MENSWEAR WE SALUTE MR MAGAZINE’S COMMITMENT TO HONORING FEARLESS LEADERS IN FASHION

– EXCLUSIVELY AT JCPENNEY –

And of course I can’t say enough about Suzanne: I was her baseball coach and stole her because I knew she could hit a curve ball. She’s a true innovator and under her leadership, Tallia was born. Lori Pulichino was just brought in to handle HSM: She’s already added stability to our retail relationships. Then there’s the amazing Big Three— Claire, Tony and Pat—who handle everything in Canada to perfection. And Anna: without her, I’d be missing half my appointments; I’d be on planes to California instead of to Montreal. I wish I could list everyone but as you can tell, even without me, our Peerless team is unbeatable! On how to sell more suits: The clothing industry needs more frequent model change, which would force guys to update their wardrobes more often. I don’t mean extreme change like Tom Ford suddenly doing five-inch lapels: specialty stores own their inventory so they can’t afford to make it obsolete overnight. But if vendors would increase lapel width by, say, half an inch each season, in two years we’d have a nice wide lapel that men would respond to. Then we should gradually reverse it back so in a few years, guys will want narrow lapels. The problem is we’re too complacent and we don’t work together as an industry. We should collaborate on how to make inventory obsolete without making retailers obsolete. In this way, everyone wins. On succession plans: No one works forever (although since I’m a bit dyslexic, I’m still only 57) and with Mr. Segal’s talented Harvard MBA grandson now on our team, we have a great future. I’m fortunate that I was able to select my successor: Mr. Segal at first wanted an outsider but I thought it would destroy morale. So I’ve taken Douglas under my wing and I’m teaching him what I know, while encouraging him to be himself and do things his way. That said, there are many superstar associates at Peerless who will step up to the plate to support Douglas. (I never knew I could be a manager until I had the opportunity to be in charge.) So maybe they’re not as funny as me, but they each have their own talents and they’re experienced at handling problems. I have complete faith that Peerless will continue strong without me. We’ve won many championships over the years and I predict many more on the horizon. On what matters most: I’d like to be thought of as a person who cares, who does things for the right reasons, not for the glory. When someone in the industry loses a job, I’ve always offered them a desk, a phone, lunch, for as long as they need it. Several years ago at MAGIC, I hosted a dinner for specialty stores, and a few retailers without big pencils asked me why they were invited. But these were the stores that first put Peerless on the map and I never forget the little guy. I believe that’s what life’s about: helping people when you can, embracing the pleasure of giving.

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CONGRATULATIONS,, RONNY WURTZBURGER,,

ON BEING RECOGNIZED AS THE FIRST EVER MR MAGAZINE MASTER OF MENSWEAR. Check out the full Feature Profile on Ronny and Peerless Clothing in this month’s issue. Search HSBC Apparel to explore how HSBC can tailor financial solutions to your company’s needs.

HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Credit Opportunity Lender. Copyright 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


To Our Dear Friend Ronny, Congratulations to you on being named

MR’s Master of Menswear. Yours is a grand achievement and so this is a very well-deserved award. Your commitment to excellence to the men’s industry is unmatched. It is truly an honor to share in this prestigious milestone together.

Sincerely, The Azizo Family And everyone from Tallia Orange Hosiery

JIMMY SALES CORP jimmysales.com 212.714.9611

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{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR }

Industry Insights JEFF GENNETTE, MACY’S: “Ronny is one-of-a-kind, a true lion in our industry. No one has had a greater impact on the tailored clothing business. He is a master of reinvention, always current on the latest trends and expert at adapting to the needs of today’s consumer. Spend an hour or two with Ronny and prepare to get an education—he’ll spin your head with 10 brilliant ideas and challenge you to bring your game up to his level. What’s more, he is a gentleman and trusted partner— his word carries the day and you can count on him and his amazing team to deliver. All hail Ronny—where is the mold you sprang from?”

LIZ RODBELL, LORD & TAYLOR: “Through his vision and unwavering commitment to philanthropy, Ronny has made

outstanding achievements in the menswear industry. He is a great friend and business partner who I have had the pleasure of knowing for many years. He is truly one of a kind.”

RYAN SEACREST: “Ronny was one of the first executives I met when we were starting our menswear Distinction collection, and he couldn’t have been more helpful, as well as gracious and charming. He has a glimmer in his eyes that I imagine he’s had since he first started in the fashion business. It’s enviable to still love what you do after so many years and impressive that he’s also adored by so many. It’s not lost on me that we were very fortunate to have his support from day one when we launched our business, and Peerless’ ongoing partnership is a critical part of our ongoing success. Ronny certainly deserves every industry honor and recognition as his business acumen

and salesmanship are legendary. But it’s his generous spirit that always inspires me.”

JOSEPH ABBOUD: “Ronny Wurtzburger is the master of democratizing designer labels, bringing style to the everyday American man.”

KEN DUANE, PVH: “Ronny continues to stay ahead of trend. He is the first to identify and establish new fashion in men’s tailored clothing. A true merchant leader! The industry does not produce enough talented merchants like Ronny in today’s new retail world.”

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Well deserved as the “Master of Menswear”, But also as the “Master of Life”. Congratulations to our truest, and best friend of 60 years. The Boyds Family

Since 1938 • Complimentary Valet Parking & Tailoring 1818 CHESTNUT ST. • PHILADELPHIA, PA 19103 • 215.564.9000 • BoydsPhila.com

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CONGRATULATIONS RONNY WURTZBUGER ON THIS GREAT TRIBUTE.... A MOST DESERVED HONOR FROM YOUR FRIENDS AT CARREMAN WE VALUE YOUR PARTNERSHIP


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MASTER OF MENSWEAR

“Ronny is one of the finest human beings on Earth. It is rare to find a person who can build a monopoly in our business while maintaining the highest level of integrity. Ronny is not only the first to find a way to take a large order from his customers, he is also the first in philanthropy to so many causes. His unique balance of business, philanthropy and family is what makes him the special man he is. Congratulations Ronny!”

BARBARA BLANK: “Edith Wharton once said, ‘There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.’ Well, we all know that Ronny is the candle and it is his incredible passion that fuels the light. His leadership in our industry has been inspirational to me. He has translated vision into reality, using his heart as well as his head, and this to me is the definition of a great leader.”

PAUL WATTENBERG, ADOLFO: “After Eagle Clothes went out of business, Ronny was down and out and I gave him an opportunity. I took him with me all over the world and he learned a lot. Why did I take him? He’s a very nice person, a real mensch. He worked with me about 10 years but then got involved with this little Canadian company. They were doing about $7 million when we were doing $40 million. I thought he was making a big mistake but they’re now doing many hundreds of millions, so I suppose it wasn’t such a mistake.”

KEN GIDDON, ROTHMANS: “What makes Ronny so good? It’s like asking what makes the godfather the godfather. He’s the most powerful guy ever in the tailored clothing industry; he’s got his hand in everything. At the same time, he’s incredibly likable and helpful. Somehow, the longer he’s in the business, the more creative and relevant he becomes.”

KEN GUSHNER, BOYDS: “Ronny is not only the industry’s best guy, but the world’s best. A true visionary, an inspiration—not just in business, but in life. A lifelong friend in the truest, purest sense of the word!

KEN WYSE, PVH: “Ronny is a combination of a grand rabbi, a saint and the Wizard of Oz. He has passion, compassion, empathy, vision and the ability to inspire. He is a hero and an icon in our industry!”

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Congratulations to Ronny Wurtzburger on receiving MR Magazine’s Master of Menswear Award. During the years we worked together you showed warmth, caring, compassion and great potential in the menswear business. You have reached the pinnacle of the industry. —Paul and Lee Wattenberg

ADOLFO

MORRIS GOLDFARB, G-III:

ADOLFO LICENSE GROUP info@adolfo.com

212-307-7848

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KUFNER TEXTILE CORPORATION “Excellence through innovation for over 150 years”

Heartiest Congratulations RONNY WURTZBURGER “An unparalleled LEGACY”

We are proud to have Ronny as an inspirational brand-partner and as a true friend for the past 25 years. Congratulations on this well-deserved industry recognition and on the love and appreciation from family, co-workers, customers and friends.

Harvey Arfa Caroline Arfa Massel

Makers of Rainwear, Overcoats and Outerwear since 1949. 212-974-3100  www.grunerco.com

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{ MASTER OF MENSWEAR } DANA KATZ, MILTONS: “Ronny is a multi-faceted apparel leader, positively impacting the tailored clothing business in North America, tirelessly developing the newest, latest and greatest, and most importantly, always remaining a true friend to all retailers.”

DOUG EWERT, MEN’S WEARHOUSE: “Congratulations to Ronny for being a true master of menswear: master of designing the suit, selling the suit, wearing the suit and being the suit. In an era that values customer experience, I’ve always enjoyed an amazing customer experience working with Ronny. Whether I was an assistant buyer, GMM or CEO, Ronny always treated me the same: putting my

needs first and exceeding my expectations. He exemplifies the model for how we should all treat our customers.”

DURAND GUION, MACY’S: “Ronny Wurtzburger’s deep-rooted passion and commitment to the world of menswear inspires me every day. That sparkle in his eye when identifying what is new and exciting about the business ignites an energy that is truly infectious.”

TOM ECKRICH, LORD & TAYLOR: “He never stops! Certainly after all this time and all his success, he could call it quits and no one would question it. Nope! Instead he’s hustling me around the showroom, telling me what he’s excited about and what he’s pushing the team to develop next. His energy knows no limit.”

ANTHONY DIGIROLAMO, GARAGE CLOTHING: “Brilliant. Altruistic. Compassionate. Considerate. Feared. Funny. Generous. Genuine. Great father. Great friend. Great husband. Great golfer. (Okay, you can’t be everything!) Intuitive. Inspiring. Kind. Leader. Mentor. Resourceful. Respectful. Steady. Strong. Supportive. Tenacious. Loved. Ronny is all of these and more, a once-in-a-lifetime person for those of us fortunate enough to have him as a friend.”

MICHAEL STRAHAN: “I’ve known Ronny for many years, both on a personal and professional level, and man this guy knows how to light up a room! He always has a smile on his face and a story to tell. I couldn’t be happier to be celebrating him!”

TOM NYSTROM, BELK: “Below are a few adjectives/ingredients that I believe best describe Ronny. When you put them all together, Ronny is one special recipe: Passionate (if he wasn’t, would he still be doing the daily grind, running the biggest tailored clothing business in America?) Affectionate (loves most he comes in contact with) Compassionate (always willing to help others) Adaptable, an agent of change (luckily God gave him that trait as well, which can be quite useful these days) Creative (not just anyone could have dreamt up Tallia) Courageous (always willing to fight for what’s right) Infectious (in a good way) Generous (no, I’m not talking about markdown money...) And the list could go on and on.”

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Congratulations to our dear friend and valued partner, Jeff Farbstein of Harry Rosen truly one of a kind.


{ THE MERCHANT’S MERCHANT }

INTELLECT, INSTINCT, INSPIRATION.

Harry Rosen’s EVP Jeff Farbstein continues to raise the bar, not just for his own business but for the entire menswear community. BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN

T

here’s no question that Jeff Farbstein lives and breathes menswear. It’s what he loves doing and what he loves obsessing about. His passion incorporates the product, the people, the promotion, the presentation and especially the problem-solving. He’s totally involved in every aspect of the business, always striving to understand, always dreaming up new and often crazy ideas to capture his customers’ share of wallet.

David Vosko, merchandise manager of clothing and furnishings at Harry Rosen, has worked with Farbstein for 30 years and knows him well: as a mentor, teacher, and friend. “There’s an intuitive element to what Jeff does that defies explanation. He’ll often surprise you with his ideas: they’re rarely textbook. He has powerful relationships in the market and always takes time to listen to people, which gives him an amazing grasp of what’s going on out there.

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{ THE MERCHANT’S MERCHANT }

I loved having my own store, but one day I had this flash that in my old age, I’d still be there unpacking boxes…” Jeff Farbstein

Most importantly, he’s always the voice of reason: when Larry wants there, Jeff uses data and intuition to make major shifts. He’s an insightful, thoughtful, connected merchant who understands the to know what’s really going on, he turns to Jeff.” world, predicts what customers will want, Larry Rosen, Harry Rosen’s brilliant and always seeks what’s new. And because CEO, confirms this. “Jeff is the youngestMER CHANDISE BREAKDO 2017 2 0 1 7 MERCHANDISE BREAKDOWN WN he’s trained his team so well, the excellence thinking old guy I’ve ever met: in his dress, Categor y by Category he’s brought to the business will surely outhis attitude, his expression, in life. He haslive his career with us.” n’t aged: I’d put him up against any 30Footwear Footwear Known for his integrity and humility, year-old. He’s current in his thinking Farbstein appears uncomfortable with because he always knows what’s going on. 13% Clothing Clothing such praise and insists there’s nothing He has an uncanny sense of forecasting: Furnishings Furnishings 30% magical about what he does. “All it takes is he can anticipate what trends will be rele14% (about ¼ is is MT M) (about MTM) intuition, guts and a little luck. For me it’s vant to our clients before they do. For exeasy because I’ve always loved retailing: as ample, he came to me in the early 1990’s O Outerwear uterwear a kid, I’d spend hours staring into the winand pushed to do more fashion, to take a 13% SSportswear portswear dows of the five men’s stores lined up on stronger position in Hugo Boss and other 30% the main street near my grandparents’ modern brands. Then 10-15 years ago, he home. I loved the preppy looks of that era: came to me and insisted we move more Polo shirts, Levi’s and penny loafers. Before aggressively into the luxury market: Kiton, Harry Rosen, I ran my own men’s shop Cucinelli, Zegna, Loro Piana, Canali; he felt we shouldn’t be a part-time player in these brands. The same with a partner. I loved it, but one day I had this premonition that in with outerwear: before anyone was talking about Canada Goose my old age, I’d still be there in that exact same spot, unpacking and Moncler, he brought them in with authority. While most mer- boxes. So I gave it up and worked part-time at a men’s store while chants initiate change by adding a few percentage points here or checking out other career options: real estate, fast food franchises.

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Congratulates Jeff Farbstein for receiving the Merchant's Merchant Award and for a career of excellence.


{ THE MERCHANT’S MERCHANT }

We believe in confined brands over private label: why put our name on our cheapest product?” Jeff Farbstein

Farbstein is visibly proud of the Bloor Street store in Toronto, which is home to some of the world’s finest menswear brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Belstaff and John Varvatos. Then a mutual friend put me in touch with Harry who suggested we meet over lunch. I picked him up, we went to a restaurant, he fell asleep, I woke him up, but somehow we bonded: I started work as assistant manager of the Bloor Street store in 1979.”

As the story goes, Farbstein loved working on the selling floor but was becoming increasingly frustrated about gaps in the merchandise mix. So he wrote a memo to Harry, suggesting some changes.

Harry Rosen Highlights

Founded: 1954 by Harry Rosen (above, left) and his brother Current CEO: Larry Rosen

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CEO’s mission: To maintain an exciting dynamic company; to invest in our people and our stores; to ensure that our leadership grows stronger with each generation. Stores: 15 full price, 3 outlets Market share in Canada: 40+% of upscale menswear Famous for: Provocative advertising, aggressive expansion, exceptional store design and presentation, wellcurated assortments of top brands, outstanding service and tailoring,

“Ensure that our leadership grows stronger with each generation.” Outlet strategy: High service, trained sellers, alterations, mostly product from stores with some strategic buying from vendors.

E-commerce strategy: Currently only 3-4 percent of sales but growing: associates set up personal websites with their picks on the home site and get full credit for purchases made in-store or online. CEO mantra: “Never waste a good recession. Instead of viewing today’s precarious retail climate as a time of confusion, we see it as a time for seizing opportunity, for aggressively investing back in the business.”


Thanks to your vision and belief, the power suit has been forever redefined. C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S T O O U R F R I E N D A N D PA RTN E R , J E FF FA R B STE I N .


{ THE MERCHANT’S MERCHANT }

I steal ideas from the best stores in the world and then make sure we execute them better.” Jeff Farbstein

Harry called him in and said, “You think you can do better? You’ve got the job.” Recalls Farbstein, “The position was clothing buyer and I was secretly disappointed to get stuck in the most boring category in the store. But I ended up becoming Harry’s sidekick, going along with him on market appointments and to fabric shows and learning so much. I always had a feel for the fabrics and would shop the European mills early, assigning specific piece goods to specific brands. I could envision exactly which fabrics would work best in which clothing make.” Farbstein talks passionately about his admiration for Harry as a boss. “He was always challenging, always wanting to know what I really thought, not what I thought he wanted to hear. In group discussions, he was famous for speaking last because he wanted to analyze all sides of the picture. I try to do this now with my team: if they come in with a problem, I need to hear all sides of it or how else can I help them solve it? “Another thing I got from Harry is my work ethic. We’d finish our work day, have a short dinner, and then run around town (in whatever city we happened to be) looking at stores and in store windows. Harry loved to see what other stores were doing and I got my advanced merchandising degree working with him… To this day, I love visiting great stores all over the world. I steal ideas from the best of them and just make sure to execute them better.” As much as he’s learned from Harry, Jeff equally appreciates the connection he’s cultivated with Larry. “We’re very different,” Farbstein explains. “Larry came to us already a lawyer and has a logical bottom-line approach to retail so our discussions on how to do things can get pretty heated. But when we get through arguing, we generally end up with great results, mostly because Larry is incredibly supportive of my wild, crazy, ‘dreamer’ ideas.” Fortunately, many of Farbstein’s ‘dreamer’ ideas have proven successful. These include bringing in the first Zegna Traveler suits before Zegna even had an office in Toronto. “Our first order was 36 suits that we purchased out of a suitcase; 36 quickly became 1000…” Other fantasies turned fabulous: featuring clothing to reflect the Savile Row look of the 80s; supporting the relaxed luxury of Brunello Cucinelli (a first order of 80 pieces steadily evolved to

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where Rosen is now Cucinelli’s largest independent store account in the world); supporting Tom Ford’s strong shouldered British-style garment before even seeing product (Farbstein argued that if a Tom Ford collaboration is good enough for Gildo Zegna, it’s good enough for Harry Rosen); a recent storewide push to lifestyle shops (some by brand, some by mixing brands to create a more eclectic look), a recent successful focus on Munro, a new MTM clothing brand out of Amsterdam geared to younger guys (and brilliantly housed in the denim area rather than in tailored), and a major investment in their own Bespoke tailor shop. “I use our Bespoke shop as part of my business card,” Farbstein explains. “Once people see it, they view us in a whole new light. Who else does a 29-hour garment that’s as good if not better than Kiton (with full canvas chest piece and topstitching done by hand)? We don’t make much money on it but Bespoke enables us to offer something no one else has.” Known for his unique ability to combine analyzing data with creating dreams, Farbstein is surprisingly willing to share his merchandising insights. “Of course buyers need to study the numbers, but then they need to think about new ways to interpret the numbers and create an aggressive plan. For example, anyone can look at their clothing sales and know they sold x amount of suits and y amount of sportcoats. But when they study it and see that half their clothing is sold on sale, they might decide there’s another way to approach the business. Maybe they want to consider merchandising spring sportcoats as outerwear rather than tailored clothing, as a light layer to wear with sportswear. We recently developed this crazy concept and took a strong stand on numerous spring jacket ideas: with the right cotton pant, the right knit tie, the right stretch woven belt, the right cool running shoes. If you can create a new look and convince guys that the look is right, if you buy it with conviction, present it with impact and make it so delicious, irresistible, and sexy, then they’ll go for it. Because most guys don’t know what they want until they see it in front of them, or until a trusted sales associates communicates the excitement. And then it’s magic,” he says. Generally calm, thoughtful and soft-spoken, Farbstein gets just a bit rattled when challenged about his new retail competition, including the major U.S. stores (Saks, Nordstrom) newly arrived in


CONGRATULATING HONOREE JEFF FARBSTEIN

Founded in St Tropez in 1971 www.vilebrequin.com SWIMWEAR, READY-TO-WEAR AND ACCESSORIES


{ THE MERCHANT’S MERCHANT }

While most merchants initiate change by adding a few percentage points here or there, Jeff uses data and intuition to make major shifts.” Larry Rosen

Canada, their off-price offshoots, and freestanding vendor shops and websites, many of which cut price mid-season (or sooner). “We manage this as best we can,” he confides, acknowledging that although his business is ahead, it’s not where he’d like it to be. “I view the new competition mostly as an opportunity to showcase what we do best: provide curated luxury assortments, exciting presentation, and exceptional service. Because men no longer have the time that they once did to come into a store on a Saturday morning and sit around drinking coffee. Instead, they’re pushing a cart in Costco, or at their kids’ hockey game. So we’ve made it easy for them to shop with us: in store, in their home or office, or online 24-7. And we keep reinvesting in our stores, in our website and in our people to ensure an exceptional shopping experience.” Farbstein also points out that unlike in the States, there are no freestanding Cucinelli or Zegna shops in Canada and that Canali, a huge brand in Saks, is not in Saks Canada. “We have a big pencil so we work with our vendors on confinement and exclusivity. We pay attention: if a vendor site is offering 30 off to friends and family or if a department store leaves the sale price on their site a little too long, we confront our vendors. We also buy differently than the big stores: since we’re based in Canada rather than NYC or Seattle, we know our customers personally and often work with our vendors to tweak or revise models. We’re menswear specialists, not women’s stores that carry men’s.” A particularly gutsy recent strategy that’s already paying dividends: a focus on narrow and deep assortments, on becoming more important to fewer brands. Farbstein explains the evolution: “I was visiting one of our stores and tried to buy underwear: I wanted a half dozen of one style in one size and color. We carried several great underwear brands—Armani, Boss, Emporio, Zegna—but among them all, I couldn’t find six of the same boxer brief. Shame on us! Guys don’t buy underwear in singles so how could we not have sufficient stock? So I challenged the team to go out and find a fresh brand that we could totally own. We decided on Saxx and went after it aggressively, dropping our other brands, giving out samples to all the staff and creating excitement on the selling floors with sexy fashion shows. We launched in four doors, quickly expanded to all, and really killed it! I’d hoped for a $1 million underwear business; my team delivered that goal in a very short time.” Farbstein relates a similar story in belts: working with Italian leathergoods maker Anderson, he and his team selected a single

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woven stretch leather belt ($185 retail), created their own fixtures, brought in this one style in tons of colors and quickly reported sales of 200 units weekly. Similarly, in an over-assorted and often stocked-out shirt business, Farbstein opted to focus on Eton, working closely with the brand to become “their number one account on the planet.” Whether accessories, luxury or jeanswear, Farbstein’s merchandising principles are consistent: “Envision what the presentation will look like, create the budget, create the theater, then go out and energize the sales team, for they’re the ones who can best excite the customers. Unfortunately, not all retailers have the imagination to do what we do. Imagination is key: without theater, it’s not a particularly fun business that we’re in.” Yet Farbstein considers it his mission to make it fun. “The mood in the industry these days is a problem. Retailers need encouragement: they need to bring their game face every day, to dig deep inside themselves and excite their teams and maintain that positive spirit, no matter how tough things seem. If we could just channel the excitement of the old days: taking out your pocket knife, tearing open the big box that just arrived, seeing for the first time in your store the styles you selected months ago, eagerly calling your customers before the product’s even out of the box. Back then, every retailer knew that feeling of exhilaration; today, store owners are dealing with financials, and buyers have too much else to do. So no one’s having fun, yet ‘fun’ is the success secret in our business.” It’s also the success secret for a good a marriage, Farbstein maintains. “I have lots of kids,” he notes with pride, ‘lots’ meaning five, all of whom bring him tremendous joy. In addition to his wife who works in real estate, his family includes twins who are 33 (a daughter who’s a social worker, a son who’s a high school teacher); another daughter who’s 24 and practicing dentistry; another son who’s 23, just graduated business school and immediately got a fabulous job at Price Waterhouse (without his father’s help except for the suggestion to wear a pink tie to the interview) and his youngest daughter, now 15, who might be the one to follow in her dad’s fashion footsteps. “I’m just grateful that we’re so solid together as a family and for that I credit my wife and the wonderful way she’s always engaged with the kids. I’m not in a hurry to retire but these days, the pleasure of spending a bit more time with family, friends and golf is very appealing.” ●


{ THE MERCHANT’S MERCHANT }

Colleagues Comment Dan Farrington, Mitchells: “I’ve known Jeff since the very start of my career and I’m grateful for the many conversations talking shop over the years and the countless dinners just having fun. I’ve learned many important things from him both personally and professionally. He is one of the most important men’s merchants in the world and yet he carries himself with sincere humility at all times. As accomplished as he is, he never stops trying to learn and evolve. He always thinks young and never lingers in the past. He empowers his team and lets them shine, while providing them with strong focus and leadership. When he truly believes in something he is willing to take a big position and lead the initiative all the way from the buy, to the merchandising, to the marketing, to the education and inspiration of the sellers. He may be the smartest and most deliberate merchant I know. He has a great relationship and dynamic with Larry. I appreciate his dry sense of humor. Plus he’s the savviest packer into a carry-on!”

Peter Tannenbaum, Tods: “It’s a difficult task to concisely summarize the brilliance of Jeff Farbstein but I can easily and sincerely say he is dignified, graceful, charming, and filled with pure passion and integrity. He possesses an uncanny ability to address immediate business yet simultaneously focus on tomorrow and the bigger picture. Jeff is indeed a great partner, a special person, and most importantly a dear friend.”

David Vosko, Harry Rosen: “Jeff always has your back in tough situations. I remember panicking when my catering place went out of business two weeks before my wedding. Jeff knew someone in the restaurant business, introduced us, and somehow helped arrange a magnificent event in less than two weeks! He cares about people: he loves helping them, and prides himself on putting the right ones together.”

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Giorgio Canali: “Jeff Farbstein is an amazing merchant! He’s always raising the bar higher, always pushing to find what’s new, what’s next. He’s so knowledgeable—truly the expert on men’s clothing and always willing to share his knowledge. He was one of the first to believe in our unlined, unstructured Kei jacket: he bought it, pushed it, and it’s now almost 75 percent of the Canali sportcoat business in Harry Rosen stores. He has a great eye, he’s always curious, and he knows how to make things happen.”

Arnold Silverstone, Samuelsohn/Hickey Freeman: “Jeff is the one who connected me to my current job at Samuelsohn/Hickey Freeman. Like my parents, he has been a mentor to me throughout my career: his advice and guidance have been priceless. I admire his insight, understanding and passion but his most extraordinary business quality is his vision. He’s always at the forefront of what’s happening and can actually see things developing before others do. But most importantly, he’s a mensch, a gentleman, and a treasured friend.”

Patrick Assaraf: “Jeff Farbstein takes his job very seriously: he’s more than a merchant for Harry Rosen, he’s supports the entire industry. He works with so many designers yet always takes the time to advise them, whether it’s a $1 million business for him or just an emerging brand. Every meeting with Jeff is a serious meeting: he’s very on top of things, has the pulse of the market and is happy to share what he knows. I started my brand in 2011 and Jeff supported me from day one, as did his entire team. There’s a trust between Jeff Farbstein and his vendors: we help each other, which is very atypical and very wonderful.”

Al Israel, Triluxe: “Jeff Farbstein is the best merchandiser I’ve ever come across,

bar none. He’s also the best manager with the most intelligence and the most integrity. Harry Rosen would not be Harry Rosen without Jeff’s merchandising and relationshipbuilding talents. He’s got a strong succession plan in place and has ensured a successful future for the company. “Interestingly I started my career in 1974 as the original manager of Rosen’s Bloor Street store! I give tremendous credit to Larry Rosen who was already a lawyer when he joined the business and, though he took to retailing quickly, was smart enough to give Jeff the reigns and get out of his way. Larry’s real talent is as a leader and CEO; Jeff is the quintessential merchant and manager.”

Raffi Shaya, Raffi: “I’ve known Jeff for almost 20 years: he’s a very fine man, down to earth, and one of the most professional execs in our industry. I often call him for advice or his opinion; he listens intently and always responds with tremendous respect. A short story about a lost car key: Jeff and I were on our way to dinner and I had to pick up my car in the parking garage. Nobody was there to give us the key and we searched in vain for quite some time with no luck. Finally, I called my wife for advice on what to do and she told me to look on the front left wheel, where of course I found the key. Meanwhile, Jeff had called his wife who told him the same thing! We came to conclusion that both of our wives are a lot wiser than we are!”

Robert Aldrich, Zegna: “Jeff seems to understand both the art and the science of merchandising a store. He knows who his customer is and knows what the customer wants. That might sound easy but it’s an increasingly elusive skill. At the same time, he understands how to lead the customer, not only fulfilling needs but orchestrating demand. The objective of any successful merchant is to get the ratio of commercial vs. creative right. Jeff learned from another master, Mr. Harry Rosen

himself, and honed that craft over his long career.”

Mario Bisio, Marios: “I have had the pleasure of knowing Jeff Farbstein for over 20 years. We have shared many evenings over dinner both in Italy and New York discussing menswear and life. Jeff is certainly one of the most knowledgeable, talented and thoughtful merchants I have ever encountered. Jeff’s pensive and articulate assessment of what is happening today in our industry, and his prediction of what the future may be, is always a thought provoking and rewarding experience. The success and prestige of the Harry Rosen Stores is a testament to his leadership in menswear.”

Massimo Coronna "When I met Jeff at the beginning of my career, I knew that like Brunello, he was a man of substance who cared deeply about human connection over the simple art of closing a deal. His passion, dedication and personal touch have been at the core of our successful partnership. I value him first as a man, not just as an outstanding professional. He has been recognized for his unique sensibility for product but what makes him truly special is his ability to recognize talent and giving chances to those who share his values of quality and higher standards. I have been fortunate to spend wonderful times with him traveling in Italy and Canada, when over a glass of wine we have discussed true life stories and business: he is a friend, a mentor and a true inspiration."

Russ Fearon, Throat Threads: “Jeff Farbstein has a passion for fashion and arguably the best eye in the industry. He is a great friend, an amazing mentor and most importantly an esteemed gentleman with the right human values. He is humble and kind and has a cool factor that everyone loves. I am proud to be his friend.”


THROAT THREADS APPAREL CONGRATULATES

Jeff Farbstein evp, harry rosen

on being the recipient of MR’s MERCHANT’S MERCHANT AWARD.

DELIVERING BRANDS TO THE NORTH AMERICAN MARKET SINCE 1993

T H R OAT T H R E A D S A P PA R E L

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T H R OAT T H R E A D S . C O M


{ THE SPREZZATURA AWARD }

BY GIORGIO!

Giorgio Canali’s dedication to his family – and his family business – make him a singular kind of fashion icon. BY BRIAN SCOTT LIPTON

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iorgio Canali enters a room differently than many of his counterparts in the men’s fashion industry, exuding a rare mixture of impeccable European manners, an air of simplicity (but not simple-ness), a low-key yet sincere charm and a quiet intensity that lacks pretension. “He’s such a humble and incredible person. Once we were on the same flight from Toronto to Italy and I asked the flight attendant if she could move him up to business class with me,” says his longtime friend, Harry Rosen’s EVP Jeff Farbstein. “She was so impressed that Giorgio Canali was flying coach! He doesn’t act like a big shot, but just like a genuinely nice guy, which he is.”

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“Giorgio is a wonderful person,” echoes Dan Farrington, GMM of the Mitchells Family of Stores. “He was one of the first European vendors to recognize me and remember my name, even though I’m not a store owner.” “Giorgio is a super pro in our business,” adds Saks Fifth Avenue’s Tom Ott.” He really put in the time to understand the US market and help develop his business here by helping create the best dollar for dollar clothing in the market. And he’s a great guy to top it off.” More to the point, Canali’s singular manner belies just how much weight he figuratively carries on his shoulders: maintaining and growing the legacy of the 83-year-old Italian clothing and


{ THE SPREZZATURA AWARD }

There is a worldwide clientele that looks for our products. People love our fit and construction; our pieces rarely need much in terms of alteration.” Giorgio Canali

sportswear company founded by his grandfather and his great uncle; navigating the myriad challenges of 21st century retailing; and finding significant time to spend with his beautiful wife of three years, Estelle, and their adorable 2-year-old son Vittorio, with whom he keeps in constant contact even during his frequent trips to America. (“I am so happy to be able to use ‘Face Time’ while I’m away,” he says with a smile.) Still, Canali’s passion and dedication to both his business and his family appear to keep him not just afloat, but swimming ahead of the pack. “Eugenio Canali, who is the youngest of the three brothers of the second generation and the president of Canali, still comes into the office at age 85, which is a true inspiration. My father, Giuseppe, who I consider my true mentor, and my uncles had the same passion, as do all of us who work in the business,” notes Canali. Of course, the question lingers whether a true “family business” can compete in the luxury market, especially with so many companies being owned by conglomerates like LVMH and Kering. “Of course, there are people in management beside our family members; we need their know-how,” he notes. “But we want to keep it as a family-run business. The most important thing is that we want every product to be in line with our DNA, to maintain the integrity of the brand. Of course, who knows what the future will bring, but we have never pursued being bought out.” Indeed, that sort of future was never part of the Canali blueprint. In fact, the company’s business was completely European until the mid-1970s, when it was picked up in the United States by Mario’s, the Seattle-based specialty store, and by Bloomingdale’s. Now, the United States is the largest market for Canali, which has over 250 boutiques and 1,000 retail stores in more than 100 countries. (Approximately 30 of the stores are actually owned by the company, including 10 stores in the U.S.) It’s at these stores that consumers can often see a larger assortment of the company’s products, which extends from clothing and sportswear to furnishings and accessories to footwear. “We can showcase a larger and more complete breadth of our

collection, including a relevant presentation of our Exclusive Collection,” he adds. These stores, combined with a growing social media presence – the company launched its e-commerce site in the U.S. last year – play a very important role in reaching their valued customers. “There is a worldwide clientele that looks for our products. People love our fit and construction; our pieces rarely need much in terms of alteration,” he notes. “Quality is just so important to us, which is why we insist on everything being 100 percent Italian-made, despite all the costs. It’s one reason we don’t want to do a lower-priced line, even if it would attract the younger customer. To lower our standards would be to change our DNA. They will eventually come to our brand once they’ve grown in their professional career and look for higher quality products.” Canali feels confident that the company will be around once the younger customer is ready to buy it. “We are seeing a comeback in tailored clothing in many markets, even if it’s not always full suiting. We are constantly educating our customers that you can wear a great sportcoat with dress or casual pants and a sweater, that you can look elegant without being uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to feel like you’re wearing a uniform.” f Canali has a mission, it might be to get Americans to dress more like Italians. (Even on the weekends, Canali himself dons what he calls “sophisticated sportswear,” often augmented by a sportcoat or dressy shoes.) “The secret to an ‘Italian look’ is what we call sprezzatura – a term first made popular by Baldassare Castiglione in his 16th century handbook, ‘The Book of the Couturier.’ He used it to express the uniquely Italian art of making things look effortless,” says Canali. That philosophy, which Canali freely shares with his numerous specialty store and department store accounts (including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Holt Renfrew, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Harry Rosen and many of the Forum stores), has also accounted in part for the popularity of the company’s famed Kei jacket, a lightweight and deconstructed jacket made in fine fabrics ranging from pure wool to pure cashmere.

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{ THE SPREZZATURA AWARD }

“Quality is just so important to us, which is why we insist on everything being 100 percent Italian-made, despite all the costs. It’s one reason we don’t want to do a lower-priced line, even if it would attract the younger customer. To lower our standards would be to change our DNA. They will eventually come to our brand once they’ve grown in their professional career and look for higher quality products.” Giorgio Canali

“It just sells better and better every year,” he says. (The Kei jacket begins at $1,500, just slightly below the company’s suits, which start at $1,695.) “You can dress it up or down; it’s the ultimate less-is-more piece. And it’s typical of how we are always innovating, whether it’s using fabrics that wrinkle less or are stain-resistant or water-resistant. We’re even using more technical fabrics in outerwear. And fortunately, it’s all being well-received by our consumers.” But as much as Canali values its end consumers, the company values their retail partners more. “One thing we do consistently is we maintain price, whether online or in our stores. We won’t go on the sale until end of season. We really try to avoid the promotional mentality. We’re also always trying to figure how to get people into

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the stores, and working with them on reaching out to consumers.” he notes. “It used to be that trunk shows or personal appearances were enough. These days, stores have to provide inspiration and a valuable experience. Customers are curious and interested in knowing more about a brand, in term of history, quality construction, relevant details of the product, and so on, And they also need to offer special services like made-to-measure. That’s so important to us that we even provide the training when we need to.” “When the exchange rate changes and the dollar is strong, Giorgio is one of very few Italian makers to adjust prices accordingly. He is a class act and because people love him, they want to do more


UJA-FEDERATION OF NEW YORK business with him,” adds Mitchells’ Dan Farrington. “Spending time with Giorgio in either of his fantastic showrooms in Milan or New York is always a pleasure,” says Russ Patrick, SVP and GMM/Men’s at Neiman Marcus. “He will personally meet you at the door, warmly welcoming you into his space knowing that your day has been hectic. And walking through a new collection or reviewing business with him is always productive and educational. Many times, I am humbled to learn that he has a detail about one of our location’s performance with Canali that my recaps or memory failed to highlight.” “To a great number of people, when they hear the word ‘Canali,’ the first thing that comes to mind is a terrific product,” says David Witman, former EVP at Nordstrom. “And they are right, the product is wonderful. However, when you hear the words ‘Giorgio Canali,’ the product becomes secondary. The thing that comes to mind is friend. He’s someone who will go out of his way for you.” Adds Mario Bisio of Mario’s: “I have known Giorgio for over 30 years working together in Italy, having lunch and dinners in Milan and New York. Since he came to the U.S. in 1991, he has guided the Canali brand to be one of the most dominant and well-respected brands in North America. It’s rare to have an owner of a global brand be so generous with his time. If you are a Canali customer, you know Giorgio. Personally, I have shared countless dinners and cherish the time, laughter and our friendship.” “It is never serendipitous when a brand reaches and maintains the pinnacle in its category. It is always the result of commitment, dedication, drive for consistent excellence, and relationship building,” says David Fisher, former VP, GMM/Men’s at Bloomingdale’s. “They are all leadership qualities embodied in Giorgio Canali, who is a friend, a partner, and a true gentleman.” Still, the biggest reason Giorgio Canali is so respected is because everything he does, both in business and in life, reflects on the Canali name. “The responsibility of working in a company that bears your name, a business that your own family created, gives you much motivation, as well as a fair amount of pressure,” he notes. “But I always remember what my father taught me, which is to have respect for other people’s work and their efforts.” ●

is pleased to thank and congratulate

RONNY WURTZBURGER for his accomplishments and dedication to the community.

Mazel tov, Ronny.

ujafedny.org @ujafedny

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COURTESY THE SCOUT GUIDE MINNEAPOLIS

{ RETAIL INNOVATION AWARD }

THE LITTLE STORE THAT COULD Minneapolis’ MartinPatrick3 grew from a small interior design and menswear shop into a nationally-recognized specialty store. BY STEPHEN GARNER

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{ RETAIL INNOVATION AWARD }

When we first started, the rule was that we would never carry anything with a size. That quickly went by the wayside.” Greg Walsh

W

ithin just a few moments of walking into MartinPatrick3, the dynamic Twin Cities specialty store, one can’t help but fall in love with its enticing range of goods to peruse, a welcoming staff, and an inviting aroma made simply from customers testing out all of the store’s amazing fragrances. The store features an eclectic mix of goods and services ranging from elegant custom clothing to contemporary sportswear, cool accessories, apothecary, furniture, interior design services, and even a wonderful barber shop with a robust following. While most retailers today struggle with the challenge of turning apparel shopping into an “experience”, MartinPatrick3’s owners, Dana Swindler and Greg Walsh, have figured it out. But nailing down the store’s success didn’t come overnight. Back in 1994, Walsh oringally opened his interior design firm in a town outside of the Twin Cities. After moving to Minneapolis and adding a furniture studio, customers suggested to Walsh and Swindler that they expand their business into menswear. They tried offering a few apparel items in 2006, then created a separate store in 2008. In October 2008, Swindler and Walsh opened up a 1,200 square-foot space that featured only men’s accessories. “When we first started, the rule was that we would never carry anything with a size,” says Walsh. “We carried barware, cufflinks, wallets, ties, watches, and a few briefcases. That’s it. Then our customers kept asking for apparel. We caved in eventually and brought in Gitman shirts. Gitman was our only apparel vendor for six months, and then our no-size rule completely dissolved.” Having naturally outgrown their first space, the duo decided to move into its current space in the fall of 2012, first starting out with a 5,000-square-foot space. Since that time, MartinPatrick3 has grown at its 3rd Avenue North space three more times. “About two years after we moved in, we added 3,000 square feet,” says Swindler. “Two years after that, we added another 4,000 square feet, and then a year and a half ago we added another 6,000 square feet. We’ve been very strategic in our growth.” And they’re not done growing yet! The duo has recently acquired the back 4,000 square feet behind their store. While Walsh and Swindler remain hush-hush on what to expect in that space, they do give a few hints. “We are planning to open the last edition

next year in 2018. We want to add more luxury product, and I think this space could give us the opportunity to create a really luxe environment to encompass the brands that we bring on,” hints Walsh. “But, this is the last remaining available space in our location so we have to be very smart on how we utilize it. We are tossing around a lot of ideas outside of adding merchandise as well, such as putting in a coffee shop, some sort of bar-like unit, or expanding our barbershop, which is performing really well. It’s too early to say what the space will eventually look like.” And with over 450 brands across 52 categories, one can see why these square footage additions are necessary. Brands that maintain a large presence in the store include Isaia, Eidos Napoli, Eleventy, Belstaff and Orelear Brown in the more “traditional” part of the store, while Rodd & Gunn, Reigning Champ, Rag & Bone, and Red Wing stick out in the “casual” section of the store. Despite all its growth, MartinPatirck3 stands out as a shining unicorn in a local market that has been less fruitful for luxury goods. Over the past few years in Minneapolis, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s have all come and gone. Even the nearby Mall of America, despite its huge size and the presence of Nordstrom, is hardly considered a luxury destination. With all of this disruption, a large void in the market for quality menswear goods for the affluent customers of the city has been created, which has left plenty of room for MartinPatrick3 to grow. “We took this opportunity to fill the void that all of these stores left behind,” maintains Walsh. “Despite all of these retailers leaving, Minneapolis continues to have a large affluent base that needs great merchandise they can’t find everywhere else. So, when everyone was closing, we didn’t just decided to make a fast push into growth or adding new lines. Still, we were very methodical and measured in our growth. The store sort of built itself naturally over time.” Unsurprisingly, building the successful specialty store that now exists didn’t come without its obstacles. “We don’t have a retail background,” insists Walsh. “We just do it. We move stuff around all the time until we figure out what works. Since we have men’s apparel and furniture and other things, we are more fully encompassing than other stores in the city. And I think our aesthetic is broad in order to appeal to a range of customers. We don’t care what everyone else is doing. We do what we think is right for us.”

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{ RETAIL INNOVATION AWARD }

“We move stuff around all the time until we figure out what works. Since we have men’s apparel and furniture and other things, we are more fully encompassing than other stores in the city. And I think our aesthetic is broad in order to appeal to a range of customers. We don’t care what everyone else is doing. We do what we think is right for us.” Greg Walsh

Swindler also chimes in: “We are entirely self-funded, with no outside investors. That’s why we have to be extra-careful in our growth plan. But, on that same note, being owners allows us to be a small and limber operation, which lets us to take advantage of new opportunities faster. So, if we decide we want to add a line, we will go out and get it right then and there without having to get it approved through multiple people. We run the numbers quickly, we don’t talk about it for years and years, and we just go out and get it. That’s how we’ve ended up with some of our best performing lines.” The aforementioned methodical and measured approach applies to the store’s sales staff, which is anchored by Todd Fliginger, who was at Neiman Marcus in downtown Minneapolis until it

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closed in 2013. (Currently, MartinPatrick3 has about 30 people on staff between sales, buying and interior design.) “We’ve slowly added staff, just like we’ve slowly added square footage,” says Swindler. “We are very selective in who we hire. There are very specific goals and reasons why we hire people as well. These quality hires has led to very little turnover, which is rare in retail. We still have most of the original staff from when we started.” And these strategic hires have proved to serve them well. When asking customers and industry professionals that know MartinPatrick3, the first thing they mention is its customer experience. But the team insists there is no secret sauce, just common sense. “There is no MartinPatrick3 way of doing things, or an employee handbook,”


says Swindler. “When we hire new people, they usually come with their own client books and way of selling. It’s really about hiring the right people to sell your merchandise. Other than that, we do encourage our employees to go above and beyond for our customers. If they need a suit tailored and shipped to the venue in two days, we will try our best to make that happen. Now, that’s not to say that doesn’t cause some grey hairs to be had, but the customer appreciates our efforts in the end, which is what matters, because most likely they will come back.” “We want all of our customers to feel welcomed and comfortable,” adds Erick DeLeon, head buyer and store manager. “We offer free cider and cookies, which is especially welcome here in the colder months., and we take the time to explore the store with the customer so they can find something that meets their needs.” The team also notes that special events have helped their business grow as well. “About three to four times a month we do an event,” says Swindler, who gets particularly excited about this topic. “They don’t have to be related to the industry. We’ve done events for artists, for a new magazine start-up and also the local orchestra. It’s all about getting people into the store. Once they come, they will most likely come back to shop at another time.” “Our in-store events continue to get bigger and better every time because we want to out-do ourselves for the sake of the customer,” adds DeLeon. “We want our clients to have a different experience every time they come to the store.” Walsh also mentions that they give back to the local community whenever they can. “We have given out $10,000 this year alone through either donations or gift cards for charity auctions. But we typically do about $20,000 a year on gift card donations. When a legitimate cause approaches us, we will help.” It’s this sense of community, along with the great merchandise and superior service, which keeps their customers coming back. “The fact that our customers come in just to hang out with our staff is one of the best things you can have in a business,” says Swindler. “I’m glad to, over the years, work on the selling floor. The fun part is listening to what people have to say about the store and what’s going on in their lives. We get to know them on a personal level. I love that piece of it.” ●

THEORY CONGRATULATES MR’S RETAIL VISION AWARD HONOREE MARTINPATRICK3, JEFF FARBSTEIN OF HARRY ROSEN, AND ALL OF THE 2017 MR AWARD HONOREES.

Theory.com

CONGRATULATIONS

ON YOUR RETAIL VISION AWARD

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{ DENIM BRAND OF THE DECADE }

AG JEANS EARNS AN A+

The California-based company earns raves from its customers for its fit and variety and kudos from its retail partners for its commitment. BY BRIAN SCOTT LIPTON

A

pair of jeans may look simple, but making a great pair of jeans – one that men want to buy season after season -- is anything but a simple task. There are elements you can easily see, like color and wash; some you can feel when you put them on, like the perfect fit; and others that are basically invisible, like

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the workplace and corporate culture that are an integral part of the fabric of this ubiquitous garment. That AG Jeans has risen to the top of the denim ladder in just over a decade is not just because their jeans include all these factors, but because of the dedication of Samuel Ku, who started with the


{ DENIM BRAND OF THE DECADE }

You get a guy in a store to try on a pair of your jeans, and if they like the fabric, then they will ask what else the brand has in terms of fit. If they like the fit, they will ask about other colors or washes. And once you have them as a customer, they’re really loyal year after year. They’re not worried about the next hot thing; men don’t buy a brand because it’s the flavor of the moment.” Sam Ku

company (co-founded by his father Yul Ku) in 2001, and who has been its creative director since 2008—a position he has no intention of giving up any time soon. “I definitely believe that if you want it done right, you do it yourself. I find it hard to trust another person.” Such commitment to the brand has paid off in many ways. These days, AG not only owns some flagship stores, but is carried by many of the finest department and specialty stores in the country, where its sales of men’s denim outpace most (if not all) of its competitors. “As with any business, there are ebbs and flows. We have great relationships with Nordstrom, the Forum Group stores, American Rag and Ron Herman, to name a few, and those relationships mean a lot to us,” says Ku. “We started with AG from the beginning, since I bought jeans originally from co-founder Adriana Goldschmeid in the 1970s, who was one of the true innovators of the denim world,” says Mario Bisio, owner of Seattle-based specialty store Mario’s. “But I am not surprised that under the Kus’ leadership, AG has become the largest denim-based brand within our company. For one thing, authenticity is the number one thing that many customers love about a brand and they have that! We also know, like they do, that once a guy finds a denim brand that fits him, it becomes his. And the good thing about AG is they established a fit that guys love. I’ve worn my stretch AG jeans on many plane trips to Europe and they’re so incredibly comfortable.” “There is no doubt AG makes one of the best fitting men’s jeans in the world,” adds Brian Kaneda, buyer at Los Angeles specialty store Ron Herman.” It’s a really democratic line. There’s a fit for every guy.”

“Our customers definitely love the fit, but they especially love the array of colors,” adds Marshall Simon, owner of Charleston-based specialty store Gwynn’s of Mt. Pleasant. “We’ve had a lot of men come in, try on one pair, and then leave the store a few minutes later with the same style of AG jeans in four of five colors.” Hearing such accolades doesn’t really surprise Ku (as much as he appreciates them). “I would say a lot of the difference between selling menswear versus women’s wear is the mentality of the average man who buys designer jeans,” says Ku. “You get a guy in a store to try on a pair of your jeans, and if they like the fabric, then they will ask what else the brand has in terms of fit. If they like the fit, they will ask about other colors or washes. And once you have them as a customer, they’re really loyal year after year. They’re not worried about the next hot thing; men don’t buy a brand because it’s the flavor of the moment.” As is evident, Ku has learned a great deal about when makes male denim buyers tick since joining the business over 15 years ago. A graduate of UC Irvine, he decided one day to ask his father about becoming part of the family business – and soon found his wish was granted. “I pretty much started at the bottom, in the R&D division for laundry,” he recalls with a laugh. “I didn’t start with much responsibility. But that was good, because I really didn’t know how we did things, because I wasn’t around the businessbefore. It was very eye-opening. “Eventually, though, I took on some bigger responsibilities. For example, I worked in the sample sewing department and saw how we put together our jeans piece by piece. It may seem mundane, but when you know how the process is done, it eventually makes you a stronger designer and developer.” For the past decade, though, Ku has had his hands in almost

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DENIM BRAND OF THE DECADE

Distinctive Sweaters in Pure Cashmere and Ultra Fine Merino

Boat 54 Sales@boat54.com / 646.346.3976

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every aspect of AG’s business. “My involvement now is to oversee the creative process, starting with how each season’s concept is presented to the design team,” he notes. “My biggest job is to help guide our team and to make the right decisions for the product, from color to trim to pocket placement.” Ku admits the design process isn’t exactly the same each season. “Sometimes, we do get very specific about the concept, because it can give you the right feel about washes, colors or silhouettes. For spring ‘18, our concept is called ‘Quiet Days in Malibu’, and the inspiration is the late 1960s/early 1970s lifestyle of California-based writers and artists like Joan Didion. And yes, some designers read her books, and some just relied on images on a mood board. We try not to get too literal or crazy about any concept and we always view it with the AG lens.” Indeed, if one thing matters most to Ku and his team, it’s the fabric. “The vast majority of our denim is exclusive to us, since we work with our own mills. It gives us an advantage over some of our competitors, because when you can put the cloth into an idea, you have a stronger product. It’s hard to make a great wash out of a crappy fabric. Jeans are like a great meal, you need the right ingredients.” Better still, unlike a four-star chef who may have to travel from market to market, everything Ku needs is located in AG’s 500,000-square-foot factory in South Gate, California. “Because we own our manufacturing plant, we have a level of control that few companies do. Everything is one place, from cutting to sewing to washing and shipping. The fact that our designers can talk to a technician next door on a daily basis if they have to is a big advantage.” (The company also operates a similar factory in Mexico.) “I have gone to that factory several times and I am always impressed,” Bisio notes. “Everything they do is eco-friendly and they are constantly making the product better every year. They never rest on their laurels.” The vertical environment also allows AG to focus on sustainability. “That is really important to us,” notes Ku. “Since we are in Los Angeles, we care about what our product does to the environment. All of our sourcing is eco-friendly and we make real efforts to research and develop eco-friendly technology. Now I think 99 percent of our customers don’t make their buying decision based on this factor, but when they buy our product and love it and then realize it’s ecofriendly, it becomes an added bonus. That’s why we have to communicate what we do


better and educate more people. There’s a big movement in the denim industry towards this kind of sustainability and that’s something this industry is, and should be, proud of.” While AG is one of the industry’s biggest guns, the company isn’t interested in overexpanding. “I think we’ve hit our capacity with how many AG products we can sell currently. We couldn’t increase our business without a huge amount of hiring. But we are definitely interested in growing the business over the next few years, and we’re putting our efforts into sportswear, especially knits,” says Ku. Looking to next year, Ku says, “Our sophisticated classics wil continue to be an important part of Fall 2018, as well as the fashion twists we will add. As always, this will include new ideas added to our vintage washes, as well as subtle but interesting novelty details.” As for retail, they plan to cap their U.S. brick-and-mortar stores at 15 for the moment. “We are currently in a time that many brick-and-mortar retailers continue to struggle to drive traffic. So we like to have our stores where there is a lot of tourism, so we can attract the most sophisticated customer,” he notes. “But retail is very hard to do well, and so we are very careful about how we do it. In most cases, the stores just create brand awareness. Our customers usually goes to their local specialty store or boutique to actually buy the product.” Indeed, Ku’s focus is squarely on the company’s wholesale business, which far outpaces sales in both its retail stores or its D2C business. “We are here to service the retail customer,” he says. “I know we might be able to sell certain items for more, but instead we offer more dollar for dollar. We believe in the product, not a flashy marketing campaign. All you have in the end is the jeans and the relationships.” Those relationships extend to everyone who works at AG, not just those who work with them. “Because we are a purely privately-held company, we can not only be nimble and make decisions quickly, but we can incorporate a family feel,” says Ku. “Our employees are highly valued and we stress the need for a work/life balance.” Adds Kaneda: “I can say without a doubt that AG is one of our best retail partners. We’ve done the most beautiful merchandising build-outs together, collaborated on exclusive products for our stores, and thrown hugely successful events together. From wholesale to brand management, I have rarely worked with a more competent or kind group of people!” ●

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OPPOSITE PAGE ON HIM: SUIT & SHIRT PAL ZILERI TIE KINROSS CASHMERE SUNGLASSES ERMENGILDO ZEGNA ON HER: SWEATER KINROSS CASHMERE JEANS AG JEANS BAG JOANNA MAXHAM SUNGLASSES SAINT LAURENT HEAD SCARF PUCCI THIS PAGE: SUIT LUIGI BIANCHI MANTOVA SHIRT & TIE PAL ZILERI POCKET SQUARE ELEVENTY HAT BRUNELLO CUCINELLI SHOES ELEVENTY BACKPACK OSPREY BIKE TREK BIKES


He had the name, the looks, and the love of his life but sadly, it was for just a brief, shining moment...

THE HEIR BY MICHAEL MACKO PHOTOGRAPHY BY MENELIK PURYEAR


SHIRT ELEVENTY PANTS DEVEAUX SHOES TO BOOT NECKLACE VINTAGE


ON HIM: SUIT SHIRT & TIE ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA WATCH GEORG JENSEN ON HER: TOP & SKIRT THEORY BAG JOANNA MAXHAM EARRINGS TIFFANY & CO.


ON HIM: SWEATER & PANTS ELEVENTY SUNGLASSES ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA SHOES TO BOOT ON HER: SHIRT BRUNELLO CUCINELLI PANTS STRENESSE SHOES POUR LA VICTOIRE


SHORTS VUORI SHIRT SUNSPEL SNEAKERS NIKE


ON HIM: VEST KINROSS CASHMERE SHIRT BRUNELLO CUCINELLI JEANS AG JEANS HAT STETSON CLOTH HATS & CAP ON HER: SHIRT THEORY PANTS PT PANTALONI TORINO SUNGLASSES SAINT LAURENT BAG JOANNA MAXHAM


LEFT TOP: JACKET (PART OF A SUIT) BOGLIOLI SHIRT DEVEAUX JEANS AG JEANS BAG BRUNO MAGLI LEFT BOTTOM: SPORT COAT BOGLIOLI SHIRT ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA PANTS BRUNELLO CUCINELLI SHOES BALDININI SOCKS BRUNELLO CUCINELLI SUNGLASSES ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA WATCH FOSSIL BIKE TREK BIKES RIGHT: SWEATER DEVEAUX PANTS ELEVENTY HAT STETSON CLOTH HATS & CAP


SPORT COAT, PANTS, SHIRT & TIE, KITON WATCH, BRUNO MAGLI


PRODUCTION & STYLING: MICHAEL; MACKO PHOTOGRAPHY: MENELIK PURYEAR; HAIR, MAKEUP & GROOMING: LUIS PAYNE; MODELS: JAKE SANDERSON & PAULA SIMKUSE AT NY MODEL MANAGEMENT; PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT: KYLE LIEBERMAN; PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: JENEAN CHAPMAN; HAIR & GROOMING ASSISTANT: CY BLANKINSHIP; DOG: DOMINO LIU‑KREIMAN, MASCOT AT BLACK DOG 8 SHOWROOM BIKE: COURTESY OF TREK BIKES

ON HIM: TUXEDO & SHIRT, CANALI BOW TIE, TOM FORD POCKET SQUARE, KITON SHOES, BRUNO MAGLI ON HER: DRESS MI JONG LEE GLOVES CAROLINA AMATO BRACELET OFFICINA BERNARDI MINAUDIERE BLACKSEA SHOES POUR LA VICTOIRE EARRINGS, TIFFANY & CO.


Dear Jeff, Congratulations on your MR’s Merchant’s Merchant Award. You have helped shape the Men’s Fashion business and we are grateful for your wisdom, support and partnership.

Best,

ARE YOU UP-TO-DATE ON WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MENSWEAR? Sign up for MR DAILY NEWSFLASH at MR-mag.com

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July 16-18, 2017 | Jacob Javits Center, NYC

PROJECT + MRKET | UBMFASHION.COM


| ABOUT

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This July, PROJECT and MRket are celebrating their third season together under one roof, further establishing themselves as the leading men’s fashion trade event in New York. In Season 3, you’ll meet new industry friends, enjoy innovative events and activations, and most importantly, address all of your buying needs on one floor by shopping our comprehensive collection of men’s apparel, footwear and accessories. ABOUT PROJECT AND MRKET: New York Men’s has united two established menswear shows, PROJECT and MRket, to create the leading men’s fashion trade event in New York featuring influential apparel, footwear, and accessories brands from emerging to established, and contemporary to classic July 16-18, 2017 | Sunday, Monday & Tuesday | Jacob Javits Center, NYC

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Welcome to the vast world of men’s fashion. With an array of distinct communities, PROJECT and MRket represent a diversity of style audiences. It is the only show in North America to offer both a Made in Italy section sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission and Brits in New York, highlighting the best of British menswear. You’ll also find THE TENTS, a juried platform for menswear designers, and Vanguards Gallery, a neighborhood for the newest emerging brands. If you’re looking for the latest in performance/activewear try MOVE, or browse your favorite classic heritage brands at Modern Prep. To round it all out, shop the best in men’s footwear at PROJECT SOLE.

UBMFASHION.COM | PROJECT + MRKET


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Peerless Clothing USA, Inc. Penrose London Per Pedes Socks Peter-Blair Accessories Proper Shirtings Punto Socks Q by Flynt Raffi Re-Hash Replika Jeans Cph Reporter Rhone Richard James Robert Graham Hosiery & Scarves Robert Graham Loungewear S. Cohen Inc. Sailors & Brides Santarelli Sartoria Sanyo New York Saxx Underwear Scott Barber Scott Nichol Sean John Seaward & Stearn London Shaquille O’Neal Silvio Fiorello Smathers And Branson Southern Proper Southwick Clothes St. Croix Collections and Heritage by St. Croix STANTT Stetson Hats Steven Land Strong Boalt

UBMFASHION.COM | PROJECT + MRKET

Strongbody Apparel Taccaliti Shirts Tailor Vintage Tallia Orange Tallia Orange Neckwear Tasc Performance Tateossian Ltd. Ted Baker London Teleria Zed Thaddeus The British Apparel Collection The Savile Row Co Thompson Tiglio Tiglio Luxe Tintoria Mattei Tori Richard Ltd. Torras Of Spain Toscano Trands USA Trumbull Rhodes Trybus Group TWO-BI studiolabwork Vannucci Vincenzo De Lauziers Vineyard Vines Visconti Vitaliano Vuori Wigens Yong Zheng Tailor Shop Zabeo Cashmere Zenobi


STONE ROSE

PROJECT BRANDS 34 Heritage 7 Diamonds 7 For All Mankind 98 Coast Av A Fish Named Fred AG Adriano Goldschmied AGAVE Age of Wisdom Alexander Julian Astronomy Clothing Autumn Cashmere Baldwin Bellroy Brax Feel Good Bruun & Stengade Buffalo David Bitton Bugatti Carlos Santos CLOSED Coastal Coxx Borba Daniel Hechter Paris DE ABREU ITALY Derek Rose Desoto Digel DL1961 Premium Denim Eric Sana Faherty Fidelity Denim

Fisher + Baker Frame Denim French Connection Gi Capri Gild by Gilded Age Gilded Age Good Man Brand Grayers Haspel Hook & Albert Hudson Jeans Hush Puppies I.C Richard Choi Indian Motorcycle 1901 J & M Est. 1850 JACHS NY Jack & Jones Jack Of Spades Jerry Kaye Joes Jeans Johnston & Murphy Junk de Luxe Kenneth Cole Knowledge Cotton Apparel KoMocean Lambretta Ludwig Reiter M. Singer Mackage Malinge for Lareymondie Marc Joseph New York Mauritius Mavi Mododoc Moore & Giles MVP Collections Nifty Genius OAS Original Paperbacks Oxford Lads PAIGE Paraboot PHIL PETTER Psycho Bunny Pure Railtown Apparel Group Raleigh Denim Workshop Randolph Reason Relwen Res Ipsa Retro Brand Right Bank Shoe Co. Robert Barakett

Robert Talbott Robins Jean Rock Revival Rockstar Rodd & Gunn S.M.N Studio Sabatter Sanders Save the Duck Schneiders Salzburg SELECTED HOMME Shoepassion Siga International Slate Denim & Co. Sol Angeles Stitch Note Stone Rose T. Christopher Ted Baker London Tee Ink The Normal Brand TJMAX Trask Tricker’s Troubadour True Grit Unofuku & Co., Ltd. Velvet by Graham & Spencer Vestige Vilebrequin Vince W. Kleinberg We Norwegians Wool & Co. Full brand lists for PROJECT and MRket are available at ubmfashion.com.

MOORE & GILES

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| COMMUNITIES Brands: AGAVE Alexander Julian Autumn Cashmere Baldwin Bellroy CLOSED DE ABREU ITALY Derek Rose Eric Sana Faherty Frame Denim Gi Capri Gild by Gilded Age Gilded Age Good Man Brand Grayers Haspel Hook & Albert I.C Richard Choi Jerry Kaye Junk de Luxe Ludwig Reiter M. Singer Mackage Moore & Giles Raleigh Denim Workshop Randolph Relwen Res Ipsa S.M.N Studio Schneiders Salzburg SELECTED HOMME T. Christopher Troubadour Vilebrequin Vince W. Kleinberg We Norwegians

JUNK DE LUXE

THE TENTS is juried platform for menswear designers that creates an unmatched vision of the high-end contemporary marketplace.

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Vanguards Gallery is a curated selection of new and emerging brands who are soon to be the next big names in menswear. Brands: Atelier Torino Avenue 33 Baldessarini Benson Brackish Cooper Jones Supply Cotswold Franks Guillotine Halsey Hari Mari Hommard J Wingfield Jean Lorent Ledbury Loft 604/Cesarani Matt Totillo Michael’s Mission Mercantile PE360 Q by Flynt Sailors & Brides STANTT Trumbull Rhodes

JEAN LORENT

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| COMMUNITIES

Now in its fourth season, MOVE highlights not only activewear brands, but also those brands that use performance as the core of their mission statements. Brands: MPG Sport Rhone Strongbody Apparel Tasc Performance Vuori

VUORI

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PROJECT Sole highlights the best of contemporary and modern men’s footwear brands by showing them alongside complimentary apparel brands. It allows for full head-to-toe styling and is a convenient one-stop shopping experience for menswear buyers.

HUSH PUPPIES

Brands: Carlos Santos Coxx Borba Hush Puppies J & M Est. 1850 Johnston & Murphy Kenneth Cole Malinge for Lareymondie

Marc Joseph New York Paraboot Right Bank Shoe Co. Sabatter Sanders Shoepassion Trask Tricker’s

Classics with a twist is what drives the Modern Prep section of the show floor. Colorful classics and spruced up sportswear are the Modern Prep man’s go-tos. Modern Prep also offers collegiate dressing with many brands holding licensees. Brands:

CUTTER & BUCK

Bills Khakis Castaway-Nantucket Island Cutter & Buck Peter-Blair Accessories

Smathers And Branson Southern Proper Tailor Vintage Tori Richard Ltd. Vineyard Vines

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| COMMUNITIES

Brits in New York is comprised of U.K.based brands that include the best in British Menswear, from handmade footwear to Savile Row tailoring to colorful sartorial furnishings and British country heritage brands. Brands:

PANTHERELLA

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Alan Paine Knitwear Alfred Sargent Barbour Codis Maya Ltd Dents Gloves Dubarry of Ireland Edward Green Ettinger Ltd Fox Umbrellas JM Dickens Pantherella Penrose London Per Pedes Socks Punto Socks Richard James Robert Graham Hosiery & Scarves Scott Nichol Seaward & Stearn London Tateossian Ltd. The British Apparel Collection Thompson


FILIPPO DE LAURENTIIS

Made in Italy is the best of the best. Supported by the Italian Trade Commission and featuring the finest brands that Italy has to offer, Made in Italy showcases the craftsmanship that borders on art when it comes to making clothes, accessories and shoes. Brands: 20 Venti Grammi Alessandro Gherardi Alessandrosimoni Alfredo Rifugio Napoli Alpetora/G. Manzoni AM SRL Arcuri Ties Attex Barbuto & Co Belts + di Piazza Stefano Bresciani 1970 Calabrese 1924 Caliban Cinturificio GP & Max SRL Cortigiani Di Bello by Nipal Dolcepunta Doratex Spa Eurotop & Brador Srl Filippo De Laurentiis Flannel Bay Gallia Gimo’s Impulso Ingram Italwear/A. Bossi

Lorenzoni Manifatture Mediterranee Marchesi Di Como Marco Deluca Bosso Marol Misternic Cashmere Montaliani Montechiaro Myths Paolo Albizzati Paolo Scafora Napoli Paolo Vitale Pasotti Re-Hash Reporter Santarelli Sartoria Silvio Fiorello Taccaliti Shirts Teleria Zed Tintoria Mattei TWO-BI studiolabwork Vincenzo De Lauziers Vitaliano Zabeo Cashmere Zenobi

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| PHOTO SHOP

DEREK ROSE

VILEBREQUIN

MAYSER HEADWEAR

FRENCH CONNECTION

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HASPEL

A resort-inspired trend that takes a cue from the coast. Think soft fabrics, solid colors, and the occasional print—it’s what you’d wear seaside or St. Barth’s-bound. FAHERTY

MISSION MERCANTILE

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| PHOTO SHOP

HERITAGE DENIM

Ready yourself for the denim revival. Hand-loomed and hand washed, the new denim is all about an old craftsmen approach. With meticulous stitching and an authentic point of view, it harkens back to American nostalgia and the heyday of great jeans.

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KENNETH COLE

FRENCH CONNECTION

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REHASH

RALEIGH DENIM WORKSHOP

AGAVE

RALEIGH DENIM WORKSHOP

PAIGE

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| PHOTO SHOP

DEREK ROSE

MPG SPORT

STRONGBODY APPAREL

PATRICK ASSARAF

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RHONE

AUTUMN CASHMERE

KENNETH COLE

The continuation of athleisure with high-end fabrics and sophisticated silhouettes, Luxe Active is an upgrade on gym-to-street style with cashmere hoodies, luxury yarn blends, and experimental cuts.

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| PHOTO SHOP

HOOK & ALBERT

BALDESSARINI

The new way to go to work. Influenced by casual Friday, it’s classic men’s tailoring with a twist—think boxier jackets, shorter pants and unconventional proportions.

REPORTER

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HASPEL

PENROSE LONDON

ETTINGER

ATELIER TORINO

TRICKER’S

MARC JOSEPH NEW YORK

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| PHOTO SHOP

FRENCH CONNECTION

GOOD MAN BRAND

GITMAN BROS

20 VENTI GRAMMI

STETSON HATS

BRADOR

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COXX BORBA

THE INDIVIDUALIST A trend about not following one, but creating your own. Moving forward in this extraordinary time in retail, The Individualist makes a statement by turning up the volume on his personal style and forging his own path.

RES IPSA

BERTIGO

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| PHOTO SHOP

COXX BORBA

RAFFI

SCHNEIDERS SALZBURG

AUTUMN CASHMERE

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MVP COLLECTIONS


RALEIGH DENIM WORKSHOP

KENNETH COLE

VELVET BY GRAHAM & SPENCER

Stripping away the noise, Zen Style is about extreme subtlety. It’s a reaction to the overt with drapey cuts, monochromatic tones, and softer fabrications — a lounge-inspired trend that embodies inner reflection.

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| NOT TO MISS

SCHNEIDERS SALZBURG

The new, the next, the future. This season, PROJECT and MRket have some fresh new talent for you to discover and explore. Be on the lookout for these brands as you browse both floors this July. Brands: 20 Venti Grammi 98 Coast Av Age of Wisdom Alexander Julian AM SRL Atelier Torino Avenue 33 Azzarini Bagutta Barbuto & Co Berwich Carlos Santos Cinturificio GP & Max SRL Citadin Cotswold Coxx Borba DE ABREU ITALY Desoto Digel Doratex Spa Eric Sana Eurotop & Brador Srl Fisher + Baker Frame Denim Franks Gi Capri Guillotine Hook & Albert

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J Wingfield Jack Of Spades Jean Lorent Kenro Industries Madzerini Malinge for Lareymondie Manifatture Mediterranee MVP Collections Myths Onward Reserve Paolo Scafora Napoli PE360 Railtown Apparel Group Re-Hash Reason Res Ipsa Robert Talbott Santarelli Sartoria Schneiders Salzburg STANTT Strong Boalt T. Christopher The Normal Brand TJMAX TWO-BI studiolabwork Vilebrequin Wool & Co.


PRESENTATIONS Produced and styled by industry veterans, our fashion presentations allow you to get a live and in-person look at the collections our brands will be presenting at the show. Stop by, take a look, and be inspired by presentations from Vilebrequin and more.

THE EDIT Stay one step ahead of the market with the latest menswear trends pulled directly from the brands on our show floor. Get the head-to-toe perspective of what’s on trend and who’s doing it best.

PROJECT + MRKET | UBMFASHION.COM


#BLOGGERPROJECT A curated content experience that bridges the gap between digital influencers & brands. By connecting the right brands with the right influencers, we create live content from the tradeshow floor. Come and visit the #BloggerPROJECT lounge and get a picture taken by our very own @naskademini in the photo studio! Don’t miss out on connecting with this season’s influencers, follow #BloggerPROJECT, @projectshow and @mrketshow for the lineup announcement!

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SAVE THE DATES! JULY 1618, 2017 JACOB JAVITS CENTER, NYC

Contemporary Footwear for Men

AUG 1416, 2017 LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER

Bespoke Footwear for the Modern Man

Men’s Casual Lifestyle & Advanced Contemporary

REGISTER NOW visit ubmfashion.com UBMFASHION.COM | PROJECT + MRKET


HOW___________WORKS BY MICHAEL MACKO

LIZ RODBELL

The president of Lord & Taylor, Liz Rodbell began her career in retailing over three decades ago as a dress buyer for the store. Since then, she has worked her way up the ranks to the top leadership, while also finding time to be a wife and mother. (She was named “Outstanding Mother of the Year” in 2015 by the Mother’s Day Council.) I recently spent the morning in her executive living room to see how she works.

THE DAUGHTERS Rodbell’s two daughters, Hannah, 21 and Sarah, 17, provide a live-in focus group for the retail executive, who does listen to what they have to say. About 10 years ago, Rodbell met with Sam Edelman and told him that he had to sell his line to Lord & Taylor because one of her daughters was incessantly asking about it. She and Edelman are still doing a great business together.

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BOBBI BROWN Makeup guru Bobbi Brown recently re-launched herself as a lifestyle brand and chose Lord & Taylor to be her retail partner. She has done numerous appearances around the country with the store and Rodbell feels that she is is the perfect fit for the Lord & Taylor woman to identify with.

THE ART This white/wood geometric artwork is “Tranche, 2016” by Stéphane La Rue. It is part of the HBC Global Art Collection, for which Lisa Baker, wife of HBC’s governor and executive chairman Richard Baker, is the director and chief curator. This amazing collection of art is scattered throughout the company’s chic headquarters in Manhattan’s trendy Financial District.

THE ICONIC PATTERN Hudson Bay Company, is famously known for its iconic “4 stripe” blanket, which has been interpreted into everything from Swiss-Army knives and canoes to iPhone covers, such as the one Rodbell herself carries.. The Caribou Ice Throw, which sits on the back of Rodbell’s chair, was released earlier this year in honor of Canada’s 150th Anniversary.

DAY INTO EVENING Like most high-profile retail executives, Rodbell finds herself going out almost every night of the work week. She streamlines this process by relying primarily on black dresses (Lord & Taylor is “America’s Dress Address” after all). She wears them to work all day and then does a quick change of shoes, bags and jewelry to create her nighttime look.

PHOTO BY GREG VAUGHAN

FREE SPIRIT ROSES If you’re lucky enough to ever receive flowers from Rodbell, it will be these gorgeous, pink, coral and orange Free Spirit Roses. The rose has a long history at Lord & Taylor. It’s an iconic brand symbol that was first introduced by the store’s then-president Dorothy Shaver, in 1946. Lord & Taylor re-introduced the rose to customers last year. The Free Spirit signifies Lord & Taylor’s adventurous spirit and modern approach to fashion.


UBMFASHION salutes the

2017 MR AWARDS CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE IN MENSWEAR

JULY 17, 2017 “ M A ST E R O F M E N S W E A R ” A W A R D

R O N N Y W U R T Z B U R G E R , P E E R L E S S C LO T H I N G “THE MERCHANT’S MERCHANT” AWARD

J E F F FA R B S T E I N , H A R RY R O S E N “ S P R E Z Z AT U R A” A W A R D

GIORGIO CANALI, CANALI “ R E TA I L I N N O VAT I O N ” A W A R D

M A RT I N PAT R I C K 3 “ D E N I M B R A N D O F T H E D E CA D E ” A W A R D

AG J E A N S

www. ub m f as h i o n.co m


The new CONFORMITY brief BOXER, the comfort of a boxer with the trim fit of a boxer brief.

it’s what’s underneath that counts ISACO International 212.629.0111 | PERRYELLIS.COM

Profile for MR Magazine

MR July 2017  

The Menswear Industry's Magazine

MR July 2017  

The Menswear Industry's Magazine

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