Canadian Menswear Retailer Harry Rosen Dies at 92 – WWD

Harry Rosen, a legendary service provider who redefined the upscale Canadian menswear market, died on Christmas Eve on the age of 92.

Rosen, who handed away in his hometown of Toronto surrounded by his household, was one of many trade’s most extremely revered retailers. The corporate that bears his title operates 19 shops throughout Canada and has gross sales of some 350 million Canadian {dollars}. The enterprise is run by his son Larry, whereas his grandson Ian, Larry’s son, oversees digital efforts for the corporate.

“It’s with a heavy coronary heart we announce the passing of our founder and visionary Harry Rosen,” the corporate wrote on its LinkedIn web page on Christmas. “Beginning with a $500 mortgage and a dream, Harry willed our enterprise into existence one shopper at a time. His ardour for menswear and vogue was contagious; his means to show and encourage was unparalleled. The staff he constructed and the values he instilled have helped our enterprise span throughout the nation, three generations, and almost 70 years. Phrases merely can’t summarize the impression he had on all of us. Relaxation in Type.” 

“It’s onerous to summarize the legacy Harry leaves behind in phrases,” Ian Rosen wrote on LinkedIn. “For anybody that had the privilege of seeing him in motion, you rapidly noticed his success was no accident. He was an skilled not solely when it got here to clothes, however individuals too. Merely put: everybody felt higher when Harry was round.”

He continued: “The Harry Rosen story is the last word entrepreneurial endeavor. With a $500 mortgage from a household good friend, he and his brother Lou opened a 500-square-foot store with no stock. With containers and bolts of material making the cabinets really feel full, they constructed the enterprise shopper by shopper. His eager eye for vogue helped him set up the ‘Cambridge Look,’ a natural-shouldered garment that rapidly turned the look of selection for younger executives in Toronto.

“A sequence of daring strikes would assist Harry take the enterprise to new heights. First, shifting his retailer to Richmond Road right into a location 10 occasions the dimensions, so to be nearer to the denizens of Bay Road. Second, growing a partnership with Dylex Restricted (and Wilf Posluns) to leverage their capital and experience in actual property, manufacturing and provide chain to take Harry Rosen throughout the nation. Third, being a pioneer with new manufacturers; Harry was the primary to promote luxurious Italian labels comparable to Giorgio Armani and Ermenegildo Zegna in Canada and constructed unbelievable companies with the likes of Hugo Boss and Polo Ralph Lauren.”

Bob Mitchell, co-chief government officer of Mitchells Household of Shops, mentioned: “Harry was one in all my mentors. I traveled with him for many years by means of Italy and his ardour for product mixed with being a hands-on service provider was actually inspiring to me. I’ll miss him dearly.”

Though Harry stepped again from the day-to-day operation of the enterprise in 2005, he nonetheless served as an envoy, typically stopping by one of many shops to talk with clients. Larry Rosen has been CEO since 2000. 

In a 2018 interview with WWD, Larry Rosen mentioned of Harry: “My father is an actual entrepreneur. He’s a man who wills enterprise into existence — he’s sensible. He and his brother Lou began in 1954 and in 500 sq. toes, they constructed a made-to-measure enterprise. They actually began by bringing a glance to Canada that Canada didn’t have. In these days it was referred to as the Brooks Brothers look: the Madison Avenue, natural-shoulder look. He truly went all the way down to New York, purchased a swimsuit, took it to an area maker named Coppley and so they duplicated it. And all of the younger executives in Toronto flocked over there. He was so profitable that by 1961, he moved the enterprise to a fantastic location within the coronary heart of Bay Road, which is our Wall Road. He constructed a really massive enterprise after which expanded to a second retailer in Yorkdale in 1968; Bloor Road was the third in 1970. Then within the early ’80s, he began increasing throughout the nation.”

Along with his retail experience, Harry Rosen was a philanthropist. Over time, he was concerned with the Canadian Paraplegic Affiliation, Company Fund for Breast Most cancers, Most cancers Care Fund, Mt. Sinai Mates for Life marketing campaign, United Manner, Heart for Habit and Psychological Well being and the College Well being Community. He was on the board of governors of Toronto Metropolitan and Western Universities and Mt. Sinai Hospital and was the recipient of the Order of Canada, a recognition of excellent benefit or distinguished service by Canadians, in 2004. 

He’s survived by Evelyn, his spouse of 68 years; his youngsters, Larry, Andrea, Wayne and Racheal; 9 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.

Providers can be held Thursday at Temple Sinai in Toronto. The household requests that any donations made in Rosen’s reminiscence go to the CAMH or The Baycrest Basis.

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