The latest issue of Menswear — the consumer magazine put out by trade pub WWD Men’s — features a profile on Brooks Brothers CEO Claudio Del Vecchio, shepherd of the Golden Fleece empire, which will pass $1 billion in sales this year.
Fairchild Publications has kindly ungated the story for Ivy Style readers.
Old-school types may have a tough time swallowing some of the quotes, such as:
“We have a healthy respect for the past, but we’re not completely influence by it,” Del Vecchio says. From the outset, he explains, his plan was to be “an innovator, not a conservator.”
Of course, it was Brooks Brothers’ innovation that gave us the pink oxford, the Number One Sack Suit, rep ties going angled in the American direction, and everything else the company is famous for. It never stood still — companies that stand still don’t last for two centuries. It’s just that a certain segment believes it reached a state of perfection between the ’50s and the ’80s and wishes it would stay frozen in that mold.
The article boasts several bits of trivia:
• Del Vecchio lives on Long Island
• His father is the second-richest man in Italy, and 59th on the Forbes billionaire list
• Luxottica (the company his father founded, and where Del Vecchio began his career) was the first foreign company to go public on the NYSE before going public in its own country.
Finally, the article reveals that two of Brooks Brothers’ potential suitors during the troubled Marks & Spencer years included Men’s Wearhouse and Polo Ralph Lauren.
One can’t help but wonder how the company would be different today with either of those two as stewards.