MR’s Best Buyers 2012

In this special MR section, we profile some of the menswear industry’s Best Buyers. Many of you have asked about the selection process, a logical question since numerous wonderful buyers did not make the list.

Here’s how it worked: we polled our vendor contacts, the people in the market who work most closely with the buyers, for their nominations. The buyer names that appeared most frequently were then tossed into a bin for further investigation and consideration. From there, we tried to balance the list by category, by geography, by demographics, by store and by store type. (If more than one buyer per store was nominated, only one could make the list.) Among independent stores, we tried to include some owners (if they do the actual buying) and some non-owners. Among big corporate organizations, we tried to feature buyers rather than DMMs or GMMs.

Trust us: the process was difficult, and far from scientific. That said, it’s resulted in some great merchandising insight from the best of the best. Not only great buyers, these retailers are interesting, upbeat, charismatic and opinionated. We hope you learn as much from these talented merchants as we did.

We’ll be posting the profiles over the course of the week and indexing them all here in alphabetical order.

Gary Dante, Suitmart

Man on a mission: Suitmart’s Gary Dante is targeting a new generation.

Anthony DiGirolamo, Garage

Street smart: Garage Clothing’s Anthony DiGirolamo captures customers with savvy pricing.

Tony Finocchiaro, Men’s Wearhouse

Wearhouse hero: To hear him tell it, Tony Finocchiaro has the best job in menswear.

Michael Giurici, Macy’s

The daredevil: A man of diverse talents, Macy’s Michael Giurici buys ties and swims with sharks.

Ken Gushner, Boyds

The professional: After 30 years at Boyds, Ken Gushner still lives and breathes the business.

Peter Harris, Saks Fifth Avenue

Theatrical manager: Veteran Saks buyer Peter Harris knows how to move the needle.

Suzanne Jones, Bloomingdale’s

Keeping up with Jones: Bloomingdale’s Suzanne Jones is up on the latest trends.

Dana Katz, Milton’s

Boston boy: Milton’s Dana Katz has mastered the art of balance.

Joey Mendez, Halls

Kid in the Halls: Joey Mendez juggles buying and managing Halls Downstairs.

Thai Pham, Kmart

Raising the bar in the mass market: Known to be sharp, gracious, respectful and stylish, Thai Pham talks about what makes him, and Kmart, tick.

Steve Ramenofsky, Garys

Garys’ iconoclast: A straight shooter who’s as quirky as he is creative, Steve Ramenofsky’s vision is all about change.

Shannon Stewart, Harry Rosen

Nothing to lose: At Harry Rosen, Shannon Stewart’s gamble paid off.

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