By Billy Neville
Our world is a smaller one today, as Bill Adler sadly confirms the loss of one of our industry’s giants, his brother Bob, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Robert Isaac Adler has died in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan at 65 years of age.
Bob Adler’s creative, innovative and merchandising skills all combined to make a unique and special mark on the landscape at both the retail and wholesale levels.
Most successful in his own right as an owner of a better urban and streetwear operation, Bob had recently been SVP at Spirit Leather Works, makers of Nike Golf Accessories, Will Leather Goods and Bill Adler Designs.
Bob was one of the driving forces and innovators who helped set the unique culture tone for what has become a most respected and successful global brand, Will Leather Goods.
While his brother Bill initially became visible as an actor in the television series Taxi and Welcome Back Kotter, it was at Bob’s urging that Bill began his entry into our industry, with the opening of his Billy Belt Brand, and very first retail store in Venice Beach, California.
Will Leather Goods now has successful retail stores in Venice Beach, Portland, Ore. and New York City, with others on the horizon. The brand also has a loyal, broad following at the wholesale level in numerous retail stores, both in America and throughout the world.
Funeral services are on Friday in Detroit, with a Memorial Service in Eugene, Oregon scheduled later in the month.