Mel Goldfeder, The Next Stage

After a highly successful career at Swank and Randa, industry icon Mel Goldfeder (famous for his generosity and unwavering support of many worthy organizations) is moving on to a new adventure, to be announced soon. Here, we chat with him about business and life.

Mel GoldfederWhy aren’t you retiring? You’ve worked so hard your whole life; you have a home on the beach, a beautiful family, grandchildren, so much to enjoy…
I feel great and I love the men’s accessory business and the people in it. I feel I still have much to contribute—both to the industry and to the industry-sponsored charities that I’ve been working with for years.

You just celebrated your 54th wedding anniversary on June 12th with your beautiful wife Barbara. What’s the secret?
The secret is living three separate lives—hers, mine and ours…In addition to being a wife, mother and grandmother, Barbara is a full-time real estate broker, president of the Rockville Chamber of Commerce, president of our co-op and on the board of three local non-profits. She’s too busy to have me around seven days a week!

And the secret to success in business?
In a word: relationships. And of course having great product!

How has the industry changed over the years, both good and bad?
Consolidation at both wholesale and retail has made the big companies so much more powerful and technology has opened many new opportunities, including e-commerce. Technology gives the retailer more information much faster, which is exciting. On the other hand, things are happening so fast that unless you work at maintaining relationships, they can disappear.

Would you advise young smart college grads to enter this industry today?
Absolutely without question! There’s no better place to work than in the men’s fashion industry; I’ve met some of the greatest people in the world in this business. And all the changes that are happening make it that much more interesting (and make me wish that I were 25 years younger…).

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