Neckwear Notes: Jesse Chao of Vittorio J

Jesse Chao and his bride Marie in Times Square

We first featured Jesse Chao of the neckwear brand Vittorio J in the August 2009 issue of MR, in a story about four up-and-coming tie designers. He started his business in 2006 with money he raised from selling his baseball card collection in college. I caught up with Chao after he got married in April—publicly—in […]

July Notebook: Great reads: Pure Luck: Conceive, Believe, Achieve


Part Holocaust memoir, part American success story, part philosophy of life, Paul Wattenberg’s wonderful book is filled with wisdom, humor and so many insights: on business, on family dynamics, on friendship, on human nature. Those who know Wattenberg as a schmatta maker will likely be amazed by the depth of his perceptions, and by his […]

Texas talent: Russ Patrick

Russ Patrick, Neiman Marcus

For more than two decades, Russ Patrick has shaped the business at Neiman Marcus. Russ Patrick is described by vendor colleagues as “highly principled,” “pragmatic,” “a merchant’s merchant.” “He’s very tuned into the selling floor,” says Mike Cohen of Hickey Freeman. “He digs deep to figure out why things are selling or not. He’s incredibly […]

The Visionary: David Witman

David Witman

David Witman has a clear, customer-centric vision for Nordstrom menswear. David Witman did not intend to spend his career at Nordstrom. He started out at a specialty store in San Francisco while in grad school, switching gears only because his wife Jayme (who worked for Banana Republic at the time) got transferred to Seattle. “It’s […]

Editor’s Letter: Saluting the Merchants

Karen Alberg Grossman

Vision and creativity, still the backbone of our industry. No issue of MR Magazine is more exciting for us than July. In it, we profile our Uptown/Downtown award winners, those merchants singled out by the menswear industry for their vision, creativity, tenacity, temerity. We love the risk-takers, those merchants who know the rules well enough […]

Schmoozing: R. Hanauer grand opening


Tie designer Randy Hanauer held a grand opening for his new R. Hanauer retail store and factory in Fort Mill, South Carolina. “We bought a building on Main Street last December,” Hanauer told MR. “We spent the last four months renovating the building. We moved in Easter weekend. We have our offices and retail in […]

Places: Syracuse, New York


Great schools, great stores! Syracuse, NY has lots of both. It was beyond exciting for me to return to my alma mater, Syracuse University, after many years. (No, I’m not telling the number but rest assured it’s big.) In addition to shopping some terrific men’s stores, I got to check out SU’s Whitman School of […]

MR Q: Jeff Halmos of Shipley & Halmos

Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos

Jeff Halmos of Shipley & Halmos talks about tailored clothing business, growth plans and their newest venture into footwear. It’s been said you make your best friends in college. That’s true for Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos who met as freshmen in 1998. The two went on to co-found (contemporary sportswear brand) Trovata, left the […]

JCPenney: Tips in tailored


DVP, merchandise manager of men’s accessories/furnishings & tailored clothing, Thorsten Weber gives a look inside JCPenney’s growing tailored clothing business. JCPenney is going after the younger customer in a big way and he’s responding, especially to tailored clothing. The retailer attributes recent store growth to men’s apparel sales and the addition of exclusive brands like […]

Macy’s: Strong suit


At Macy’s, fit, fashion and seasonal fabrics continue to drive clothing increases. It’s been a good year for Frank Chellew and his tailored clothing team at Macy’s. For the past 12 months, clothing business has continued to show consistent gains, with the ubiquitous slim two-button flatfront model clearly driving sales. “The clothing customer is back […]