By  on March 15, 2011

John Howard, chief executive officer of Irving Place Capital, couldn’t take his eyes off his colleague Rick Perkal’s gigantic cuff links at a recent meeting.

The two might have been meeting to discuss Dots, a discount retailer they bought in January. Or to tally profits from their investment in New York & Company Inc. Or they might have been sizing up their next fashion target — Irving Place has $2.7 billion in committed capital and an expertise in the industry, having invested in Seven For All Mankind, Stuart Weitzman, Aéropostale and others. But Howard just couldn’t get past the cuff links.

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