NEW YORK — Arnold M. Raphael, a former legwear executive, died on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Delray Medical Center in Delray Beach, Fla.
He was 82 and died from injuries sustained in a fall, said his daughter Nancy Raphael Friedman.
Raphael had a long career in the legwear industry and was active in numerous organizations and charities. He also served overseas during World War II in the 3rd Division of the U.S. Marine Corps.
He started working in the legwear industry shortly after the war, and spent more than 40 years in the industry, many of them at Kayser-Roth Corp. in men’s hosiery. He worked his way up at the company, holding a variety of positions, including executive vice president and president of the Interwoven division. After leaving Kayser-Roth in 1980, Raphael went on to work at Camp Hosiery, a division of Genesco Inc., and then became an industry consultant.
“Arnold was an astute businessman,” said Mort Gordon, president of MG Enterprises, a licensing firm, and a former editor and publisher at Fairchild Publications. “He understood the marketing, merchandising and financial aspects of the hosiery and apparel industry. Arnold was also a very outgoing and gregarious guy. He was both a man’s man and a lady’s man.”
Friends and family also remember his sense of humor and passion for sports, especially tennis. His professional pursuits and personal passions often overlapped as he was among the first apparel executives to actively pursue sports licensing and endorsement arrangements with athletes, including baseball’s Willie Mays and tennis’ John Newcombe.
He served in official capacities for a number of industry organizations, including the Fashion Association, the American Image Awards and the Father’s Day Council. He was also a volunteer mentor in the New York public school system.
A service was held last Thursday at Gutterman-Warheit Memorial Chapel in Boca Raton, Fla., and a memorial service in New York is planned for later this month.
In addition to his daughter, Raphael is survived by two sons, Richard and Steven, and seven grandchildren.