NEW YORK — Frederick Goldin, a veteran furrier, died Tuesday of heart failure at JFK Memorial Hospital in Palm Beach, Fla., according to his daughter Anne Dee Goldin, who succeeded him as president of Goldin-Feldman in the early Nineties. He was 85.
Born in Harlem in 1917, he spent his childhood in The Bronx. Fresh out of high school in the late Thirties, Goldin joined the family fur business and stayed there for six decades. His father, Aron, founded the company in 1909 as A. Goldin. After his father died in the Forties, Fred Goldin teamed up with his father-in-law and fellow furrier Samuel Feldman to start Goldin-Feldman.
“My father used to say to me, ‘I’m going to do for you what my father did for me. Go out and take risks, and make mistakes. I’ll fix them for you,’” Anne Dee Goldin recalled Tuesday.
Instead of relying on scarves for the bulk of sales, as was the case at that time, Goldin helped steer the business toward more fashion-driven items. Goldin was among the first to attract designers to the fur business. Under his watchful eye, his company produced fur coats for Donald Brooks, John Anthony, Chloé, Yves Saint Laurent and Hanae Mori over the years.
“What my father really did was to modernize the fur industry by making it designer-driven,” said Goldin, who joined the business in 1980.
In the Seventies and Eighties, he was one of the first furriers to travel to Germany and Japan to export. A former president of the American Fur Industry, Goldin strove to make New York an international leader in the fur industry.
After stepping down from the company in the early Nineties, he divided his time between Palm Beach and Westhampton, N.Y. During an event at the Goldin-Feldman showroom last spring, Fred Goldin said: “In my day, we made coats. Today, it’s fashion and featherweight. This daughter of mine has bypassed me as a designer. We used to make furs for Yves Saint Laurent, but they were never produced in the shapes and weights they are today.”
Services will be held Friday at 11:15 a.m., at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 West 76th Street, in Manhattan.
In addition to his daughter, Goldin is survived by another daughter, Leslie, and his companion, Renee Meisel.