Stanislas F. Filonovich, a veteran of the retail and innerwear industries, died of complications from pneumonia Jan. 11 at his home in Palm Springs, Calif., said Josie Natori, chief executive officer of the Natori Co. He was 75.
Filonovich was vice president of sales at Natori from the early Eighties to 1995 and also was part of the merchandising team. Earlier, he was a sales and merchandising executive at Boutique Industries, where he worked with the licensed Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Mary McFadden and Clovis Ruffin sleepwear and loungewear collections.
This story first appeared in the January 22, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
He began his career in the Sixties at I. Magnin and Giorgio Beverly Hills, where he was a store manager.
Described by industry executives as a consummate professional who worked long hours to seal a deal, Filonovich was a tall, imposing figure with a silver ponytail who always wore black. For many, he was “Stan the Man,” the go-to person for everything from tapping directional trends and developing key items to securing reservations at the hottest restaurant of the moment in New York or Paris.
“He was my dishing partner, the first person I would call in the morning,” Natori said. “Stan and his partner, the late Richard Lyman, who also worked for Natori, specifically in the creative and home area, were by far the most influential people who pushed the company to what it is today. Without them and their vision and belief in the brand, and relentless pushing over the years, Natori would not be where we are today. Stan was the consummate and ultimate sales executive.”
Fred Hayman, founder of Giorgio Beverly Hills, said, “Stan managed our store for some time in the 1960s. He was happy, handsome and very outgoing. He was a good fit for Giorgio Beverly Hills.”
Anne Keenes, a merchandising and marketing consultant and a former vice president and general merchandise manager at Saks Fifth Avenue, said: “He was an excellent salesman and had a great sense of fashion. He also was an outrageous character and that was reflected in the way he showed you merchandise. Whether professionally or socially, he always had you in stitches.”
Joseph Boitano, senior vice president and general merchandise manager at Saks Fifth Avenue, said, “I know he was a great partner with Josie and was the spirit that helped her to move forward with lingerie. He was creative in terms of product and production, a person who definitely looked for the new and different.”
Filonovich is survived by a sister, Sophie Brudzisz.
Natori said a memorial service and a celebration of life party will be held in the spring in New York. She added that the Natori firm will create a scholarship at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology in Filonovich’s name.