A sizable cross-section of the men’s wear industry convened Thursday evening at a memorial service for Stan Gellers, the former DNR senior editor and columnist who died in March at the age of 84.
Held inside the rooftop theater at the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue flagship in Manhattan, the standing-room-only crowd paid tribute to Gellers’ 52 years at the men’s wear title and his enduring passion for his craft.
“The industry has lost the last of an old breed,” said Ronnie Wurtzburger, president of Peerless Clothing. “Somehow he knows we’re all here and there’s a column he’ll write about it.”
Among those attending were designers John Varvatos, Thom Browne, Joseph Abboud and Alexander Julian; Lord & Taylor chief executive Brendan Hoffman; Prada USA president Graziano de Boni; Simon Doonan and Tom Kalenderian of Barneys New York; Elyse Kroll of ENK International and Sam Ben-Avraham of Project Global Tradeshows; author Alan Flusser, and numerous former colleagues of Gellers’.
Apart from his enthusiastic and unflagging devotion to journalism — Gellers was known for his witty, conversational writing style, encyclopedic knowledge of the tailored clothing business, and the occasional nudging of his interviewees towards his own point of view, as several speakers recalled to laughter — he was also recognized as an industry mensch who often helped people find jobs or deal with health problems.
“He was a career counselor who had his own agency going. If somebody lost a job, the first person you called was Stan Gellers,” said Wurtzburger. “We’re talking about someone who was a special human being.”
Wurtzburger was one of four speakers at the service, including Richard Cohen, president of Robert Talbott; Marty Staff, ceo of JA Apparel, and Edward Nardoza, editor in chief of WWD and former editor of DNR.
“Stan was the grease that kept the men’s wear industry going,” noted Staff, who spoke with Gellers on a daily basis. “I think many people in this room got to know each other and like each other — or not — through Stan.”
Among Gellers’ traits recalled with fondness by Staff and others was his long-standing attachment to free lunches with sources — where he often gleaned scoops — his movie-star looks in his youth, and his gruffness with both waiters and chief executives in his later years.
“I first met Stan in 1976. I was right off the boat and running Burberry’s wholesale business. ‘Did your father get you the job?’ First words Stan ever said to me,” remembered Cohen.
Cohen called Gellers a legend, comparing him to the venerable DNR columnist Clara Hancox, also a five-decade veteran of the title, who died in 2006. “A legend is someone you talk about, not somebody who talks about themselves,” he explained. “It wasn’t about Stan; it was about you. ‘Speak up, Richard, what did you say? Oh, that’s genius.’ Sure, until I read it the next day and my colleagues would say, ‘Why did you tell him all that?’”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews