Herbert Grossman, owner of the women’s suit business Herbert Grossman Enterprises, died Sunday from complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 84 years old.
This story first appeared in the October 24, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Grossman spent a few years at City College after graduating high school. He got his start in the apparel business at a men’s clothing shop on Seventh Avenue and 38th Street in Manhattan as a stock boy. One day, a customer came in who was the son of the owner of Manny Walker, a fine men’s clothing store, and said he wanted to go on a vacation and didn’t want to work anymore. He told Grossman to show up at Manny Walker the next day, which he did. The owner of the company wanted to know who he was, and Grossman explained the situation. The owner didn’t want to hire him, but Grossman said he had quit his job and needed to work. He was successful there, and the owner doted on him, said Grossman’s daughter, Carol Abramson.
He eventually left to run Devon Hall and Brass Ltd., which were divisions of Lynnwear, an apparel conglomerate. In 1982, Grossman opened his own business, Herbert Grossman Enterprises, at 512 Seventh Avenue. He manufactured better-price suits in the U.S. that were sold in stores such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. “He was strictly a union man,” said his daughter.
“He was definitely old school He was an absolute gentleman. A handshake was his word,” said Bud Konheim, chief executive officer of Nicole Miller, who earlier worked at Lynnwear heading up the P.J. Walsh division. “He had an integrity about his merchandise. He was good at his craft.”
“He was a really fine man,” added Stuart Kreisler, an apparel executive. “He was meticulous and his quality had to be the best. He would examine all the different product that went out because he thought it would be unfair if someone got a better product than someone else.”
Grossman retired from his company in 1999. After spending most of his life in Edgemont, N.Y., he lived the last eight years in Tuckahoe, N.Y. He was active in fund-raising for Parkinson’s disease.
In addition to his daughter Carol, Grossman is survived by his wife, Bernice; his sons, Neil and Andrew; daughters-in-law Mindy and Robin; son-in-law Scott Abramson, and six grandchildren.