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Jack Weinstock, August Silk Co-founder, Dies at 82

After 60 years in the fashion apparel industry, he retired in 2005 to Williams Island, Aventura, Fla. with his wife, Sandy Price-Weinstock.

Jack Weinstock, 82, cofounder of August Silk Inc., died Friday morning at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.

The funeral was held Sunday at the Levitt-Weinstein Memorial Chapel in North Miami.

He died of natural causes, said his daughter, Shelley Weinstock.

During his career in the fashion apparel industry, Weinstock worked for Rose Marie Reid and Bobbie Brooks clothing and founded August Silk, a ready-to-wear and lingerie resource, in 1988. In 1995, Weinstock sold his stake to High Fashion International, a publicly owned Hong Kong-based company, but remained with the firm as chairman and chief executive officer. He was succeeded in those posts by Benedict Chan in 2001, and Weinstock stayed on as chairman emeritus, executive director of High Fashion’s board and a consultant.

Weinstock left the firm in 2003 to become president of corporate brands at Intertex Apparel Group, a diversified apparel firm in New York whose divisions included Kikit, Maurice Sasson and Airport, as well as licensed products with the U.S. Polo Association. Earlier, Weinstock served as president of Mariea Kim-20 Ans, and had been president of Remo Apparel and owner of a company called Snap Dragon.

After 60 years in the fashion apparel industry, he retired in 2005 to Williams Island, Aventura, Fla., with his wife, Sandy Price-Weinstock.

Weinstock, who had heart bypass surgery in the early Nineties, was a gourmet and bon vivant who loved life and great food, especially Japanese cuisine that he learned at a culinary school. But after his bypass surgery, he completely changed his lifestyle and diet, often telling chefs at restaurants exactly how he wanted his food prepared, especially no fatty oils.

In an interview with WWD in October 2003, Weinstock said, “I always look for challenges and ways to reinvent myself.”

Weinstock, whose hobbies included photography, movie-making and even a bit of dancing, was ahead of his time when it came to electronics and gadgets, and had a cell phone in the Nineties well before many of his contemporaries did. When he lived and worked in New York, he enjoyed getting away to a home in Connecticut where he maintained a boat, the Black Jack. He was also active with The Needlers Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by a group of apparel executives, that benefits children in need.

In 1999, he survived a near-death experience at Arno’s restaurant in Manhattan, a favorite watering hole of manufacturing and textile executives. As he was dining, a Mercedes-Benz crashed through the restaurant’s front window, pinning Weinstock underneath the vehicle. The accident killed one man and injured 22 other people.

Weinstock was known as a social, outgoing person who loved to throw over-the-top themed birthday parties. For his 65th birthday, he rented three floors of a New York building to create an amusement park and celebrate the idea that “old men are children for the second time.’’

But his 80th birthday bash in 2009, a prom-themed bash replete with corsages, big-band music and dance contests at the Surf Club in Surfside, Fla., was the most memorable. Weinstock had enlisted in the U.S. Army as a 17-year-old in 1946, served in Germany for three years and missed his high school prom.

For the party, he hired Johnny Amoroso, who used to play with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, to perform with his 11-piece band. The hall was decorated like a high school gym with a large banner behind the band that said, “JW High School Senior Prom.’’

At the time, Weinstock, who was decked out in a bright purple suit and hair that he let grow out to resemble Danny Zuko’s from the musical “Grease,” told a reporter from the Miami Herald, “It’s fun being with kids. Some of the kids could be in their 70s or 60s, but kids nonetheless.’’

In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by a sister, Harriet Friedman, and two sons, Richard and David.

A memorial is being planned in New York this fall. Details have not been finalized.