Syracuse University will honor Henry Grethel, Class of 1954, with its George Arents Award on Friday during the university’s 2013 Orange Central celebration.
Grethel will be honored along with actor Taye Diggs; sculptor Carole Swid Eisner; advertising and wellness specialist Sid Lerner, and author George Saunders for their professional and personal accomplishments. Grethel is being recognized for excellence in fashion design.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in business administration from SU’s Whitman School of Management, Grethel worked at Recordak Corp., and then moved to a sales position at C.F. Hathaway Co., becoming the company’s vice president of design, merchandising and marketing. He later became president of Eagle Shirtmakers.
He designed men’s wear for Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and Lanvin and went on to design men’s and women’s designer collections under his own name. Grethel also served as president of the Manhattan Shirt Co., where he developed the John Henry brand for men and women.
Grethel was the first men’s wear designer to introduce fitted dress shirts, a category that still drives the men’s shirt business today. His women’s wear business grew to become even larger than his men’s wear.
Grethel is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. He was selected to design the men’s and women’s opening ceremony uniforms for Team USA at the Olympics in Albertville, France, and Barcelona, and was awarded the Tiffany trophy from the U.S. Olympic Committee for his parade uniforms for the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville.