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Samuelsohn had a lot to crow about Sunday night. Not only was it the company’s 90th birthday, but it was also an opportunity to announce to its retail customers that it had made a deal to acquire the Hickey Freeman license and factory in Rochester, N.Y.
This story first appeared in the July 25, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In attendance to help the Montreal-based brand celebrate was New York State Senator Charles E. Schumer, who thanked Samuelsohn for saving hundreds of jobs in the upstate town.
The event, which was held at The Press Lounge, was hosted by model Petra Nemcova, founder of the Happy Hearts Fund. Nemcova became famous in 2004 when her fiance was swept away during the tsunami in Thailand and she spent hours hanging onto a tree before being rescued. The following year, she founded Happy Hearts, an organization dedicated to rebuilding schools and restoring hope to children after natural disasters. The charity is expected to rebuild its 100th school in 2014, which will also mark the 10-year anniversary of the tsunami.
Samuelsohn, which was owned by Grano Retail Investments, has plans to develop a proprietary collection to benefit the charity. According to Arnold Brant Silverstone, president of Samuelsohn, the tailored clothing brand will create product whose proceeds will go to Happy Hearts.
“We wanted to introduce her and her cause to the industry and contribute to her goal of raising money for that 100th school,” he said. And while her association with the fashion industry may not be immediately evident, Silverstone revealed: “Petra got her start as a tailor in the Czech Republic, so she could actually make a suit from scratch if she wanted to.”
Also in attendance was Grano’s chief Stephen Granovsky, Larry Rosen of Samuelsohn’s largest customer, Harry Rosen, and about 200 others who enjoyed the outdoor roofdeck and its paroramic views of Manhattan.