Allen Tucker, a longtime industry figure whose career included stints as chief executive officer of Calvin Klein Menswear, Izod Lacoste men’s wear and Alexander Julian, has died at the age of 62.
This story first appeared in the May 7, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to the Dallas police, Tucker was found dead at his home in Dallas last Wednesday with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest and a handgun lying next to the body.
According to the report, police responded to a call at 9:35 p.m. on May 2 for a “health and welfare check” after a friend phoned in after being unable to reach Tucker. The unidentified friend, who had a key to Tucker’s apartment, had gone to the home but was unable to enter because “the dead bolt was locked.” The police called in the local fire department to force entry into the apartment, where Tucker was found dead.
The report said he had recently been in the hospital and had been taking several medications “but it was unknown what his illnesses were.” The official cause of death at this time is “unexplained,” according to the report.
Edward Jones 3rd, who called Tucker a “troubled and wonderful friend,” said they had been neighbors with adjoining horse farms in suburban New York. “He was one of the greatest merchants of all time in our industry. He was a very talented man who accomplished a lot and trained a lot of people.”
“He had his problems, but he was a larger than life character,” said Alexander Julian.
“I hired him when I started Calvin Klein Menswear to be president of the sportswear division,” said Michel Zelnik, the former chief executive officer of Bidermann Industries. “Then I made him president of the whole thing.
“He was a very likeable man who was crazy, but his craziness was a kind of genius. He didn’t know when something wasn’t possible. But he’d been having problems for a long time. It’s really very sad.”
Barry Schwartz, co-founder and former chairman of Calvin Klein Inc., said: “He was a wonderful guy. He worked for us early on in the men’s area. He was so full of life and energy, he was a great guy to be around. He was always extremely enthusiastic and he passed that enthusiasm along to his people. It’s just terribly shocking.”
In recent years, Tucker had worked on several brand initiatives in the industry. In 2001, he was enlisted by J.C. Penney Co. Inc. to help revive the retailer’s traditional Hunt Club private label and reinvent it as a lifestyle brand. And in 2005, he linked up with Manuel, the Nashville couturier famous for his rhinestone suits, to launch a ready-to-wear collection for men and women. Tucker, who had been married four times, has five children.
Information on services was unavailable at press time.