Harold Leigh Davis, a former executive vice president and director of couture sales at Bill Blass, died July 1 at the Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home in New York. He was 92.
Davis, who was born in Akron, Ohio, and went to the University of Akron, served with the Air Force in World War II in a variety of theaters, stationed in Reading, England, fighting on D-Day, in the Battle of the Bulge, in Rheims and on the Rhine River, and ending his military career as a staff sergeant. In 1947, he came to New York and worked for IBM and Columbia Gas. He developed an interest in fashion and interned at Galanos Couture, then became a salesman at Hannah Troy, Malcolm Starr and Chester Weinberg. He worked at Blass for 20 years. He left Blass to work for Lihli New York in 1993.
Davis is survived by his sister, Maureece Cutlip, and his longtime partner, George Samen, a former designer for Troy and Molly Parnis.
Davis and Samen met in 1957 as both lived in the same New York neighborhood and frequented the same local businesses, such as the tailor. It was Samen who introduced Davis to Galanos, jump-starting his fashion career. “He loved decorating,” Samen recalled. “Our friends would ask him to decorate their apartments.”
Cooking was another favorite activity; he enjoyed making chili or baked ham studded with cloves and scalloped potatoes when they entertained. They also liked to travel.
Davis was an elegant man who wore stylish clothes that were frequently remarked upon by friends. “He was always dressed to the nines,” said Samen, adding, “He was a very nice man who enjoyed living. And the fashion business has been very good to both of us.”