Jim Edelman, director, senior buyer of tailored clothing for Macy’s, who many in the men’s wear industry considered the “dean of tailored clothing,” died Wednesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 68.

This story first appeared in the November 5, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The cause of death was not determined by press time, company executives said.

“It’s like losing a member of the family,” said Ron Wurtzburger, president of Peerless International. “I spoke to him twice a day. He was the best men’s buyer in the history of the clothing business and that’s a big statement. He just had the pulse of the market. I never remember him making a mistake he couldn’t fix.”

Edelman was “tough but fair,” Wurtzberger said. “He’d listen and then make his own decision. His death is a tragic loss to Macy’s and the industry.”

Ross Gershowitz, vice president of tailored clothing for Joseph Abboud, said: “He was the dean of men’s tailored clothing. He was a unique individual who had a great outlook on clothing. It’s a tremendous loss to Macy’s. The penetration of clothing in that store is due to Jim’s knowledge and expertise. He was a true merchant in every sense of the word.”

Edelman was born in New York City and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science degree in 1965. He started at Abraham & Straus in 1968 as a department manager. Edelman became a fashion fabric buyer in 1970 and transitioned into the tailored clothing area in 1973 as buyer for men’s clothing. He spent the next 30-plus years buying clothing for A&S and its successor, Macy’s.

Edelman is survived by his wife, Diane, a son, Michael, and a daughter, Sarah.

Services will be 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel at 1076 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Interment will follow at the Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, N.Y.

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