Barry Cohen, managing director of Traub Consulting and a veteran of fashion web sites and leading stores, passed away on Sunday.
Cohen, who was 67, died unexpectedly from a cardiac complication, according to Mortimer Singer, chief executive officer of Traub.
“Barry was a prince,” said Singer. “He was a chalice of wisdom and knowledge, and a dogged competitor and merchant. He had a sixth sense for the consumer and the trade, understood what buyers and consumers wanted, and possessed an innate and natural merchant sensibility. He did not take ‘no’ for an answer and loved the retailing industry and all the people within it.”
In 2012, Cohen joined Traub, bringing expertise in retail, sales, retail economics, brand acquisition, brand management and merchandising strategy, said Singer. Traub is a New York-based management consulting and business development firm for the consumer and retail industries.
Prior to joining Traub, Cohen served as president of merchandising for the Editors Closet Group, a division of Swiss Watch International which includes private flash-sale sites like Editors Closet, Ivory Trunk and Smart Bargains. Cohen was responsible for the brand acquisition in apparel, handbags, shoes, accessories, home furnishings, beauty and cosmetics in the designer, bridge and better price ranges.
Earlier, Cohen served as vice president of brand development for Ideeli.com, another private sale e-commerce site, where he was one of the first employees.
Before Ideeli, Cohen spent more than 25 years in the department store, off-price and manufacturing sectors. He spent 17 years at Lord & Taylor, rising to general merchandise manager and senior vice president for ladies, intimate apparel and home furnishings. After Lord & Taylor, he joined Saks Off 5th, where he worked for eight years as senior vice president of merchandising for the off-price chain.
Cohen was also an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He taught in the school’s continuing education department, in strategic development for retail. Additionally, Cohen was an on-air contributor for Bloomberg TV, as an analyst for the retail industry.
“We will miss his war stories, his detailed descriptions of sales meetings, his understanding of brands, his excitement about a new technology platform, and his infectious enthusiasm for all things retail,” said Singer. “He was quite simply one of our merchant princes, and our company will not be the same without him.”
Cohen is survived by his wife, Leslie; sons Ian and Brandon; grandson Ethan; daughter-in-law Mitzi, and his three younger brothers, Arthur, Allen and Harlan.
A service will be broadcasted by Central Synagogue on Thursday at 6 p.m. via the conferencing application Zoom. For access information, e-mail email@example.com.