CHICAGO — Susan Glick, the longtime vice president of women’s apparel at the Chicago Merchandise Mart who died last month at age 70, was remembered by her friends and colleagues as a tireless champion of Chicago fashion and mentor to designers.
“Susan Glick was among my closest friends and I loved her dearly,” said Margaret Hayes, president and ceo of The Fashion Group International. “A Fashion Group member for 48 years, Susan was, in every way, the very heart and soul of the organization. She was instrumental in the planning and implementation of so many of our major events — Night of Stars, the Rising Star Awards Luncheon and Awards Celebration and our annual Regional Directors Conference — none of which would have been successful without her. Everyone who knew her will miss Susan forever and always.”
Marsha Brenner, executive director of the Apparel Industry Board, Inc., met Glick 35 years ago while she was a jewelry designer and Glick was fashion director at the Apparel Center.
“She’d come into the office to add something to include in the show she was putting on and that’s how we became friends,” Brenner said.
“This is a huge loss — no question about that. We will all miss her terribly. Her very presence, her attitude, the impetus that she put on all of us — do it, get it done, do it right. She was my dearest friend. It’s a tremendous loss for us and impossible to contemplate.”
In her quiet and self-effacing manner, Glick was the wise counsel to many young people, but she was also a strict product person, Brenner said.
“She stuck with that. She stuck to the things that made something good,” Brenner said. “Anyone could go to her with any kind of question. She shared the information she had or sent them to someone who had the information.”
An “amazing connector of people,” is how Pam Ward Iannotta described Glick, whom she met 33 years ago through FGI. “She influenced decades of Chicago designers and design students. She had a natural curiosity about her and was always interested in what people did and how they did it,” said Iannotta, about her longtime friend.
Amy Olson, a fashion show and event producer, described Glick as a true leader and visionary who touched and inspired countless people.
“She was a mentor and leader to so many, including myself,” Olson said. “Her guidance and mentorship pushed me to new heights in the early start to my career and her wisdom is still something I draw from to this day. She had the rare dual combination of an extraordinary business mind and creative vision that appeared in every project or show she produced. I served on some fashion councils with Susan and I was always astounded to watch her carefully listen to the issue at hand and have the ability to summarize the group’s vision in a few succinct sentences to reach our end goal.”
In addition to fashion, Glick was passionate about theater and was a longtime board member and officer of the Sarah Siddons Society, whose mission is to help fund scholarships to promising theater students.
Glick is survived by her husband of nearly 50 years, Larry, her two sons Marc and Eric, her brother Eugene and grandson Michael.