JIMMY’S OWNER JAMES JACOBS IS DEAD AT 77
Byline: Arthur Friedman
NEW YORK — James (Jimmy) Jacobs, founder and owner of Jimmy’s, the landmark Brooklyn store known for its high-end designer fashions, died Monday at North Shore Hospital in Great Neck, N.Y. He was 77.
The cause of death was cancer, according to Gary Merzlyak, the store’s manager.
“Up until the time he was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago, he was very much involved, seven days a week,” Merzlyak recalled Monday. “He was a true innovator and was one of the first to bring European lines here. Now, Jimmy’s represents one of the last of a breed of upscale designer boutiques.”
Jacobs and his wife, Gloria, founded the three-story, 5,000-square-foot women’s and men’s apparel store at 1226 Kings Highway 50 years ago. The store was originally called Jimmy’s Two Cents Plain & Fancy and was shortened to Jimmy’s about 40 years ago, Merzlyak noted. Jacobs was a native Brooklynite, but moved to Lake Success, N.Y.
In 1994, the family-owned firm opened a 1,000-square-foot women’s boutique at 150 East 72nd Street in Manhattan. A small shop was opened last summer in Westhampton, N.Y.
Jacobs’s daughter and son-in-law, Betsy and Dominick Lepore, are partners in the business and manage its day-to-day operations.
The flagship Brooklyn store has long been considered a unique operation, carrying high-end European and American designer labels in a neighborhood that bears little resemblance to Madison Avenue. Yet, the store developed a strong following among local upscale clientele.
Among the labels at the store, Merzlyak said, are Gucci, Gianni Versace, Prada, Gianfranco FerrA, Salvatore Ferragamo, Christian Dior, Karl Lagerfeld, Dolce & Gabbana, Vera Wang, Bob Mackie and John Galliano.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Jacobs is survived by a son, Robert, and four grandchildren.
Services will be held today at 10 a.m. at Riverside North Chapel, 55 North Station Plaza, Great Neck, N.Y.