JAN LAW, INNERWEAR RETAILER, 70
Byline: Karyn Monget
NEW YORK — Jan Law, a veteran of innerwear retailing, died of complications from a stroke early Saturday morning at the Noble Horizons Residence in Salisbury, Conn.
Law, 70, was highly regarded and one of the few remaining buyers who specialized in sleepwear. She was known for her no-nonsense approach to business and merchandising, as well as a feisty temperament when a collection was less than up to par.
In addition to lingerie, she had a passion for collecting cat memorabilia, from Baccarat cat figurines to handpainted portraits.
Her longest tenure in retailing was as a buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue for close to 25 years, where she cultivated upscale sleepwear labels such as Natori, Queen Anne’s Lace by Eileen West and Eileen West, Christian Dior, Carole Hochman, Eve Stillman and Fernando Sanchez. She retired from Saks in 1995.
Barbara Lipton, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of intimate apparel and hosiery at Saks Fifth Avenue, remembered: “I met Jan when I was a brand new intimate apparel buyer. She was someone I was privileged to have known and worked with. She was the ultimate pro.”
Designer Fernando Sanchez, said: “She was a great buyer who came from that certain breed of good buyers, one of the last good merchants for our department.”
Recalled Josie Natori, co-chairman of Natori Co., “She was one of the first buyers I met when I started. I met her at Saks 25 years ago. Before that, she was at Macy’s. She loved lingerie and was passionate about it. She really knew how to build a business. For her, it was nothing unless it was a $1 million business.
“She was very fair with vendors, but one thing was for sure: you couldn’t fool her. If you didn’t deliver on time, or the quality of the merchandise was bad — manufacturers got hell,” Natori recalled.
Natori added that two Jan Law scholarship funds for lingerie design and merchandising will be set up, one for the High School of Fashion Industries, and one at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Law had no survivors. Services will be held today at 1 p.m. at the Mount Rose Cemetery in York, Pa.