NEW YORK — As the denouement to a fashion career that has stretched nearly six decades, Gloria Gelfand has decided she’s finally ready to strike out on her own.

This story first appeared in the June 26, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Gelfand,” as she is familiarly known by the heads of virtually every major department and specialty store, is in the midst of setting up Gelfand Marketing Associates, a new marketing consultancy at 10 East 39th Street. She is bringing with her a roster of clients from her former post for the past three years, as a director at Jassin-O’Rourke, including Lafayette 148, Andrew Urbain, Nuevo Chic, New Ltd. Image and Galleria Veneto Naples.

Gelfand’s career has included top positions at several international design houses, including roles as president of Escada and Louis Feraud. She has been working as a consultant since 1997 and specializes in merchandising and marketing programs for companies looking to break into the U.S.

Gelfand said she was looking to break out of the former partnership, which was formed in 1999 with Mahoney, Cohen & Co., to concentrate her energies on her client base. She will continue to work in association with a group of industry specialists in public relations, marketing, licensing and other areas.

“[I want] to work with newly emerging designer talent to get better retailer understanding for offerings that create new product challenges and excitement,” she said.

Gelfand started her career at White Stag in 1944, taking a receptionist job after high school and eventually rising to the rank of vice president there. She went on to take senior management positions at Sportempos and at two bridge apparel launches under conglomerates General Mills and The Leslie Fay Co. in the Seventies, before joining Escada in 1981. She also brought Rena Lange to the U.S. in 1990, and became vice president of Ferragamo in 1992 and president and chief executive of Feraud in 1994.”

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