Chris Linares, vice president of business development for LMAG Group, a Toronto-based manufacturer of the Hickey Freeman and Samuelsohn brands, has died at his home in Rochester, N.Y., the company said Thursday.
He was believed to have been 69 and to have had a heart attack.
Linares began his career in Hartford, Conn., in 1972 working for Stackpole, Moore Tryon Co. and Allan Collins retail stores. In 1977, he started working with the Hart Schaffner Marx brand, and in 1988, joined Hickey Freeman, starting in sales and eventually taking on added responsibility for sales and operations. During his career in the apparel industry, Linares is credited with expanding Hickey Freeman, Gieves & Hawkes, Burberry and Bobby Jones.
In his most recent role at LMAG Group, his responsibilities included private-label sales development for luxury and premium brands seeking to have their product manufactured in the Hickey Freeman factory in Rochester. He also oversaw sales for Hickey Freeman tailored clothing and dress furnishings as well as Bobby Jones tailored clothing.
Stephen Granovsky, chief executive officer of Hickey Freeman, said, “Chris was synonymous with Hickey Freeman, having spent almost 50 years with us. He was not only a leader in the company, but also the industry. [He was] beloved and respected by so many. He loved this business and he loved the people in it. The only love he had that was greater than our business was for his daughter. [He lit] up every time he spoke about Emmy. I can’t imagine Hickey Freeman without Chris. I loved working with him. I will miss him terribly. Our company will suffer from his loss.”
Linares is survived by his daughter, Emmy, and his wife Edie. Information on services could not be learned.