item 8 - Fred Pomerantz interview, 1981 October 29 and November 5

Open original Digital object

Identity area

Reference code

US NNFIT SC.FITA.3.20.4.9.1.8

Title

Fred Pomerantz interview, 1981 October 29 and November 5

Date(s)

  • 1981 October 29 and November 5 (Creation)

Level of description

item

Extent and medium

Original media: 2 audio cassettes

Context area

Name of creator

(1903-1986)

Biographical history

Fred Pomerantz, born in New York City in 1903, started working before the age of 11 for a firm manufacturing coats and suits. Before the age of 20 he had gone into business with a brother. Around the age of 31, he retired temporarily from the apparel business and went to California to engage in various business enterprises, which were largely unsuccessful. He returned to New York and the apparel industry, and in 1938 he launched Leslie Fay, Inc., naming the business after his daughter. In 1955, his son John joined the firm, setting up and running Joan Leslie, Inc. In 1972, John Pomerantz became the President of the parent company and Fred Pomerantz became the Chairman. Fred Pomerantz retired in 1982, and passed away in 1986. Mr. Pomerantz served on the Board of Directors of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries from 1967-78. After his death, the Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center building was named for him in recognition of a donation by his son, John J. Pomerantz, a former member of Fashion Institute of Technology’s Board of Trustees and foundation.

Name of creator

(1924-1995)

Biographical history

"Mildred Finger Haines ... helped shape fashion tastes for four decades as a top buyer for department stores and a consultant to clothes makers and retailers.... From the late 1940's through the late 1960's, Mrs. Haines, known throughout her career as Mildred Finger, was a buyer of ready-to-wear at Macy's, Ohrbach's and Bergdorf Goodman, and was one of New York City's most often cited taste makers. At Bergdorf's, in particular, she was noted for bringing European styles to American consumers. She later became Vice President of Charles of the Ritz, headed fashion merchandising for Yves St. Laurent and became an independent consultant, with clients like the Limited and Arthur D. Little. Suffering from multiple sclerosis, she retired in 1986. In succeeding years, she frequently contributed her knowledge of the fashion industry to the oral history projects of the American Jewish Committee and the Fashion Institute of Technology...." New York Times Obituary, 1995

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fred Pomerantz, long-time CEO and founder of Leslie Faye, discusses his start in the ready-to-wear business at age 10. Although he was briefly fired for insubordination, by age 18 he was running all of M.B. Kaufman. He then went into business with his brother, Michael. Pomerantz Brothers sold fur coats, and Fred talks colorfully of his sales methods. After enlisting as a teen during World War I, Fred attended a training camp. He talks about being the only Jewish person there and how, after being bullied to the point of being hospitalized, he came back and gained the respect of the rest of the camp. After a falling out with his brother ended their joint business endeavor, Fred founded Fred Pomerantz, Inc. and started in the dress business. That would lead him to found Silver Pom, for which he procured a factory in Mechanicsville, New York. Fred eventually moved to California to get into the retail business. He mentions proximity to Hollywood and tells the story of inviting 100 people to see him act in a Cary Grant film, only to find that his scene had been cut. Fred got into the retail business out west to little success and eventually returned to New York where he took a job with a piece goods house. Fred talks about the launch of Pommette and the realization of his dream to open Leslie Fay: a firm encompassing fashion, fashion shows, and annual advertisements in major women’s magazines. He tells a colorful anecdote about Dorothy Dean of AMC, and mentions his column in Women’s Wear entitled, “If I Was the King of Garment Town.” Fred goes on to say that Leslie Fay was the first company to produce petite dresses, and details his hard policies on sales. Leslie Fay went public in 1962 and Fred began building management up and increasing staff, while ensuring the maintenance of exceptional quality control. Fred also discusses two presidents of his company: Zachary Buchalter and John Pomerantz, his son.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

  • Legacy audio ID no: AOH117
  • Legacy video ID no: N/A
  • Legacy transcription ID no: T2?

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places