- US NNFIT SC.FITA.184.108.40.206.1.8
- 1981 October 29 and November 5
Part of Academic Affairs records
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.