I never considered myself a fashion person. From the beginning of my career, I dressed not to reflect my look, but rather for the look I needed. Of course, I wanted to look my best, yet it was never about fashion; it was about success.
Yet those three words “always in fashion” have had a profound impact on my career, and my life. Always in Fashion is the second of my two books, a chronicle of my career and my observations on human nature. The book is not a memoir, but rather a compilation of the stories I needed to tell, those I was driven to tell, on attaining success. It’s a book that led me to
My wife Susie was beautiful inside and out. She passed away suddenly last year and while I will never recover from the loss, I will compartmentalize it and move forward. That’s the right thing to do for both myself and my sons.
My beautiful wife understood fashion. She was never outdone by her clothes or accessories; they complimented her beauty as those things should. Both my sons inherited her sense of style. When they were young, she let them pick out their own clothes, nurturing self-confidence, a love for fashion, and a sense of personal style. As a parent, is there anything more important than instilling confidence in your children? Like style, confidence is forever.
Both my sons, at the steering of their parents, became attorneys who I’d hoped would enter politics. Yet neither has any interest
My older son Jarrod followed me into the fashion industry despite me trying everything to discourage him. During college he interned four semesters at PVH when I was president there: I had instructed the execs who guided him to teach him the business but keep him away from product and design. Then after eight years of “hazing” at a corporate law firm (yes that’s what it was: young associates working around the clock with absolutely no life), Jarrod followed me into fashion, now as brand president of Authentic Brands Group, owners and marketers of Jones NY, Nautica, Juicy Couture, Judith Leiber and dozens of other well-known fashion labels.
Jarrod loves the fashion industry, and he loves to dress. He looks forward to conceptualizing his wardrobe the night before. He gets pure joy from deciding which shoes and which watch (usually a Rolex) will complete his look for the day. I don’t have the patience but he does. And he is always in fashion.
My younger son Jesse is also an attorney. He practiced corporate law in litigation and intellectual property for the largest law firm in the world. Seeing no path to happiness after three years there, he too couldn’t wait to get out.
Both boys are excellent public speakers. I made it my business when I spoke publicly while at PVH and LVMH to have my sons there. I was mentoring them in the art of communication and speechmaking as was done for me by talented executives at the companies where I worked. Jesse is a terrific speaker and is now pursuing a broadcasting career. In addition to being my co-host on the radio (he started out joining me at the studio for moral support; the program director was impressed with him and suggested he co-host), he is currently the morning anchor on Dan Abrams law and crime network and a legal contributor on Fox News, CNN, CBS, CBSN, and ABC.
Jesse too is always in fashion, thanks to impeccably tailored suits from Ralph Lauren, Suitsupply, DKNY, and Calvin Klein, always with a perfect pocket square and cuff links.
As for me, now a radio talk show host, I wasn’t supposed to have this career. From growing up in the city projects, I became a clerk at PVH, the company that founded Van Heusen shirts and today
So, I pursued radio. I hired an agent. I created demo tapes. My agent arranged for me to record at WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the largest media market in the world. WABC liked what they heard and put me on the air at 10:00 pm Sunday nights. Always in Fashion soon made it to prime time: Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 5:00 pm on WABC 770 a.m. My show is also available on Apple’s podcast app. My guests have included Tommy Hilfiger, John Varvatos, Daniela Vitalie (CEO of Barneys), Tim Gunn and Harris Faulkner of Fox News. Of course, I could not have done this without my friends in the industry who supported the show as sponsors: Ronny Wurtzburger of Peerless, Jeff Spiegel of Randa, Morris Goldfarb of G111, Manny Chirico of PVH and Jimmy Gabriel of Jimlar at GBG. I hope they are as proud of this show as I am.
But my biggest hope is that the lessons from my story can continue to serve as inspiration for my children, and for yours. I wasn’t supposed to have this career: I had no relatives who came over on the Mayflower, no internships at Fortune 500 companies. Yet I showed my family that a person with a dream can do anything he puts his mind to. And that’s always in fashion!