by Craig Beecroft

My brother Morris “Bryan” Beecroft, III, or “Bee”, as he preferred to be called during his reinvention, recently lost his year-long battle with lung cancer, complicated by pneumonia. He was just 62.  

During the ‘80s and ‘90s, when the Fearsome Foursome (Moss, Frances, Bryan, and myself) would terrorize showrooms across Midtown Manhattan, Bryan was our self-proclaimed Leader whose light burned brightest. My mother would often dispute this claim, which led to our legendary “disagreements” at the buying table. While this played out, dad and I would sit frozen in our chairs or cower in the corners waiting for the storms to blow over, and they always did. This has been written before but deserves to be repeated: that in recognition of our “passion,” MR once awarded us “Most Dysfunctional Family” in the industry. They were right (and wrong), but it’s still a source of pride for me. We were anything but boring.

Like most siblings growing up, we scrapped and clawed at each other, but Bee became someone I really looked up to. While still in high school, I couldn’t wait to visit my big brother at Hampden-Sydney College, and when I went off to UVA, I would drag my fraternity brothers there to meet and hang with him. At one point, he took a year off to follow one of his dreams…to be a race car driver.  At the Jim Russell Racing School in Mont-Tremblant Canada, he excelled and won several races.     

Unlike me, who was called to duty by my father out of pure desperation while I was being a ski bum in Aspen, Bryan always knew he would join Beecroft & Bull. At Hampden-Sydney, called “The Preppiest College in America” by The Preppy Handbook, he developed his own unique style that he would bring to the company. He cut his teeth in the industry by working the east coast in a Winnebago as a traveling salesman, repping lines like Dooney & Burke and Pringle of Scotland. 

In his prime, Bryan was “The Man!” He was a good-looking dude and CEO of a growing business with national recognition. He was named “Best Dressed” by the industry in the same issue as our “Most Dysfunctional Family” designation. On top of that, he was a great golfer and successful triathlete. Bryan magnified all of the best traits of our family and business: high taste level, creative, passionate, competitive, ambitious, fearless, and personable. When our parents retired, we were a great team for many years, with complementary strengths. Together, we took our business to the next level. The partnership ended following a tough stretch of time, and he left for the warmer climes of Florida to regroup and rekindle his passions. He played some competitive golf, biked tirelessly, and got in great shape again, but his creativity lay dormant…until he unlocked another dream: designing his own brand.  

Years ago, when asked to describe Beecroft & Bull’s style in just a few words, out popped “Preppies on Acid.” This befuddled our father and others who struggled to comprehend such a radical description, but I knew exactly what he meant: a style based on classic dress, but with a definite edge. He brought this concept to his shoe brand of the same name. He sourced the most interesting leathers, traveled to England, hired the same small shop that produces Trickers of London, and presented a collection like none other on the market. I was so proud of him. He was a “one-man-band” and did his best to launch his unique brand in the middle of the sneaker revolution. And then of course COVID-19 hit, limiting his audience to a small but loyal group of fans who “got it.”  

Even as he lay sick in bed struggling to breathe, Bee was busy retooling “Preppies on Acid,” creating new designs that included a racing shoe. He even researched factories in South America to make the price more accessible. He never got the chance to see this through. Bee always gave everything he had in the tank and fought to the very end. My brother inspired many, but none more than me. His courage will always serve as an inspiration to me and my team as we move forward through the madness, in this business that we all love.

Bryan’s industry colleagues are greatly saddened by his passing. Glenn Taylor from TRC knew him from Threadwize meetings, from local southern markets, from occasional rounds of golf and fun dinners. “Clearly, he had a talent for expressing his style through his personal dress and through his store’s merchandise mix while he was there. He had a very defined way of taking classical basics and bending them, by use of fashion nuance, to create a style of his own. In this same way, he was able to create for Beecroft & Bull a look that distinguished his store from others carrying similar brands. His shoe brand was an excellent example of that bending. He was a lover of clothes, of fast cars, and of design in all things. I will miss his creativity and eccentricities.”

Doug Duckworth from Pockets in Dallas said Bee was “one of a kind. We called each other frequently and our calls could evolve from a question about a shoe order to the precarious state of retail to his car racing escapades. In this way, a three-minute call could turn into a half-hour! He often reminded me that I was his first appointment at The Park Lane Hotel. He will be greatly missed.”

Bruce Liles from Liles Clothing Studio in Raleigh called Bee Beecroft “a force of nature. Born to a legacy retailing family, he nonetheless forged his own path, designing to the end when most mortal souls would be quietly resting. His signature line, Preppies on Acid, envisioned a patrician style through a lens of altered perception. That perception occurred naturally through his creative imagination. His almost manic energy concealed a kind and caring heart and an artistic drive. He was singularly proud of having once been named the best-dressed man in our industry.

Salut, my friend, and may you convince the angels to be a little more dapper!”

22 Replies to “BEE BEECROFT DIES AT 62”

  1. To live your life on your own terms is to be celebrated! The world and particularly our industry needs more kindred spirits!
    Rest In Peace Bee!

    1. The very moment brother Bee entered into Heaven, God said to him, “ I need a size 10 1/2 Preppies on Acid…” Now, it seems everyone in Heaven is requesting Preppies on Acid, so brother Bee has an eternity of well deserved new business. ♥️🙏 I first met the entire Beecroft family at my salesmen Tim’s Corcoran’s trade show in North Carolina many years ago at the Embassy Suites. Bringing my music library and sound system, and cases of incredible excellent Vino I served in amazing stemware. When the Beecrofts walked into our suite Momma Beacroft immediately was not havin it at all. But Dad Beecroft and the boys shared a glass with us all together. Then Mom was a little later convicted by brother Bee to taste his.. Well the rest is history Mom kept coming back every day for more Vino and music. This began a wonderful friendship with Craig and Brother Bee (Mom & Dad) for many years. We have remained great long time friends for over 35 years. I ran into Brother Bee in Vegas at the Tents, and he shared with me his vision of Preppies on Acid designs and vision. I loved his concept and passion, and took some of his business cards with me to share with customers I thought would totally get it.. This sad news of loosing brother Bee caught me so off guard, and my prayers go out to the entire Beecroft Family, and the lucky people in our industry who had the pleasure of knowing brother Bee.. You will always be in my prayers my brother … 🙏♥️

  2. What a great tribute to your brother.
    I did not have the opportunity to know him, but I like the sound of his energy, individualism and his creative “license”

  3. The accolades are deserved and indisputable. Remembering the times had at the Souther Market in Charlotte, NC will always put a smile on my face, particularly perhaps at the event I created Lucky’s Bi-Annual Moonshine Pajama Party. The Beecroft Brothers were front and center in the mix off the event along with the hardcore passionate fashion royalty who worked hard and lived hard because in the end passion is undeniable and will push through everything, most of all the mundane. It is is said that all men die, but not all men really live, Bee my brother…you really, really lived. You’ll be missed.

  4. My condolences to you, Craig, and your family. I spent a little time getting to know your brother at the trade shows after launching “Preppies on Acid.” I will miss his spirit as the trade shows start in Chicago this August.

  5. RIP Bryan, so very sorry to hear this news.
    You are leaving an enormous legacy.
    Prayers for you and Craig.

  6. Craig, I am so sorry and sad to read this news. I was one of those that got terrorized back in the day when you and Bee showed up at 40 West 55th street to view a new clothing line I created called Cheviot clothing and the two of you, at 10 in the morning, were downing aspirin and eating bananas and trying to focus on the swatches! Was hoping that through the “terrorizing” which included swatches flying about the room, and phone calls being made to plan that evening’s activities…. I might get an order! Thankfully and with much appreciation, I did! So many years and miles later, I enjoyed your brother’s enthusiasm as he showed me his “Acid” shoe line as his booth was opposite the Peerless booth at MR/Javits. In the nearly 40 years that I knew Bryan, his passion for the menswear business, his cars and his family never failed to bring out a smile in anyone who met him. He will be missed.

  7. Definitely anything but boring! Craig, the reason I loved working with you and Bryan on your marketing was the banter between you two. It was probably what I missed the most when I left my family business. Great tribute, thanks for sharing.

  8. Bryan was a true treasure – – uniquely special in so many ways. Am very fortunate to have had the pleasure of his friendship for so many years. Thank you for sharing all the anecdotes – – adding further perspective to his legacy.

  9. May you cherish all the positive memories of Bryan during this challenging time for your family.


  11. Craig, what a tribute to your brother. Our company had the pleasure of having many dinners with the “dysfunctional family” dating back to the Corbin days during the 80’s and 90’s! We never laughed so hard as your family put on the show. We feel honored to have known Moss, Frances and Bryan. Bryan and I attended a golf tournament in Florida in 2001 as we were guests of Zegna. Our celebrity was a hall of fame cornerback for the Buccaneers. He missed a putt and Bryan says ” this is not a hobby, get it together!” The foursome picture is still on my wall. Bee was fun, competitive and had great passion and taste. Our industry has lost a great guy. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. You are an awesome brother. Craig Andrisen

  12. I am so sorry, Craig. I was always inspired when you and Bee walked into the hotel during Market Week because of how you two were impeccably dressed. The last time I saw Bee in New York, I told him about a topcoat he had once worn that 10 years later I was still lusting after. It was a double breasted black watch plaid Polo coat. He laughed and said “yep, I’ve still got it”. What great flair and taste Bee had! He will be missed.

  13. I met Bryan an the Beecroft family only a few times but they made a lasting impression on me. The first time, I visited their store and they kindly shared their front porch with me as well and some refreshments. I recall Bryan battling with his father over various business and non-business issues and I was taken back at first but enjoyed the family dynamic very much. I thought it must be so much pressure on both Craig and Bryan to be in business with their family but at the same time I was envious that they all got to spend so much time together. They can be battling at one point passionately and another point shortly thereafter sharing a laugh over something else. Bryan made quite an impression on me back then and I recalled our short time together vividly and fondly. RIP

  14. A brother could not ask for a better tribute. The love that flowed and continues to flow through your family is felt through your words. I did not know Bee, but I feel your love and admiration in every word. My Dad shopped with your father way back in the late sixties when my father was a naval aviator at Oceana. My brothers, sisters and I were students at Star of the Sea Catholic School in VB.
    Funny how time and fate bring people together. Bryan’s legacy preceded him and live on through you Craig. Heaven now has an in house clothier making everything preppier on acid! Prayers and love to you and your family!

  15. So sorry to learn of this passing. I would shop there when I was in school at Hampton in the late Seventies. Always a place to fine classic quality goods away from my home base down here in Chapel Hill. Condolences to your family.

  16. CRAIG, believe this…when we were doing the Zegna thing, we all looked forward to hosting the Beecroft’s for your market appointment! Your family had a passion, (and still does), for this business. Even if it boiled over sometimes, which we all know it did, it is a true great memory for me!
    I will never forget Bryan’s comments to me when I was showing you the Zegna fabrics…”only show us the box rippers, Larry”. Fabrics so gorgeous you can’t wait to rip open the cartons.
    Rest In Peace, and best wishes to everyone at Beecroft & Bull!

  17. Craig, your words moved me in such a powerful way, from a brother in business with brothers, I can not imagine a more perfect send off. Bee was one in a billion, such a force, always leaving the most memorable impression and creating unforgetable moments. I still remember our Florence trip with MR, meeting you guys, the dinners, our final trip to the airport and Bee with the rental car. Always brings a huge smile to my face! We had some great conversations, bikes, triathlons and of course family business. From my family to yours, we send you prayers and light and so many memories of unforgetable moments. Much love my friend. Johnny

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