The menswear industry mourns the passing of Paul Diamond, the much admired tailored clothing exec and friend to so many of us, who died on Wednesday, April 27 of pancreatic cancer, two years after his initial diagnosis. Diamond, who headed sales for Jack Victor for about 20 years, was 73.
Diamond started his career in menswear right after serving in the Army. His first job was for PBM; his assignment: to drive Raymond Braunstein’s car and carry his bags. In the mid ‘60s, he worked for 3-Gs, then Delton, Paul Dione (his own wholesale business), Hartz and ultimately Jack Victor. Alan Victor, President and CEO of Jack Victor Limited, said, “Paul was a driving force, a dynamo who dedicated over 20 years to leading and successfully building our U.S. business. He touched colleagues and customers alike with his passion, his burning desire to succeed, his consummate sales skills and his large and giving heart. We’ve lost a great clothing executive and a devoted friend.”
“Paul was a real fighter his entire life,” said Ron Wurtzburger, President of Peerless Clothing. “He never stopped trying for business and he never stopped fighting for his life. When the doctors told him there was nothing they could do, he didn’t cry, he didn’t say why me. He was thankful for the extra time he had and lived every minute of it. I knew Paul for 50 years and he was always a great seller. But more important, he was a great family man and a very loyal friend. He will be missed by everyone who came in contact with him. He was the bravest person I ever met.”
“I am so upset: I’ve lost my older brother,” said Tom Ott, SVP at Saks Fifth Avenue. “Paul always pushed me to ask: ask for business, ask for your people, ask for the promotion. He was always genuinely caring for my family and about my well-being. He was tailored clothing to me: product was a sixth sense and he made doing business with him like doing business with family. I will miss him dearly.”
Noted Stewart Golden of Tailorbyrd, “Paul and I were part of the infamous ‘Gorilla Club,’–industry friends who gathered together for dinner every few months with Jim Zimmer from Men’s Wearhouse. Paul was an unbelievable friend, mentor and industry maven who will be greatly missed. The only bright spot is that he lived longer than originally projected and did really well, even playing lots of golf, for the first year following his diagnosis.”
And from Doug Ewert, CEO of Men’s Wearhouse, “The industry has lost a giant. Paul built lasting partnerships and friendships that stood the test of time. I was fortunate to work with Paul for over 25 years, and I will miss him greatly.”
Diamond is survived by his beloved sons, Craig, Eric and Michael, his daughter-in-law (Eric’s wife) Vivian, his adored granddaughter Samantha and his brother Jay. A funeral will be held this Sunday, May 1, 10:00 a.m. at Gutterman’s Woodbury Chapel, 8000 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury N.Y. 11797, followed by burial at New Montefiore Cemetery, 1180 Wellwood Ave, West Babylon N.Y.