by Karen Alberg Grossman

As the saying goes, you can’t really call it work when you truly love what you do.  And if that’s the case, Larry Dykhouse, a retail buyer turned tailored clothing rep (for only three great companies in 38 years), can say he’s never worked a day in his life.

His college years pointed to a job in education; he was planning to be a history teacher and football coach. But a part-time college stint with a great mentor—David Mandel at William Klein Store for Men in Grand Rapids, led Dykhouse to a long and happy career in men’s clothing. “Mandel was an amazing man, having come to this country after surviving the Holocaust. He would take me on buying trips and teach me the ropes. In 1977, I was a full-time buyer: having fallen in love with menswear, I never looked back.”

But always seeking new horizons, Dykhouse ultimately went to work as a road rep for Schoeneman in 1981. (Mandel became one of his best customers.) In 1995, he moved on to Zegna, working with Bob Green, Richard Cohen, Bob Denton, and Giles Preston to build the iconic Italian brand into a U.S. powerhouse.

Around 2009, Richard Cohen recruited Dykhouse over to Robert Talbott where he stayed until the company disbanded in 2019. “By that time, I’d had enough of road trips so when Jerry Girod, owner of Fitzgerald’s in Grand Rapids, offered me a position there, I gladly accepted. Talbott had been their number one brand and my mission became to fill that void. It also gave me an opportunity to work with my good friend David Abbott, which has been a real joy.” Abbott returns the love. “Larry mentored me for more than 30 years in the men’s clothing business. He knows so much and is a terrific guy: I feel lucky to have worked alongside him for these last two years.”

Says Larry’s wife Lori of her ever-traveling husband, “Through his entire career, Larry has always been a devoted family guy, somehow managing to be around and available for all events and occasions. I don’t know how he did it but he was always there when we needed him.”

Dykhouse insists he’s not leaving the industry due to its precarious post-pandemic state. “Having turned 66, it just seems like a good time to retire, to spend more time with family and friends, to do some leisurely travel. But my prediction for the menswear business is positive: although big city specialty stores have been the hardest hit, these are exceptional merchants who are figuring out how to make their stores even more special. As for suburban stores, several have set records in March, April, and May. Between postponed weddings and pandemic weight changes, men are needing and wanting new clothes. And as we all know, men are not casual shoppers, they are buyers. All you have to do is get them into the store.”

Larry can be reached at; we wish him much happiness always.


    1. A true mentor, Larry’s enthusiasm coupled with an incredible taste level made him one of the best. I should know, I traveled with Larry on my first road trip in 1986 when I joined Schoeneman. A genuine love for a very special industry. Thanks again Larry for an incredible journey and enjoy your time off. If you ever come out of retirement, I could use a hand.

  1. Larry, you always knew your line. You showed it like a pro and through the eyes of a retailer. Congrats and have fun but keep it in the fairway!!!

  2. All the best Larry! It was never “work” to work with you buddy. Thanks!

  3. Larry – you are an amazing salesman and a gentleman always. I know you will enjoy retirement to the fullest. Congratulations on finishing a terrific career!

    1. I’ll miss our dinners in NY reminiscing about our 30 years together in the industry that we love so much. Congrats on this milestone, and I wish you and Lori all the best for a fun filled and healthy retirement!

  4. You were the most knowledgeable sales rep I ever had the pleasure to work with. The sales meetings in New York could be chaotic and combative but you were always the voice of reason and calm. It was a real honor working with you at Robert Talbott. I wish you all the best.

    1. It was truly a pleasure working with Mr. Dykhouse. Always the consummate professional, Larry’s thoughtful and measured comments were invariably aimed at affirming the best attributes of a product. A relentless advocate for luxury and tasteful evolution, Larry will forever be passionate about great product!
      May your next chapter be your best!

  5. A true pro. Congrats Larry, enjoy this new chapter on the road. Wishing you and family continued good health.

    1. As Larry’s parents we do so enjoy reading your comments about our son. He has always been a people person and never gave us fits when he was growing up. He has always loved clothes even in the kindergarten when he chose his own outfits. He has always made time for us even though his free time was limited. We wish you and Lori the best!! Love mom and dad

  6. Larry it was always a good time to attend an event with you, and talk shop. You always shared your knowledge and opinions that were very much appreciated. What a great career you had, with some of the best merchants and vendors in the business.

  7. Larry was a fine Menswear Competitor of mine. He even comped me on a free taxi ride, to Manhattan from us both arriving to Laquardia on same flight from Detroit, a few years back!

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