After 18 years of flawless service for Lubiam, and a total of 46 years spent in the fashion industry, master salesman John Besch says goodbye to the menswear world. This is how Andrea Benedini, Lubiam’s Export Director, and industry professionals remember him.
“I met John Besch 18 years ago when I moved to the United States to run the New York offices of Lubiam, the Italian men’s company my great-grandfather founded in 1911,” says Benedini. “It didn’t take long to convince John to join me in our plan to re-launch our brands in the North-American market. He immediately believed in Lubiam, and I did believe in him.
After two years he gave up all his other fashion lines to become our exclusive agent.
It was clear from the beginning that John represented the perfect gentleman, the kind I always wanted to associate my family-owned company with. It was the best choice I could have ever made.
Day after day, season after season, year after year, John set an absolutely perfect example for Lubiam, and for its clients. He carried himself impeccably. Nevertheless, I didn’t feel fortunate only because of John’s flawless professionalism: most importantly, because of his humanity. For eight years I have been traveling with him across the Midwest, his target area, visiting every single client. Our road trips became more than professional excursions, they were life journeys: fun, joyful, and profound. Because of John I even bought my first share of the Green Bay Packers!
Anecdotes aside, this gentleman knows very well that I consider him my beloved American father. Like a true father figure, he’s always been supportive, inspiring, and present.
When COVID-19 came into our lives, there were no more trade shows, no more meetings in New York, and no more trips to Mantova, our company’s hometown. Working from home became the norm. Smartphones and Zoom meetings took over. As the world changed drastically, so did the rules of our business. After thoughtful consideration, John decided to spend more time with his amazing kids, grandkids, and, above all, his beloved Jane. Together they celebrated 50 years of marriage, on June 13th.
I will miss John a lot. But, when this pandemic ends, my favorite ‘Goldenweds’ will fly to Mantova as our guests, to receive the proper farewell celebration from my family, from our employees, and from myself. I am sure there will be lots of tears and lots of hugs, Italian style.
Only then it will be the perfect time to simply say: ‘Thank you, John.’
In the meantime, GO PACKERS!”
Bruce Scheduler, Vice President of Chicago Collective and Stylemax Trade Shows, adds, “I have known John since our days together at Hart Schaffner Marx in the early ‘80s. John is the consummate gentleman with impeccable taste and is as professional and dapper as they come (I picture John gardening in a Luigi Bianchi Mantova sportcoat). I will miss the ‘family dinners’ we had with John’s buyers (who are more like friends than buyers) at Shaw’s Crab House every single season during the Chicago Collective. All of us have much respect and love for John and we toast him now as we toasted him at each dinner! I wish John and Jane the best in their next chapter.”
Bill Sizer and Roger Pothus, of Renaissance Ann Arbor, says, “John Besch introduced us to ‘The Lubiam Family’ and what a great relationship it has been. It is because of John who is the ultimate, well-dressed, and gracious gentleman that this family atmosphere of business has been successful. We will miss John for his help and guidance and the great times we shared together.”
Stuart Mercer, owner of Stuart Mercer Gentleman’s Clothing Shoppe, says, “John Besch is a consummate professional. He never let the day end without trying to find the answer. John loved being on the road, traveling to stores, and meeting clients. There are not many like him anymore. I’ll miss him for sure.”
Adds Marc Spero, Vice President at Lubiam USA, “John is more than a great salesperson. He is a wonderful human being. He is warm, kind, and incredibly personable. John has fantastic relationships with his clients, associates, and friends. He is most proud of his wife, children, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. It has been a real honor to work with John over the last 7 years. The Lubiam team will miss him very much!”
And, Larry Lentini, Senior Account Executive at Lubiam USA, concludes, “I am honored to have had the privilege to know and work with John. A true gentleman. Kind, caring always willing to give helpful advice from his endless knowledge of the clothing business. He is a Titan of our industry and will be sorely missed.”