by MR Magazine Staff
John Besch and Andrea Benedini
John Besch and Andrea Benedini

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.”


  1. The consummate gentleman and clothing rep. A gold standard seldom experienced in today’s market. Wishing you a happy retirement!

    1. John
      It’s really great to hear of your retirement while being young enough and healthy enough to enjoy your family and life itself.
      Wishing you all the best
      Michael Apel

    2. ‘It’s not about me’
      That is a lesson I personally learned from John during the many meetings and collection presentations we had together as colleagues in Italy. Always ready to listen and always ready to coach a starter in our Fashion business. Thank you John, “from the bottom of our hearts”.

      Anthony and Philippe Arts,
      Fashion agents for Lubiam in the Benelux

    1. John,
      Your kindness and professionalism to me throughout my entire career was outstanding.
      You set a high standard for everyone!
      Best of health and happiness in your retirement.

  2. I am honored to have the opportunity to follow in your footsteps and will do all I can to continue your legacy!

    Happy Retirement, John!

  3. Like Bruce Schedler I am an alumnus of the old Hartmarx (Hart Schaffner) days joining as a trainee out of college in Chicago. John stood out for his warmth, professionalism and impeccable dressing.
    John, Andrea and all you know in the industry will miss you but we wish you the best with enjoying your family!
    Mike Smith
    The Custom Shop Clothiers

    1. Congratulations John, it’s good to hear all of the well deserved compliments paid to you. You should write a book instructing
      some reps I know how to properly
      service their clients. I enjoyed spending a lot of time with you over many years. All the best!!!

  4. John
    I Agee you are a Pro and more important you are a fine person. Best of luck with your future plans.
    The industry will suffer a loss with your absence 🙁
    David Abril
    Paul Betenly Clothing

  5. John – I remember well those early years at Lubiam in the early 2000’s. In fact, I vividly remember Andrea and I meeting you at the airport in Chicago for our first meeting. I also remember the many sales meetings, merchandising discussions and dinners in Chicago and Italy… and everything in between. It really was fun relaunching the brand with you and you were a huge part of that success. Your professionalism and devotion were always inspiring. Thank you for modeling that for all of us… and congratulations on a well earned retirement!

    1. Congratulations John, for making it to the other side. Welcome to the club. Yes, there is life after the menswear business. I hope that you get to enjoy every minute, and appreciate that you got to choose a new and exciting path. You are one of the really good guys and I’m glad to have shared some of the good times with you. Good luck and happy trails my friend.

    1. Congratulations, John. I always enjoyed our interaction and conversation in the showroom. Kind, warm, genuine and willing to help. Enjoy your success.

  6. Hi John,

    I am also one of the proud people for having met you and share time with you, although brief moments during many years at the trade shows but always with the sense of being in the presence of a well seasoned professional and most important, a very good person.
    The best to you and your family.

    Orlando Velez

  7. Congratulations John on a career filled will a distinguished resume and accomplishments. You and I have a long history together back to when you were the Brand Manager at Society Brand and I was the GMM at Field Brothers. We had a lot of great seasons together and you helped us, when Italian Clothing become so important, to start an Italian division at Hartmarx as part of Society Brand, “Societa Uomo”. It helped Field Brothers enter the world of Italian Clothing. It foreshadowed 18 years for with Italian Clothing. It also enabled me to get to know Italy where eventually I was hired at Marzotto. Your career at Lubiam enhanced you as an Icon in this industry. Every time we met in Chicago or NY, you and I reminisced. I look forward to seeing you one day soon. Congratulations to you and Jane on 50 wonderful years where together you made a legacy and a family.

  8. I meet John when we both had black beards. Today is a happy time to say I have know John since the HS&M days as a retailer.
    A GENTLEMAN he is.

  9. Generally when someone retires, all the positive sides of that person are emphasized and the negative forgotten.
    Having worked with John for several years I can attest to the fact that the positive comments I read are true and actually understated and the negatives… there are none!
    There is therefore very little to add except that, if my memory serves me well, I was the one introducing John to Andrea, which makes me proud of having done something that worked so well. Because I truly like and respect those two individuals and on the basis of this introduction, please let me know when the party will take place in Mantova so that I can crash it!
    Luciano Moresco

  10. John, Good luck on the back nine of life. Knowing your talent and professionalism, you should birdie the last 8 holes. When running into you at the shows, you always had a smile on your shining face and always friendly. Greatly enjoyed your company and wishing you nothing but the best. The industry will miss you immensely. Hit’em straight! All the best, Craig Andrisen

  11. A fabulous gentleman and a true professional! I feel honored I met you, Mr. Besch! I wish you nothing but the best. Cristiano Magni

  12. 11 years ago, as a joined the Lubiam family, I had the distinct pleasure in meeting John Besch. John is a dapper gentleman, a true professional and always willing to share a few kind words. John is the type of person you would hope to encounter in our industry, both as a friend, and as an esteemed colleague. I aspire to one day, be as admired as you, and count myself blessed to have had the privilege to work with such a kind soul. Happy retirement John!

    Angelo zenga

  13. John,
    Congratulations on your retirement from our industry. You have certainly earned the right to say ” I am finished”!!
    You have always carried yourself in the most professional and business like manner and it is great to see you leave on top.
    There is always those chargrilled oysters waiting here in New Orleans on your next trip.

    Best to you

  14. Mr. Besch, Truly a great day to have met an individual as such.May the best be proffered on you and yours.

  15. As a buyer for not only my store but other prominent locations in Missouri and Texas I got to know John. We’ve spent many hours on the phone discussing if our Packers were going to win it all. I always knew that when I walked out of their showroom that we would have the proper looks for our store and merchandise that we would be proud to show our clients. It’s been said not getting to see everyone at the Markets lately but my wife and I did get to spend a minute with John at the last real Chicago Market. I’m glad we did. Like everyone else who know John we will miss both his friendship and guidance. And the great meals and conversations at Shaw’s.

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