We’re happy to introduce yet another member of our MR Advisory Board today. Al Leinen is the Men’s / Women’s Buyer for Halls in Kansas City, Missouri.
Al has been working in retail for 30+ years, starting in ladies’ shoes on the selling floor and several years later transferring to men’s. He’s now buying men’s and ladies’ shoes, men’s clothing, and furnishings. “The best part of my job is the relationships I’ve made over the years with our sales reps. Working together to introduce a new line and then watching it grow into something special, there’s nothing better!”
Asked what he’s learned about menswear retailing in 30+ years, Al is candid. “I’ve learned that you can sell just about anything if you believe in it. Sometimes it just takes a little time…” His menswear crystal ball: “I predict that men’s fashions will continue to be more casual with technology built into the product. I believe the younger generation kind of likes dressing up. It makes them feel good about themselves.”
Al’s favorite industry memory was attending the Zegna made-to-measure academy in Milan with a great group of people. “It was an incredible experience for everyone: learning the art of made-to-measure and the history of the Zegna brand; visiting Zegna headquarters, the mill, and the factory; spending good times with colleagues who became friends. I believe in this business and that together, based on so many genuine friendships, we can continue to make retail fun.”
A few little-known facts about Al: He loves the outdoors and starts each day taking walks with his two rescue dogs; he’s the oldest of nine children, two of whom are in retailing; he’s traveled to all 50 states. He admits that his high school wardrobe centered on faded blue jeans, logo tee shirts, Chuck Taylor sneakers, and, for special occasions, “a beautiful brown leisure suit with a flowered shirt!”