by Karen Alberg Grossman
Larry Hymes
Larry Hymes

The menswear industry is in a state of shock and sorrow to learn of the passing of Larry Hymes, a well-loved sales executive and friend to so many. He died early yesterday morning of heart failure and repercussions from an accident two years ago from which he never completely recovered. He is survived by his adored daughter Nicole and literally hundreds of good friends: from his childhood, from the industry, and from daily life. He was 72.

Hymes grew up in Flushing, Queens, went to Queens College, and moved to Los Angeles in 1974. He was a West Coast rep for several great menswear brands and a partner in launching the West Coast Exclusive trade show in 1998, which moved to Las Vegas in 2002. The show was purchased by Business Journals in 2007 and Hymes stayed on for another eight years. All of us at MR magazine and the MRket show quickly grew to love him; we are forever grateful for the laughter, compassion and friendship that he brought into our lives.

His industry friends are devastated. Says Marc from Marc & Vinny, “Larry meant so much to so many. He was inspiration, he was funny, and he was a mentor and a teacher. He was a great listener and a shoulder to lean on. I know I am a better person for knowing him.”

“He was one of the good guys,” says Steve Sockolov. “A straight shooter and a real mensch.” Adds Chris Calligan, “He always had a smile and something nice to say.” Sums up Mike Zack, “A good man with a good heart.” “Larry was a wonderful man who could always make us laugh,” recalls Diane Viscovich.

Lucky Naham agrees. “We laughed a lot. Larry was a pleasant, peaceful, loving person and so good at his work. He will be greatly missed.” And from Roger Keller, “He was a most positive person: always upbeat, always smiling; even after his accident he was eager to stay involved.”

Known to be a problem solver and a relationship builder, Larry truly loved the menswear industry, according to his daughter Nicole. A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, May 17 at 1:30pm at Wellwood Cemetery located at 1400 Wellwood Avenue in Wyandanch, NY.

RIP Larry our wonderful friend: we miss you already.