by Karen Alberg Grossman
Stevi Goetz

MR magazine is saddened to report the passing of Westcoast Exclusive co-founder Stevi Goetz. She was a beautiful and vibrant 83 years old and very much loved in the fashion industry. Although few knew because she never complained, Stevi suffered many years with a blood disease that very recently progressed into acute leukemia, shocking everyone. But according to daughters Kelli and Amy, she died the way she wanted to: at home, without pain, with her family by her side. 

A well-respected leader in the menswear industry, Stevi was, with her husband Herb, the originator and principal of Touch USA, creating the signature unconstructed sportcoat as worn by Don Johnson on the hit TV show Miami Vice. Stevi and Herb then became partners with Hyela Makoujy and Larry Hymes in the Westcoast Exclusive Trade Show in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. (The show was ultimately purchased by Business Journals and evolved into MRket.)

“When Stevi and her husband Herb joined the Westcoast Exclusive in 1997, she and I became not just business partners but also close personal friends,” says Hyela Makoujy. “Stevi had such a calming influence and wonderful thought process. She was always a voice of reason when we had to make tough decisions. When we had particularly difficult vendors, we would have Stevi call and work with them. They all loved and respected her. Not only was Stevi beautiful and glamorous, she was the most thoughtful and loving person and l will miss her dearly.”

Recalls Ken Haruta, director of The West Coast Trend Show, “I will always remember Stevi because she was a kind soul with a big personality. Stevi was truly special and always made you feel good after seeing her. We will all miss her very much. Rest in Peace Stevi.”

Stevi’s daughters Amy and Kelli Freeman tried to sum up the heartfelt remarks of several hundred friends and family members at last week’s memorial service. “Stevi was a vibrant, classy woman and trend setter who brightened every room with her smile and larger-than-life personality. She brought light, love and laughter to all she encountered. She was a genuinely compassionate person who made friends easily and kept them because she truly cared. She had a unique ability to turn lemons into lemonade, and always reminded us ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!’”

In addition to her daughters, Stevi is survived by sons Randy Freeman and Matthew Goetz and cherished grandchildren Jamie, Meisha, Jordan and Danielle, and great-granddaughters Kali and Zoe.

For those so inclined, memorial contributions can be made to The Amanda Foundation and Skirball Hospice/L.A. Jewish Home.


  1. She was a wonderful person and a fantastic merchant.
    I personally want to send my deepest condolences to the entire Goetz family
    May she Rest In Peace

  2. She was an amazing woman who brightens your day every time you spoke to her. She always stayed positive no matter what was going on.
    my deepest condolences to the family.

  3. I’ve been doing trade shows for over 40 plus years now, and I’ve always said this to Larry Hymes and Stevi, that their show was in my opinion the BEST trade show in our industry ever!! When Larry was still with us, he would always ask me when ever we would bunk into one another, what my very favorite trade show was? He always got a big kick out of me saying “The West Coast Exclusive Show”. And I honestly meant it..!!!
    Stevi was such a humble soul, we’ve lost another icon in our industry. My prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to Stevi’s wonderful family. I just keep thinking that Larry and Stevi are already creating a Heavenly Trade Show.. I’m sure there are so many great souls in Heaven in need to shop for some new trendy heavenly wings. 🙏
    ♥️ You Stevi, I know I could say Rest In Peace Stevi, but I know you’re already busy up there. I was honored to have met and worked with you.. 😎

    1. Deepest condolences to Stevi’s family. Her warm smile and personality will be missed by all of us in the industry who knew her from the shows. I hope Bill Lavin is right, and that she and Larry are working on a heavenly trade show. If so, they’ll be amongst the many giants of the apparel business we’ve lost.

      1. You know it Roger! Thank you. We appreciate everyone’s comments, we loved our mom so much. Kelli and family

    2. Bill, no words! Thank you, Heavenly trade show and party in the sky! Kelli and family

  4. I’m so saddened to hear this news. Steve and Herb were always so kind and genuine. I have nothing but fond memories of our times together.
    My deepest sympathies to Amy, Kelli and the Goetz family. As Mr. Keller above mentions, I can only imagine what Herb, Stevi and Larry are up to now.

    1. Patrick, unbelievable, such losses for us, but so grateful to know she’s at peace! Thank you, Kelli and family

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