About This Video
FIT Oral History: Fred Pomerantz
DATE INTERVIEWED: October 29 and November 5, 1981
SUMMARY: Mildred Finger interviews Fred Pomerantz, founder of Leslie Fay, Inc. shortly before his retirement from the apparel industry.
BIOGRAPHY: Fred Pomerantz, born in New York City in 1903, started working before the age of 11 for a firm manufacturing coats and suits. Before the age of 20 he had gone into business with a brother. Around the age of 31, he retired temporarily from the apparel business and went to California to engage in various business enterprises, which were largely unsuccessful. He returned to New York and the apparel industry, and around 1938 he launched Leslie Fay, Inc., naming the business after his daughter. In 1972, John Pomerantz became the President of the parent company and Fred Pomerantz became the Chairman. Fred Pomerantz retired in 1982, and passed away in 1986. Mr. Pomerantz served on the Board of Directors of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries from 1967-78. After his death, the Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center building was named for him in recognition of a donation by his son, John J. Pomerantz, a former member of Fashion Institute of Technology’s Board of Trustees and foundation.
Leslie Fay was founded around 1938, incorporated in 1959, became a public company in 1967, and became "private" once again in 1982, at which time it was estimated to have achieved a volume of about $250,000,000. In 1993 the company experienced a severe accounting scandal, which forced it to declare bankruptcy. The company slowly recovered, however it never reached the same dominance as it previously had.
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