Gene Meyer Menswear opened in 1994 with backing from industry executive Ben Greszes and Italian designer Marco Wachter. The introduction was made by Saks Fifth Avenue executives J. Stanley Tucker and Joe Cecil. Gene Meyer Men was headquartered in New York City with all production made in Italy. Kevin Ryan continued as my business partner and guiding light for the nine years we were in business. The president of Gene Meyer New York was Isaac Greszes. All production and manufacturing in Italy was headed by Paolo Leggieri who worked very closely with Kevin, our team and myself during the design process. These were fun years full of European travel, fabric shows, stress and red wine. Two times a year we staged runway presentations during New York City Fashion Week.
My love of color and pattern was at the heart of all these collections of clothes, ties, boxers, belts and hats. This was also the moment when slimmer cut clothes were making a big comeback. Growing up in the ever changing 1960s with parents who also loved color and a younger brother (Doug) who loved decorator David Hicks, definitely prepared me for my life in design.
Winning two CFDA Awards (Council of Fashion Designers of America) in 1994 and 1996 was a highlight of this fast paced time.
After a few stops and starts Gene Meyer Men closed in the Fall of 2002. My next fashion adventure was designing Men’s and Women’s collection for the Marshall Field’s department store chain. This was a 3 year deal with Gene Meyer Boutiques in all 65 Marshall Field’s doors.