Paul Daube, the founder and president of Daube Co. Big & Tall, died on Saturday, May 5, at the age of 78. His funeral and interment followed on Thursday, May 10.
Daube was among the most ubiquitous figures in the men’s apparel market, making it his business to know what was going on not just with the manufacturers and retailers in the Big & Tall market to whom he devoted his career, but also to the complete range of fashion, business, merchandising and marketing developments going on throughout the worlds of menswear, apparel, retailing and business in general.
His career wasn’t without controversy or contention either. Some considered Daube and its retail affiliates in Big and Tall Associates to be an exclusive group that discouraged competition within the marketplace. Just four years ago, he engineered the move of the Daube shows to Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.
Still, the impact of his work ran deep, giving shape to the growing B&T business and – as this writer can easily recall as someone who received numerous calls from him discouraging the sort of journalism that might attract uncommitted neophytes to business requiring expertise and intense levels of service – doing what he could to keep it a true specialty business.
Daube worked tirelessly for the B&T market for nearly 50 years and many were surprised to learn upon his passing that he was also a passionate conservationist. After his death, his family asked that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Wilderness Society, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Friends of the Earth or the Ocean Conservancy.
MRketplace.com has already heard from several friends and acquaintances of Daube after reporting the news of his demise (see below). Please join us in this online tribute to a remarkable man – click here to go to the MRketplace Community Forums.
Some of the comments already offered by MRketplace.com readers:
“Paul was a good businessman, a leader and certainly a major force in the Big & Tall segment of the industry…. He was always a true gentleman and he had such an easygoing, professional manner about him. Paul truly cared about the people he did business with and he cared a great deal about all of the members of the BATA group and he always had their best interests in mind. We will certainly miss him and his presence at the shows especially.”
Managing Director, Sales and Marketing, Chicago Collective
“Most people agree that he was not only a professional and a gentleman but was a respected giant in this industry. I am attaching a picture that I took on a recent Merchandise Committee trip to New York (above). As you can see nothing made Paul happier than to be working.”
Merchandiser, Big and Tall Associates (BATA)
“I knew Paul for many years from my time at Newport Harbor through my present position at Rainforest. Whether my company was a Daube Group/BATA member or not, Paul always had a big hello and a warm handshake whenever we saw each other.”
“I had the privilege of meeting Paul 2 years ago at the Chicago Show. He was the primary reason for having me become a vendor for the Big & Tall group. In my mind he was a gentle and very positive person, always looking to help in whatever situation that might occur. I will always remember Paul’s comforting smile! He will be sorely missed.”
President, TLS International