Harry Rosen believes in hugs (the ones that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside)

Food For Thought Series Lunch and Learn – Featuring Harry Rosen and Leslie Roberts, produced by the team at Loose Button:

We’re not going to lie – it was pretty cool to be sitting on the 33rd floor of one of Toronto’s principal buildings in the financial district with a view spanning the heartbeat of the city.  The company was pretty impressive too – invitees for the Food For Thought Series produced by the team at Loose Button (a fast growing start up ready to take on the likes of Beyondtherack.com  et al) ranged from Julia Deans (CEO of Toronto City Summit Alliance) to Jagoda Pike (former helm of Star Media Group). Our focus in due course turned to Harry Rosen, Canadian fashion icon alongside Leslie Roberts, the man of the hour at Global Television and moderator of the event.  Rosen is the essence of humble and pragmatic. Roberts, is quick and energetic – a stellar combination, if we do say so ourselves.

We asked Harry Rosen why he wasn’t successful entering into women’s apparel.  His answer? Men are easier to fool when it comes to shopping.  They’re loyal and commited, because frankly, they’re not as saavy.  Harry Rosen validates that men hate shopping and because of this simple, yet observant fact, he’s been effective in creating a following of support – a rare feat in today’s world, where brand loyalty is a dying breed.

Yes, there’s an actual person named Harry Rosen.   It’s not just a name on a storefront as a colleague noted, when probing about this highly anticipated event.  Touted as a Canadian icon in both the business and fashion worlds, Rosen’s first advertisment ran on page three of The Globe and Mail.  And yes, you’re dating yourself if you remember the “Ask Harry” campaign that ran religiously for years which has become as Rosen himself puts it, “a lexicon of the city.”

What was perhaps  most surprising about the event was that Rosen’s passion and eagerness for the business which was clearly evident at the ripe age of 18, has not jaded the now 79 year old successful entrepreneur into a Branson (larger than life) Gates (heads down and focused) or a Trump (confident to a fault). Instead, Rosen is a touch of storyteller, a hint of nostalgia and a lot of customer-centricity. It’s makes sense then, that when asked whom he most admires today, author of Hug your Customers, Jack Mitchell takes the number one spot.

We’re impressed by the dynamic team at Loose Button headed up by CEO Ray Cao and are excited for the fourth edition of the series.  And just a note, that although we find men’s fashion incredibly exciting we would most definitely benefit from the expertise of a woman in the business, if you catch our drift.