GARYS owner dies at age 74

Dick Braeger, owner of GARYS stores and co-founder of Cole Haan shoes, died Friday, according to a friend close to the family. He was 74.

Braeger, a resident of Newport Beach, was known in the community for owning the upscale men's retailer, with its flagship store at Fashion Island in Newport Beach and others in Tustin and Del Mar. He was also one of the three original partners of Cole Haan shoes.

Braeger co-founded GARYS with Gary Wasserman in 1966 and became the sole owner in 1984, according to the store's website.

He opened the Fashion Island store in 1978.

In 2007, Braeger was featured in the Daily Pilot for being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by MR, a menswear retail magazine.

According to the store's website, Braeger made the Garys Companies nationally recognized with his attention to men's fashion, bringing interest to names such as Canali, Ermenegildo Zegna, Brioni and Hugo Boss.

— Joanna Clay

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