Marking the end of a slightly too long era that you could always have hemmed, discount suit retailer Men’s Wearhouse has fired its founder and bearded public face George Zimmer, ousting him from the company he founded 40 years ago. Since the mid-1980s, Zimmer had been a comfortable, if slightly weird-around-the-crotch presence on American television, offering his sworn blood oath that you would be pleased with your slightly outdated or overstocked designer clothes, or he would commit ritualistic suicide for shaming himself. Or, as Zimmer put it, “You’re gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it.”
Unfortunately, as Men’s Wearhouse attempted to update its own image by bringing in designer Joseph Abboud as creative director, it decided it no longer liked the way Zimmer looked. It began angling to transition the 64-year-old to a less prominent role, and searching for a spokesman who could better appeal to “the millennial consumer,” such as a suit stuffed with tweets and Hunger Games. (“You’re gonna Instagram the way you look. NO SHIT.”) Zimmer says that, after he expressed his qualms about the direction of the company he’d built, the board chose to “silence my concerns by terminating me,” sending him out into the world with nothing but the 40,000 suits on his back. (And $2.7 million in severance pay. And another $1 million over the next four years for licensing his image. And a free tie.)
In the wake of Zimmer’s departure, there are officially no guarantees in life.
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