Preston Hollow People: Brock Lauded For His Career in Couture

For the full text, follow the jump.

Brock Lauded For His Career in Couture 
Korshak owner learned the biz with Stanley Marcus

By Margaux Anbouba

Taking a stroll through Stanley Korshak is like walking through a designer dream. From the perfectly tailored suits to the sparkling designer shoes and the extensive women's couture section, the luxury retailer's carefully curated collection brings in shoppers from around the country. Behind all the glitz and glamour stands Crawford Brock, the store's owner.

Brock credits the lessons he learned as a student at the Darlington School in Rome, Ga. — such as the value of hard work and integrity — as the foundation for his success.

"I was never afraid of [working hard], and I tried to instill it in my kids," the Preston Hollow resident said, referring to his three daughters — Helen Brock, Laura Chandler, and Leigh Friend — who work side by side with him at the store. "There really aren't any short cuts, and hard work pays off. I think hard work with a great attitude creates luck, as some would call it."

His start in the fashion world began when Brock wrote a letter to the luxury retail giant Neiman Marcus as part of a class assignment at Florida State.

"They had a man who was on the road who came by and interviewed me, and I was hired," Brock said. "I got promoted within a year, then got promoted again, and the next thing you know you're there for 10 or 12 years."

Brock's determination helped him climb the ladder at Neiman Marcus, where he met his mentor, the late Stanley Marcus, who was the president of the luxury retail chain.

In 1987, the oil heiress Caroline Rose Hunt asked Brock to move to Dallas from Los Angeles and become president of her newly opened luxury department store, Stanley Korshak. One of the first things he did was hire his mentor as a consultant.

"He taught all about retail, in terms of why he bought [certain items], how you build a business, lots of different things," Brock said. "I think it gave me even more confidence to make that move to buy [Stanley Korshak] and continue to grow it."

After serving as president for 15 years, Brock purchased the store in 2002. Since the change in ownership, Stanley Korshak has been recognized by major fashion publications such as Women's Wear Daily. Most recently, MR — a trade magazine for the menswear industry — recognized Brock with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

"There have really only been a few lifetime achievement awards, and mostly to very special retailers," said Stu Nifoussi, publisher of MR. "Crawford has created a store that is really unline any other store in the United States. Probably the single most impressive luxury store in the country, certainly independent luxury store."

The next step for Stanley Korshak has presented itself organically. After opening a contemporary women's store called The Shak in 2006, the Brocks will be adding a men's department store within a year.

Crawford Brock plans to expand the business one brick at a time, on one of the foundational mantras his mentor taught him: "Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten."