NEW YORK–Bud Frankel, founder and chief executive officer of Arlee Home Fashions and one of the top executives in the decorative-pillow industry, has died. He was 79.
According to various press reports, Frankel died of complications from a stroke. He began his long career in the industry by working in his father’s fabric store in Garden City, N.Y., and then co-founded Frankel’s Home Furnishings, a retail chain in the New York metropolitan area, with his brother, Bob Frankel. He founded Arlee in the mid-1970s, and the company has been among the nation’s top producers of decorative pillows for many years.
In time, Arlee grew to include Lees Curtain, a window-treatment manufacturer, and Table Trends, which produces table linens. Frankel is also credited with being one of the first executives to source products from overseas. He served as Arlee’s CEO until his death.
Among his survivors are David Frankel, his son and Arlee’s president; Sean Frankel, another son and sales manager; and Marsha Caparelli, his wife and senior vice president and director of design.