Tootsies founder Mickey Rosmarin's shocking death of a heart attack on Friday cast a sad shadow over the weekend for many Houstonians. Unlike most, I don't personally have a great Mickey story. I would see him from time to time at parties and events, and he radiated warmth and openness, always ready to chat or laugh or share a light moment with a stranger like me. Certainly we can learn a little about him in the way he ran Tootsies, filled with passionate, knowledgable and caring people in addition to all the beautiful clothing.
And yet, as stories have poured out onto social media in the days since his passing, it serves as a further reminder of the personal impact that Rosmarin had in Houston and beyond. Here are a few of our favorite tributes.
- "Mickey Rosmarin was the consummate gentleman of haute couture. The world has lost one of the most extraordinary people I have ever known. If I could say one last thing to him that summarizes over 25 years of admiration and friendship I would say, 'Thank you for helping me become the woman I am today and for always inspiring me to make a statement without saying a word.’ Mickey always stuck to his conviction about how women should look—elegant, joyful, feminine—no matter how much fashion changed, but his taste never wavered,” —Kristi Schiller, via My Sweet Charity
"Headquartered in Houston, the Elaine Turner brand has been shaped by many influential friends along the way. I was sad to hear of the unexpected loss of Mickey Rosmarin of TOOTSIES whose mentorship, support and counsel made us who we are today.
He gave me my first order 16 years ago. I was totally new to the accessories business and Mickey and his team took a chance on me. I think what impacted me the most was that Mickey didn't really have to help me, but he did anyway. I had much more to gain than he did. He was a retail Titan. Everyone in the industry wanted a spot in Tootsies. And, he gave me a shot. That shot turned into me actually believing I could create this business and for that, I will be forever grateful.
Mickey was one of a kind. A visionary, a compassionate soul, and a loyal friend. I think his smile is what I'll miss the most. A smile that lit up a room. A smile that made everyone around him feel at ease. A smile symbolizing hope—hope for a better tomorrow," —Elaine Turner
- "Over the past 11 years of my modeling career I can honestly say I have never had a more, amazing, friendly, honest, reliable, gracious, humble, incredible, (okay, I think you get it) client than Tootsies. The atmosphere that Mickey created at Tootsies was all-consuming, and radiates through everyone who steps foot in that beautiful store. Working there has always been such an great experience—I even worked there outside of modeling because I loved it so much! Whenever I ran into Mickey he was nothing but kind, warm and delightful to be around. You can't work at Tootsies and not become a better person. He created something truly amazing and will be remembered by so many who love and appreciate who he was and what he did," —Suzy Ford Walker
- "This man had a generous heart! Mickey Rosmarin insisted on giving a designer suit to my daughter, Amanda Perry, when he found out she was buying her interview suit to wear at the Miss Texas Pageant, he got involved and called the designer and order the perfect royal blue for a blonde to wear. Then he had them change the buttons from rhinestones to lovely gold buttons. When the suit was shipped by Tadashi, Amanda was delighted to find the rhinestone buttons were included in a special velvet pouch. When sewed on, the suit became useable for a cocktail party appearance when wearing the crown. Mickey was truly interested and dedicated to his customers. 'Only the best,' he would say," —Connie Brady
- "Shocked and saddened to hear that Houston has lost one of its great entrepreneurs and visionaries. With Tootsies, Mickey Rosmarin helped usher the city into a new age of relevance and style. And he did it with understated, friendly grace. An icon. A dear man. The city of Houston and the state of Texas will miss him,"—Jeff Gremillion
- From the Tootsies team: "Today we lost our amazing founder, Mickey Rosmarin. He loved Tootsies, and has left us with a legacy of style and generosity. We will miss his smiling face every day."