Men’s industry veteran Billy Zelinka died Wednesday after a brief illness. He was 65.
Zelinka was a familiar face in the men’s business, working at Port Washington, N.Y.-based Harbor Footwear for 36 years. where he was VP of design. He spearheaded product design for its iconic Giorgio Brutini brand and played a key role in the G.H. Bass and Izod businesses, among others.
Zelinka began his career at the company under the leadership of its founder Murray Friedman, developing a keen eye for trends. According to Harbor, he “lived and breathed footwear.” He was often on the road, building product overseas in Europe and Asia.
He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Margie, and son Max, a senior at the University of Albany.
Services are private.