A lot of people probably don’t know this, or care. In any case, it wasn’t mentioned in any of the obituaries about Sy Syms, the savvy clothier who died this week.
But hear this all you local trivia fans. Syms had political aspirations. That’s right– he actually ran for Yonkers City Council in 1963.
This little fact was pulled from the moldy radio archives of WVOX president and all-purpose gadabout, Bill O’Shaughnessy, who interviewed the Cheap-suit King in 1990.
According to a transcript of the interview, Syms said he “lost the election by 2 to 1” to the incumbent, Eddie O’Neil. Apparently he never ran for office again after that debacle.
Syms said he dabbled in politics for 10 years. Maybe that’s how he came up with the winning slogan, “An educated consumer is our best customer.” The same thing could be said about voters.
You have to hand it to O’Shaughnessy, an interviewer who knows how to break chops without crossing the line.
He asked Syms: “Do you buy your clothes at Syms?”
“Of course!” Syms replied. “Well, I shouldn’t say that arrogantly, but yes, I do. And I’m very satisfied with everything I buy.”