George Feldenkreis

Mr. George Feldenkreis and his wife Mariita. Mr. George Feldenkreis and his wife Mariita.
Mr. George Feldenkreis is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Perry Ellis International, Inc.

About Mr. Feldenkreis

George Feldenkreis journeyed to Miami in 1961, fleeing Fidel Castro’s repressive Cuban regime, seeking freedom and a new-found opportunity in the United States. He was born in 1935 in Cuba to Ukrainian-Jewish immigrants, Elisa and Herman Feldenkreis. He studied at the University of Havana law school and, from a very young age, displayed his determination to succeed in life, his entrepreneurial spirit and resolve to make an impact.

After settling in Miami, George started Carfel, Inc., a company that imported Japanese motorcycle and automotive parts. His enterprising leadership enabled him to create an apparel company, Supreme International, a manufacturer of the guayabera (an iconic shirt in Latin culture).

Together - George as the visionary leader with his son Oscar and daughter Fanny, they built the business into a successful public company. The corporation’s acquisition of the iconic Perry Ellis® menswear brand in 1999 prompted a corporate name change to Perry Ellis International (PEI). Today, privately owned Perry Ellis International is a global fashion house that represents a portfolio of  apparel lifestyle and licensed brands including  iconic heritage brands such as: Perry Ellis®, Original Penguin by Munsingwear ®, Savane®, Cubavera®, Rafaella® Nike® swim and a roster of golf brands: Callaway®,   PGA TOUR®, Original Penguin by Munsingwear® Golf, Jack Nicklaus®, and Ben Hogan®.  A global organization headquartered in Miami, FL with offices worldwide, the company generates more than $2.3 billion in retail sales. The company continues to transform it’s 50+ year history with a diverse retail distribution strategy focused on international expansion, e-commerce growth taking an overall digital and sustainable approach to conducting business via the implementation of technology and innovation. 

George has boundless energy, and it is evident beyond his business success.  He and his wife, Mariita, have been involved in various civic and philanthropic initiatives.  Both George and Mariita are members of the United Way’s Million Dollar Roundtable.  The Feldenkreises support numerous causes in the spheres of education, human services and Jewish community life. Major gifts made by the Feldenkreises have enabled the establishment of the Eva Feldenkreis Feig Ovarian Cancer Center in The Joseph Fishman Oncology Center at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel and the acquisition of a da Vinci Surgical Robot. In honor of his achievements and contributions, George was bestowed the Rambam Award.  He has been a member of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation for more than 4 decades and is the first Hispanic to sit on the Federation board. He also received Federation’s greatest honor: the “Friends of Israel Humanitarian Award”. He has organized many fundraising activities among South Florida’s Cuban-Jewish community, and has endowed the George Feldenkreis Program to foster academic excellence at the Technion Institute in Israel. George was elected as a Trustee of the University of Miami in 1995 and has endowed the George Feldenkreis Program in Judaic Studies at the University.

George has received numerous retail industry recognitions, including being the proud recipient of the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the UJA Award for the New York Fashion Division, and the National Father’s Day Council Father of the Year Award. He also enjoys public speaking and delivered a Distinguished Visiting Professor lecture at Johnson & Wales University in Miami.  A recent Feldenkreis family endowment includes the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Culture and Education Center.

George Feldenkreis holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Havana, an honorary Juris Doctorate from Babson College and an honorary Associate of Arts and Letters from Miami Dade College.

An American success story, George has always paid homage to his Jewish and Hispanic roots, and has passed along his passion for social responsibility to the Feldenkreis clan. George and Mariita are extremely proud of their family and enjoy spending quality time at their home in Miami Beach.  The Feldenkreis legacy continues to flourish with the new additions of their great grandchildren.

The updated Judaic Studies logo.