efe-epaMiami

Perry Ellis International, a clothing company founded by a Cuban-born businessman, will be recognized on its 50-year anniversary with a Sept. 13 opening-bell tribute at the New York Stock Exchange.

George Feldenkreis - executive chairman of PEI, known as Supreme International until 1999 - told EFE in Miami, where he has lived since 1961, that he was proud of his origins.

Based in that Miami city, the company that he and his son - President and Chief Executive Officer Oscar Feldenkreis - have led since 1967 has been listed on the NASDAQ since 1993 and posted $3.1 billion in sales in the last fiscal year.

Feldenkreis said he expected future growth to come more from international markets than the United States and increasingly from e-commerce, which currently accounts for 12 percent of PEI's business.

The group operates 71 of its own stores, while licensees, distributors and other independent parties own and operate over 90 other stores.

PEI now plans to expand further with a focus on Europe, Latin America - especially Mexico - and Canada.

The Feldenkreis family owns a 25 percent stake in PEI, making it the majority shareholder.

He said family businesses are a blessing when the head of the family has a vision of creating something that lasts and his children have the intelligence and ability to keep it going.

Referring to Hispanics in general, Feldenkreis said parents needed to encourage their children to study the hard sciences, adding that there is an enormous scarcity of engineers and that the future is in computers and robotics.