The co-founder of the clothing brand Henri Lloyd, Henri Strzelecki, has died aged 87. The Polish-born former soldier and keen sailor was 'a visionary pioneer who sailed away peacefully,' on Boxing Day.
Under the headline 'Remembering Mr Henri 1925-2012' a message on the company website states: 'During his lifetime Mr Henri as he was known left a lasting impression with many people through his humanity, good humour and passion for life.'
Brand Ambassador and British Yachtsman of the Year, Ben Ainslie, sent his own condolences, tweeting 'Very sad to hear that Mr Henri Strzelecki, founder of @HenriLloyd63, passed away. Great man and much loved #RIP'.
The brand’s apparel is recognisable for its distinctive symbol and pioneering use of man-made materials, including the first use of Velcro.
The international lifestyle clothing brand, now also sported by America's Cup yacht crews and Around the World teams, was established in 1963 in Manchester when he partnered with Angus Lloyd to form Henri-Lloyd Limited.
Mr Strzelecki believed that sports clothing could be improved and worked to find ways to make it happen.
This was still in the days when materials constructed from man-made fibres were in their infancy.
From the early days of working from a converted chapel in Manchester, the company now proudly boasts a global reputation for pioneering new technologies.
These include the use of the wonder material of the 1960s, Bri-Nylon, hand taping of seams for waterproof integrity and became the first to use Velcro in clothing.
His wife Sheila died in 1999. He is survived by his sons, Paul and Martin, who are the joint chief executives of Henri-Lloyd Limited, plus a daughter, Diane. He also has eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.