Monday, April 27, 2015

JOHN FAIRCHILD, The Man Who Changed Fashion by Polly Guerin

John B. Fairchild 1927-2015
Portrait by Irving Penn
To most business people the name John B.Fairchild does not resonate with their business experience, but to the fashion industry John B. Fairchild, the publishing tycoon of Women's Wear Daily, is a super hero who changed the way the world looked at fashion.
   I attended his memorial service at the Church of the Ascension in lower Manhattan this morning and Bill Cunningham,  the New York Times' photo journalist was front and center snapping photographs of arriving fashion designers and fashionistas.
   I wanted to attend and pay my respects because during the publication's halcyon days I was an editor in the fashion department and remember what an exhilarating time it was to work there.
   I was.escorted to a seat right in the middle of the fashion luminaries too numerous to mention. Oh yes, Anna Wintour was there and Pierre Berge, the late Yves Saint Laurent patron, spoke, but his inaudible speech was lost to most everyone's ears. Leonard Lauder made up for that with a robust speech in which he talked about how Fairchild was witty, effortlessly stylish, chivalrous and endlessly curious. And how Fairchild changed an industry reporting newspaper into a publication that everyone wanted to read, including women of influence outside the industry, and gave them a glossy magazine called W too. Then in 1983 he founded the original M magazine---the first cover of which featured Prince Philip.
  Fairchild had engaging relationships with the late Oscar de la Renta and Bill Blass. He was always in a rush and ready to stir things up.. He coined the phrases Ladies Who Lunch, Jackie O, Beautiful People, and Fashion Victim to name a few. He was the Bard of the 60s, 70s, and 80's, and on a positive note, he had a very keen eye for stirring the industry up like a conductor on the stage of fashion..  Lauder concluded, "An era closes but our John Fairchild is with us forever."
   As for WWD, it has moved on and ceased print publication on Friday, April 24, but it is not deserting the print business altogether. The Fairchild organization is launching a weekly edition of WWD with deeper context, timely analysis and compelling graphics, As as for the late Inspirer-In-Chief John B. Fairchild, he  would insist, a touch of silly.In fact the publication is also now hyper-daily via (open 24-7), a digital daily PDF edition.
  Ta Ta darlings!!! I shall miss my morning coffee reading WWD, but times must move with technology and alas we now have the digital version. fan mail welcome at  Check in on Polly's Blogs on fashion, poetry from the heart, womendetermined to succeed and visionary men on

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