John Fairchild, editor of Women’s Wear Daily, died on Friday aged 87 at his home in Manhattan.
From Prêt-à-Priscilla, the blog of Priscilla McGeehon, publisher at Fairchild Books:
“At the end of the week, the obituary of fashion industry icon John Fairchild echoed the theme of tradition and change. Like Peter Copping, he inherited a tradition: the industry news vehicle, Women’s Wear Daily, founded by his grandfather in 1910. (On my bookshelf is a 1914 copyright version of the “Dictionary of Textiles,” published by Fairchild Books just a few years later. The Fairchild name still survives on the spines and copyright pages of the books I work on every day.) Young John Fairchild wasn’t content to accept the received wisdom of his family legacy. Instead, when he took the reins in 1960, he transformed WWD. “The business he inherited was very dull, and he turned it all around. He realized that printing cotton prices every day and which buyer was coming from Detroit to New York was not the publication he wanted to run. He was interested in the glamour and the fun and the bitchiness.” Mr. Fairchild didn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, though — every photo shows him in a suit and tie, even in the 1970s; in the single one of him relaxing at home, he wears an elegant turtleneck. No tradition-busting blue jeans in sight!”
From Who’s Who in Fashion (Fairchild Books, 6th edition, 2014) – click to read the page in full: