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21 Dec

Forces in Fashion, Design and Culture: A Take a

While the collective mourning that followed the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September was incomparable, the realms of fashion, beauty, interior design, architecture, photography, politics, media and retail each lost some towering figures, who helped to accumulate their respective industries.

Leading designers who died in January included Nino Cerrutti, 91, who was credited with creating the primary deconstructed jacket for men, and Manfred Thierry Mugler, a multidisciplinary talent who helped define ’80s power dressing and launched the phenomenon of celebrities-as-models, who died at age 73. Fashion also said farewell in August to Issey Miyake, a standout for his cutting-edge fabrics and bestselling perfumes, who died on the age of 84. Miyake was one among the primary Japanese designers to indicate in Paris and helped to place Japan on the international fashion map within the ’70s. The designer was perhaps best known for his Pleats Please franchise, whose crimped fabrics have recently enjoyed growing popularity amongst men. Miyake once explained, “It takes seven or eight years for people to know what I’m doing,” referring to his A-POC — or A Piece of Cloth project, which was initially produced in a continuous knitted tube with cutout patterns the wearer cut herself.

Portrait of designer Issey Miyake in Latest York’s Central Park, 1996.

Robert Mitra/WWD

Thierry Mugler, creator.

Manfred Thierry Mugler

Max Abadian/Courtesy Photo

Even before Miyake, though, there have been Hanae Mori and Yukiko Hanai. Mori, whose death was revealed in August, built a multimillion-dollar fashion business and was the primary female Asian designer to hitch the ranks of high fashion in Paris. Her goal was to bring “Miyahiyaka” to the U.S., a hard-to-translate Japanese word that references beauty, graciousness, elegance, orderliness and, mainly, femininity.  “As a young girl, I used to be brought up in the course of the turbulence and ugliness of the war and the post-war confusion,” she told WWD in June 1965. “I even have all the time yearned for ‘Miyahiyaka.’”

Prior to her passing in October, the Yokohama-born Hanai was known for her “Madame Hanai” and “Yukiko Hanai” labels, in addition to uniforms for airline, bank and department store employees. A memorial is planned for mid-February in Tokyo.

Designer Hanae Mori poses for a portrait with model Gloria Burgess.

Designer Hanae Mori poses for a portrait with model Gloria Burgess.


Franca Fendi, who along along with her 4 sisters helped to develop and expand their family’s namesake luxury business, died in October. She had held retail responsibilities over the brand’s stores in Rome until 51 percent of the business was sold in 1999 to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Prada Group, with LVMH subsequently buying all the company.

In November, the style world’s losses included the Italian couturier Renato Balestra and Albert Nipon, the previous chairman of the Albert Nipon Design House.

Other fashion world passings included, in February, footwear and menswear designer and bon vivant Peter Barton; Irene Silvagni, former creative director at Yohji Yamamoto, in March, and the British dressmaker John Bates, who worked as Jean Varon and was a key link in London’s buzzy boutique scene within the ’60s, in June. A more contemporary London retailer and designer, Maureen Doherty, the founding father of the eclectic Egg, died on the age of 70 last month.

Eric Boman

Eric Boman

1996-2001 AccuSoft Co., All righ

The industry also mourned such prized photographers as Patrick Demarchelier in March, Eric Boman in August and William Klein in September. Fashion photography, street photography, painting, filmmaking, graphic design, abstract art, writing and book-making were among the many mediums that Klein excelled in during a 70-year-plus profession. Boundary-pushing and unconventional in his pursuits, Klein’s resounding sense for human nature and quest for the unexplored led to a body of labor that crossed mediums. Asked in 2013 what he hoped people would consider once they saw his work, Klein said, “I would love people to think this man is price a few million dollars more for what he has contributed and [for them] to provide that to me [laughter]. You do things for yourself and also you do things for other people and also you hope that these items coincide.”

William Klein’s “Backstage ‘Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?,’ 1966.

Photo by William Klein/Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

The French-born Demarchelier had captured legions of models and celebrities through the years, including Princess Diana, who tapped him as her personal photographer in 1989. Boman, an artist and photographer, relied on his dexterity, inventiveness and charisma for the muse of his storied and fun profession. He was remembered as a real polymath with impeccable taste, who crossed disciplines and will take up one thing after one other.

In April, the controversial celebrity photographer Ron Galella passed away at 91. Nearly unstoppable in pursuit of celebrity subjects like Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley, the lensman once had his jaw broken by Brando and faced a restraining order after a six-week trial for stalking former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

Karlie Kloss in Louis Vuitton with Patrick Demarchelier.

Steve Eichner

Just a few pioneering lenswomen also died in 2022, including Roxanne Lowit, who captured the nerve and verve of the style industry, in September and, just last week, Corina Lecca, a self-taught creative whose profession was intrinsically linked to her fellow runway photographer, her husband Dan.

News of the passing of former President Donald Trump’s first wife Ivana Trump, a businesswoman, designer and magnificence setter, garnered international headlines in July, as did the March passing of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a master of using brooches for subtle signs of diplomacy. The world of entertainment lost Australian actress and singer Olivia Newton-John in August and groundbreaking “Star Trek” actress Nichelle Nichols in July.

Eric Pfrunder, Karl Lagerfeld’s photography wingman, passed away earlier this month. One other creative who was adept at picturing a room — albeit through his interior designs — Carleton Varney died in July. For a long time the gregarious and exacting decorator’s name was synonymous with the rules-breaking interior designer Dorothy Draper. His work might be seen in such sought-out destinations because the Westbury Hotel in London, the Plaza in Latest York, the Greenbrier in White Sulfur Sprigs, Virginia, The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, and the Grand Hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island. Not one to fret in regards to the jobs he didn’t get, Varney once told WWD in 2008, “I only worry in regards to the ones I even have. I’m not a one that covets any of this. I feel the guy above has an enormous control on our lives. I would like to know that I even have lived the life where I don’t must worry where I’m going after I stop respiratory,”

Ivana Trump attends a party, celebrating the first New York preview of stage musical

Ivana Trump attends a celebration, celebrating the primary Latest York preview of stage musical “Evita” in 1979.


In January, there was a significant outpouring by industry insiders and non-fashion devotees after longtime fashion journalist and former Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley passed away. A trailblazer for 40-plus years in an industry that had little or no diversity in its upper echelons, Talley worked at WWD, Interview, Vanity Fair, House & Garden and Vogue. One other major loss got here in March with the death of Elsa Klensch, whose CNN show from 1980 to 2001, “Style With Elsa Klensch,” introduced hundreds of thousands to the inner world of fashion. Covering the runways in Latest York, London, Milan and Paris during that point, few had the reach or viewership that she built up through the years.

Sonia Cole in Roxanne Lowit’s book, “Yves Saint Laurent.”

Roxanne Lowit

Andre Leon Talley, Diane von Furstenberg

Andre Leon Talley with Diane von Furstenberg.

Fairchild Archive/Penske Media

Other deaths within the media spectrum included royal biographer Diane Clehane in February; Details magazine cofounder Annie Flanders and former DNR editor in chief Michael Luther in March; longtime WWD associate editor Lorna Koski in May and her wife, longtime Newsweek editor Kathleen Berger, in January; the Italian author and fashion journalist Giusi Ferre in April; Flaunt magazine cofounder Long Nguyen this past fall, and former Hearst editorial director Ellen Levine in November.

Flanders helped readers jump the velvet rope to get an insider’s view of Latest York City’s nightlife, fashion, club kids and culture. Such interest was cultivated a long time before by the self-described “Queen of the Night” Régine Zylberberg, who died in May and was credited with creating the discotheque. Widely known simply as “Régine,” the Belgian-born French singer and nightclub creator once ran a club empire spanning from Rio de Janeiro to Kuala Lumpur. In her memoirs, she touched upon the varied crowds that flooded Régine’s, “After a certain hour [of the night], it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate a princess from a prostitute. And one doesn’t exclude the opposite,” she wrote.

Long Nguyen and Leslie Jane Seymour of Marie Claire attend the Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2005 show in New York City.

Long Nguyen and Leslie Jane Seymour attend the Marc by Marc Jacobs fall 2005 show in Latest York City.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

In July, one other orchestrator of after-hours pursuits, Studio 54 set designer Richie Williamson, who dreamed up the club’s sets, dance floor and iconic “Moon and the Spoon” sign, died.

An ad with Janice Dickinson that was shot in a studio and then airbrushed by Richie Williamson under the art direction of Fred DeVito.

An ad with Janice Dickinson that was shot in a studio after which airbrushed by Richie Williamson under the art direction of Fred DeVito.

Courtesy Fred DeVito

In April, the well-regarded communications director at Alberta Ferretti, Salvo Nicosia, died at age 52. Along with Nguyen, the losses of celebrity hair stylist LaTisha Chong, 32, in July and two members of Latest York’s fashion scene — designers Peter Hidalgo, 53, in January and Katie Gallagher, 35, in July received a variety of attention. That very same month the philanthropist and style-minded society fixture Lily Safra passed away, while the celebrity makeup artist Pablo Manzoni died in February.

A gown by Peter Hidalgo.

A gown by Peter Hidalgo.

Courtesy of Tatjiana Shoan

Designer Katie Gallagher has died at 35.

Designer Katie Gallagher


The industry also said goodbye to various brand builders and retail pioneers, including Liz Claiborne’s former chairman and chief executive officer Jerome Chazen in February; British recruitment and licensing pioneer Vanessa Denza in April; Luxottica founder Leonardo Del Vecchio and retail pioneer Jean Rosenberg in June; the previous Kenzo and Dior executive Francois Baufume in November; British high street tycoon Sir Ralph Halpern and Julius Stern, Donna Karan’s first president, in August; trusted adviser Dr. Robert Eugene Lefton in October, and, in November, Frank Mori, a former co-owner of Donna Karan International, Peerless chairman and chief executive officer Alvin Segal and footwear entrepreneur Quinto Casadei. Along with helping to define the Fifth Avenue specialty store, Rosenberg’s lithesome figure was said to have provided the measurements for Yves Saint Laurent’s ideal size 6 for his American ready-to-wear collection.

Leonardo Del Vecchio

Leonardo Del Vecchio

courtesy image

Frank Mori

Frank Mori

Lexie Moreland/WWD

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