While fashion slowly began to evolve in the 40s, Eleanor’s event only increased the ante.
So what triggered the famous publicist’s blueprint for New York Fashion Week in the first place? In short: A fashion designer who was tired of her work going unnoticed.
“Adele Simpson came to [Eleanor] and said, ‘American fashion is really weird because the clothing manufacturers do not promote the designers,’ “John recalled the story-changing conversation. ‘They don’t even know their names and we need to be promoted too. The French designers get a lot of attention, but we do not. ‘It gave [Eleanor] an idea.”
As the story goes, Eleanor went into working mode, contacting publishers from newspapers across America and inviting them to New York to write about American designers and their new collections. But it was not a small business. “The publishers pushed back a little bit,” John recalled, “saying, ‘We do not even have fashion writers. “”
Eleanor’s solution? She asked editors to send in their female writers who had previously been referred to cover household topics such as cooking and cleaning.
After rounding up the journalists, Eleanor then used her influence as a fashion magazine to spot American designers such as Lilly Daché, Hattie Carnegie, Norman Norell and Nettie Rosenstein (to name a few).
With writers in tow and designers ready to debut their collections, Fashion Press Week began.
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