The publishing industry suffered a loss this morning with the announcement that John B. Fairchild has passed away at the age of 87. Serving as the head of Fairchild Publications, Inc., he took control of Women’s Wear Daily in 1960 and turned the publication from a simple trade to a major force in the fashion industry.
— cecefeinberg (@cecefeinberg) February 27, 2015
Fairchild ran his family namesake company until 1997 and according to Vanity Fair is credited with coining the terms “the ladies who lunch,” “Jackie O” and more. Fairchild was known for his tendency to shake things up and spark a bit of controversy. He started beefs with design houses like Balenciaga and Givenchy in his time as WWD‘s European director, back in the day when magazines like Vogue were given preference for exclusives. When he landed in New York to head the publication stateside, it was his insistence on shining a light on designers and society figures — many times throwing a huge serving of shade their way — that helped put the publication in an entirely new league.
Fairchild will be remembered for transforming WWD and will live on as a legend in the industry.