While fashion slowly began to evolve in the 1940s, Eleanors Event only increased the stakes.
So what actually triggered the famous publicist’s blueprint for New York Fashion Week? Simply put: a fashion designer who is tired of her work going unnoticed.
“Adele Simpson came to [Eleanor] and said, ‘American fashion is really weird because the apparel makers don’t promote the designers,’ “John recalled the story-telling 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 don’t. ”There was [Eleanor] an idea.”
As the story goes, Eleanor went into work mode and contacted publishers of newspapers across America and invited them to New York to write about US designers and their new collections. But it wasn’t a small thing. “The publishers pushed back a little,” John recalls, “saying, ‘We don’t even have fashion writers.'”
Eleanor’s solution? She urged editors to send their female writers, who had previously been relegated, to cover household issues like cooking and cleaning.
After rounding up journalists, Eleanor used her influence as a fashion powerhouse to attract American designers like Lilly Daché, Hattie Carnegie, Norman Norell and Nettie Rosenstein (to name a few).
With writers in tow and designers ready to showcase their collections, Fashion Press Week began.