Peter Kaplan, the editorial director of Fairchild Fashion Media, of which Style.com is part, died yesterday. He was 59. There will be many anecdotes in the coming days and weeks—Peter was one of the rare people you come across who could legitimately be described as legendary—but for now it is enough to say that everyone at Style.com is immeasurably sad and our thoughts are with his family. Because he was the editor of the New York Observer for 15 years and in that time defined its ironic, knowing take on the city’s elites, he became known as the godfather of snark, an attitude that launched a thousand blogs. But Peter’s approach to journalism was irony-free and had nothing to do with snark; it was heartfelt and passionate. I would say he regarded it as a sacred duty. When I was getting ready to write my editor’s letter for the first issue of Style.com/Print, which was less of a traditional editor’s letter than an attempt to capture the chaos of the fashion shows, he said to me, “It doesn’t matter what you write as long as you believe it. In other words you shouldn’t take an ironic attitude to your subject. It should be what you believe.” I smiled because it went against his reputation, but in a nutshell that was how he thought of journalism, no matter whether you were writing about U.S. presidents or the politics of the catwalk. Of course, he wanted it to be exuberant—the first thing he said to me when Style.com came under Fairchild’s umbrella was “we’re going to have so much fun”—but it was exuberance with a serious intent. In that and so many other ways, Peter was inimitable.
A host of beauty and fashion insiders, including Tommy Hilfiger and Iman, turned out last night for the 37th annual March of Dimes Beauty Ball, which raises funds for the March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. On hand as well were the evening’s two honorees, Gina Sanders, CEO of Fairchild Fashion Media (which includes Style.com and Women’s Wear Daily), and Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, Inc. “There is one word that can describe my feelings right now, and that’s gratitude,” Sanders told the audience when she received the night’s Beautiful Apple Award. But as she reminded the crowd, this was an evening with a goal, and “our mission tonight is to turn…inspiration into action.” There to oblige was Phillips de Pury & Co. auctioneer CK Swett, who hosted a live auction, called Fund the Mission, to raise more money for the worthy cause.
Fairchild Fashion Media’s president and CEO, Gina Sanders, will be honored at this year’s 37th annual March of Dimes Beauty Ball on March 13. Sanders, who oversees all FFM brands including Women’s Wear Daily and Style.com, will receive the Beautiful Apple Award for her work at FFM. HSN, Inc. CEO Mindy Grossman will also be at the event, to collect the Retailer of the Year Award.
For 101 years, WWD has been at the forefront of fashion news. Today, our sister publication at Fairchild Fashion Media announced a new move to extend its coverage to readers around the globe—the WWD iPad edition.
What does this mean for WWD disciples? Enhanced article views, slideshows with extra images not available in the paper (meaning more McQueen and Balenciaga to gush over), and a live “Eye” section news feed, viewable directly from your seat at the Marc Jacobs show.
WWD App for the iPad is available on the Apple App Store. The app is free for existing print or online WWD subscribers and $169 for the bundled WWD subscription.