Looking back on 2019: Remembering those we lost
Dec 19, 2019
FashionNetwork.com recalls the legendary designers, fashion icons, illustrators, photographers and editors who died this year.
French-Tunisian fashion designer
The French-Tunisian designer launched the womenʼs wear brand BCBG Max Azria in 1989, only stepping down from his executive role in 2016. After the brand was taken over by Marquee Brands in 2017, Azria became the CEO and partner of ZappLight. He passed away in May at the age of 70.
Jake Burton Carpenter
Board sports pioneer
Jake Burton Carpenter created probably the greatest single name in board sports, Burton. The American label is intrinsically linked to the snowboard culture, just like its founder. The American, who developed the practice around the world, died of complications from cancer at the age of 65.
British designer and tailoring specialist
The designer made a splash in the 1980s and continued to do so in the ensuing decades as he dressed celebrities and private clients in his special brand of tailoring. From fronting Gieves & Hawkes to running his own label, he was one of fashion’s nice guys.
South Korean model
Known for his positive personality and great professional competence, Chung was a noted runway presence, walking for Kith and Bode. Besides modelling, he was a store manager for Opening Ceremony.
British designer and bon vivant
A true icon of ‘80s London fashion, whose Dover Street boutique was a laboratory of post-modernist ideas. Crolla’s nobly British eccentric style – which blended paisley and velvet decades before Etro – dressed such celebrity customers as Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Boy George, Duran Duran and, even Princess Diana.
British musician and photographer
The British musician-turned-photographer, known for his colorful photos, died at the age of 79. His work appeared in countless magazine titles, including Marie Claire, Elle and multiple international editions of Vogue. In particular, Hiett had a strong relationship with Franca Sozzani and Vogue Italia, with which he was a regular collaborator.
Alma, Agnes and Alfred Holch Povlsen
Children of Bestseller owner Anders Holch Povlsen
Three of the four children of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, Asos' largest stakeholder and owner of fashion chain Bestseller, were among the estimated 250 people killed in terrorist bombings in Sri Lanka on April 2019. The family's fourth child, Astrid, survived.
French luxury executive
After a master’s degree at the French Fashion Institute, Houdoux-Stoclet worked for the Clarins group and led the Mugler and Kris Van Assche labels. She then played a major role in the creation and running of the City of Fashion and Design venue in Paris. Houdoux-Stoclet passed away this summer aged 54.
Co-founder of Chinese magazine empire Trends Media Group
In 1993, Liu Jiang co-founded China’s very first high-end fashion publication. Partnering with Hearst to publish the Chinese editions of Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire. Today, Trends Media Group is a 12-title magazine empire.
Franco-Danish actress, author and style icon
Born in Denmark, Hanne Karin Bayer arrived in Paris at 17, where she started out in modelling. Spotted by Coco Chanel, who renamed her Anna Karina, she will become a fashion icon and the face of the New Wave, notably before Jean-Luc Godard’s camera. Her dance routine in Bande à Part influenced scores of designers.
One of Greece's most successful design names, Kokosalaki was known for blending exquisite drapery with tough materials such as leather and used to it good effect both at her own label and during her short spell at Vionnet. It was her honor to dress the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics in Athens in 2004, attiring over 6000 people, most notably the singer Björk, who performed in an enormous ocean-inspired dress of massive pleats and folds.
German designer, illustrator and photographer
In 85 action-packed years, most of it spent in Paris, Lagerfeld grew to become the most accomplished illustrator in fashion; a noted photographer, famed for his insightful portraiture and brilliant architectural imagery; the city’s greatest aesthete; and the wittiest man in France since Oscar Wilde. He was also the couturier of the world’s most prestigious fashion house, Chanel; the creative director of Roman furrier Fendi for over 60 years, and the founder of his own Teutonic expressionist label. In a word, irreplaceable.
French artist beloved by fashion designers
It’s impossible to talk about Claude without François-Xavier, her husband since 1962. This couple of artists, friends of the Surrealists, was renowned for their creations: sculptures, furniture and jewelry that Yves Saint-Laurent liked so much. Plural, their works mixed bestiary, poetry, dreams and fantasy.
Pierre Le Tan
French painter and designer
The son of a painter, Pierre Le Tan was an illustrator
with an instantly recognizable style. A line, an atmosphere, his drawings appeared in the New Yorker, Vogue and in the works of Patrick Modiano. He was the father of three children including designer Olympia Le Tan.
A key photographer of the modern era, Lindbergh had a long career but made the biggest impact photographing the supermodels of the 1990s. And he continued to be in demand, even shooting the Duchess of Sussex’s multi-star British Vogue cover not long before his death aged 74. One of the rare fashion photographers who became a household name.
American fashion designer
A contestant on Bravo's Project Runway, the famously eccentric stylist went on to become a celebrity costume designer whose clients included Beyoncé, Madonna and Lady Gaga. He passed away tragically two years after suffering a nearly fatal fall in 2017.
French master shoemaker
A benchmark in the world of footwear, Raymond Massaro was the shoemaker favoured by Coco Chanel, Madame Grès and Karl Lagerfeld – who wore his iconic angled Cuban heel boots. Massaro passed away at the age of 90 after working for more than 60 years in the maison founded by his grandfather at the end of the 19th century. It is now owned by the Chanel group.
American editor-in-chief of industry bible WWD and W magazine
A brilliantly funny writer, known for his merciless wit and grim determination to get a story first, McCarthy was the successor to fashion industry legend John Fairchild. He was a hard-charging Paris bureau chief of WWD, who notched more scoops than any rival. Under McCarthy’s direction, W grew in the late 1990s from a broadsheet newspaper to become the most admired fashion magazine in the world.
Terry O'Neill was known for documenting fashion, styles and celebrities with a loving eye. As a photographer, he was a cultural influencer before the word was invented. Shooting for magazines like Vogue, he photographed David Bowie, Andrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Churchill and The Beatles in the ‘60s and continued to work into the last weeks of his notably industrious life.
The father of modern hair transplantation, Orentreich launched the brand Clinique in 1968 after publishing “Can Great Skin Be Created” in Vogue in 1967. Clinique was the first cosmetics line to address skincare at that time. Today it is the crown jewel of the Estée Lauder group.
Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi
A member of the UAE ruling family, the 39-year-old’s drug-related death may have grabbed headlines. However, his founding of British clothing chain Qasimi Homme and his acclaimed Arab-influenced men’s and womenswear made him an important name in the burgeoning global-Arab fashion movement.
American socialite and fashion icon
A failed actress and intermittent interior decorator, Radziwill – the sister of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy – was the last of the great fashion icons of the 1960s. A regular front row fixture noted for her cool style; a permanent member of international best dressed lists; and the cover of T magazine of the New York Times in 2013 when she was 80. Radziwill also hired the Maysles brothers to shoot a documentary on her two Bouvier cousins, which grew into Grey Gardens, probably the single film to have most influenced American fashion.
Irish retail pioneer
Brought in by the Weston family to found a discount clothing chain in the late 1960s, Ryan created the retailer we now know as Primark. As CEO and then chairman, he oversaw the chain’s transformation into one of value fashion retail sector’s most important, influential and most successful names.
Spanish designer and textile entrepreneur
The Catalan fashion designer, who dressed Jackie Kennedy back in the ‘60s, was one of the pioneers in blending fashion and technology in women's underwear. Launched in the ‘70s, his namesake lingerie and bath company became popular on catwalk, growing rapidly internationally. Today, owned by the Belgian group Van de Velde, the label continues its legacy under the creative direction of Sardá’s daughter Nuria Sardá. After winning the National Fashion Design Award in 2015, the creator died last September at 90 years of age.
Model, businesswoman, creative director
Meeting Yves Saint Laurent, who was swept away by the aristocratic beauty of this oval-faced brunette, was a defining moment for Schiano. She became his muse and ran his US boutiques until 1980, when she was appointed creative director of Vanity Fair. She left New York 20 years ago to retire in Brazil. The legendary Neapolitan top model passed away at the age of 77.
Josephus Melchior Thimister
Trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Josephus Thimister was one of the key fashion creators of the ‘90s and 2000s. In 2001, Anna Wintour ranked him among the 20 best fashion designers of the 20th century. Artistic director of Balenciaga from 1991 to 1997, he then collaborated for Charles Jourdan, Patrick Cox and Pucci.
American fashion designer
The Cuban-American designer, who famously designed the dress Michelle Obama wore in the 2009 inaugural parade, was known for being a true craftsperson of design. She was honoured by the Cooper Hewitt museum’s National Design Award and was recognised with a solo retrospective at the museum at FIT. Toledo died from breast cancer.
Italian, costume designer
Brilliant and unparalleled leader in costume design, Piero Tosi passed away at 92. In 2014, he received an Academy Honorary Award after 5 nominations. Already ill, the actress Claudia Cardinale, who had worn Tosi’s creations in the film Il Gattopardo by Luchino Visconti, accepted it for him. It was Piero Tosi who dressed Anna Magnani in Bellissima, Charlotte Rampling in Night Porter (adding the unforgettable mythical X-straps on the actress’s naked body), Dirk Bogarde in Death in Venice and Romy Schneider in Lüdwig. Tosi also clothed Visconti’s classics like Senso and Rocco and his Brothers, and worked with De Sica, Bolognini, Fellini and Zeffirelli, with whom he made his debut.
Canadian-Iranian beauty entrepreneur
The Canadian-Iranian beauty mogul rose to fame as founder of multi-brand personal care company Deciem, home of cult skincare brand The Ordinary. Truaxe created Deciem, with the tagline "The Abnormal Beauty Company," in 2013, launching 10 beauty brands before his sudden death early this year at the age of 40.
American artist, author, actress, fashion designer, heiress and socialite
A fashion icon and the heir to one of the greatest family fortunes in the United States, she lived a screenplay-worthy life marked by romance, scandal and tragedy. In between she founded multiple fashion companies and wrote a key page in fashion history by inventing the designer jean. She died at the age of 95 and is survived by her son, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
Russia’s greatest fashion retailer
Russian most famous fashion buyer and style icon died suddenly in August while on vacation in Italy. Verber was the Vice-president of Mercury group, Russia’s leading retailer of luxury and a fashion director of TsUM and DLT – two old Soviet department stores in Moscow and St-Petersburg that she revolutionized as fashion-forward megastores.
Great-great-grandson of founder Louis Vuitton
A member of Vuitton family, he joined the house in 1972 as carpenter craftsman after the death of his grandfather Gaston-Louis Vuitton. Noted for his savoir-faire, Patrick-Louis was responsible for some 300 bespoke trunks every year in Vuitton’s special order department. Practically alone among Vuitton heirs, he remained part of the company after the bitter corporate takeover of the luxury brand by Bernard Arnault.
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