Ruth Finley, creator of the Fashion Calendar, has died

Ruth Finley, creator of the official Fashion Calendar that kept a centralized schedule of all major New York Fashion Week events, has died. She was 98. 


Ruth Finley speaks at the 2014 CFDA Awards - Photo: CFDA


Born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, Finley began her career in fashion while still attending college at Boston's Simmons College, working in Lord & Taylor as well as the New York Herald Tribune. She graduated in 1941 and quickly moved to New York, where she met with fashion industry insiders and heard their annoyance at the disorganization and frequent double-bookings that occurred within the New York fashion scene. Spying an opportunity to create a solution, Finley created the official Fashion Calendar in 1945. 

The calendar's design was simple: any designer or department store would call Finley, give her a date and time for their show, and Finley would take note to prevent any conflicts. After designer Normal Norell endorsed the calendar, its popularity took off and the calendar became ubiquitous among New York's fashion elite. 

In 2014, the Council of Fashion Designers of America - which was founded more than 10 years after Finley's calendar - honored the then-87-year-old Finley with the Board of Directors’ Tribute Award. The Calendar was acquired by the CFDA in October of that same year. 

In addition to her contributions to the fashion world, Finley was also an active philanthropist, becoming a board member of Citymeals on Wheels and raising more than $2 million for the charity, which is committed to providing food and company to New York's homebound elderly community. 

The Fashion Calendar has since been converted to an online platform, and is still widely used to this day. 
 

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