BEING THERE IT'S A LONG TRIP FROM THE HOBBLE SKIRT TO HOTPANTS. WWD HAS BEEN THERE ALL ALONG THE WAY, CHRONICLING AN INDUSTRY AND ITS PEOPLE -- THEIR FASHIONS, FRIVOLITIES, TRAGEDIES AND TRIUMPHS. HERE, A THUMBNAIL LOOK AT 90 YEARS OF NEWS.
Editor's Note: Whenever WWD reporters go after a story also covered by the mainstream press, the goal is to give the readers something they are not likely to find anywhere else. This principle was established early in WWD's history. Take, for example, this article that appeared on April 19, 1912, when the newspaper was less than two years old. Reprinted in its entirety, it is a report on the sinking of the Titanic and is an interview with Edith L. Rosenbaum, who worked for the paper in Paris, and who was a Titanic survivor.
EDITH L. ROSENBAUM; THE TITANIC In Which She Tells Some Incidents of the Tragedy in Connection With People in the Trade Miss Edith L. Rosenbaum, who arrived on the Carpathia last night, has apparently suffered no serious injury to her health from her experience in the Titanic disaster. She was calm and showed remarkably little effect of the shock and the great nervous strain which she had endured, controlling herself wonderfully. In a bodily sense, she suffered only a blister on one eye. Miss Rosenbaum stated she has given an authorized interview concerning the disaster, as she saw it, to the New York Herald, which probably will appear in tomorrow's issue of the Herald. She thought, however, she could detail for WOMEN'S WEAR some incidents which came under her observation and which had to do with people in the trade. Miss Rosenbaum will take a week's vacation in the country to recuperate and will then return to Paris as quickly as possible for, of course, she lost all the models and other merchandise she was bringing over in the Titanic. Mr. Klauber, of Klauber Bros., laces, also one of the buyers of the Jordan Marsh Co. and a buyer of Gimbel Bros., as well as another young lace man (name unknown) went down. There were a number of Toronto buyers; the men were mostly lace and textile buyers, lace buyers predominating, it being a lace season. George Rheims, of Rheims, Lenn & Co., had a wonderful escape. He was standing on the top deck with his brother-in-law, when he said, "See, the deck is under water. I guess we will have to swim." His brother-in-law said, "I do not know how to swim." Mr. Rheims answered, "Then, good-bye, old boy, I will take my chances." He jumped, struck the water, swam for two hours in the icy coldness, came across a collapsible boat and crept into it. The people had to stand up to keep it balanced. There were a couple of women in the boat, but they got tired standing up, and one leaned forward on Mr. Rheims's knee and finally dived and floated away from him. Mr. Rheims stood six hours in this icy water, and was carried up to the boat frozen nearly to the thighs, after having passed from close onto 1 o'clock to 7:30 swimming in the water. He was picked up by one of our own boats. Showing the disposition of all to assist in the rescue of their fellow sufferers, Miss Rosenbaum related: "One of our own boats rigged a sail and transferred her passengers into another boat, while this officer went back to pick up other survivors. He picked up Mr. Rheims among 16 others, six of whom died, so that ten survivors were taken into our boat very nearly half dead." B.L. Forman, of the firm of Kugelman, Frankland & Forman, who was formerly with Einstein, Wolff & Co., laces, for many years, was coming home from Paris, having just made the most wonderful connections. He had the most brilliant future ahead of him. He went down nobly. The following incident then related by Miss Rosenbaum shows the courage the women displayed and that even in the face of such a frightful disaster the question of dress is inevitably present in the feminine mind: "Lucille," Lady Duff Gordon, made her escape in a very charming lavender bath robe, very beautifully embroidered, together with a very pretty blue veil. She told me my clothes had been her admiration all the way over on the boat, and we exchanged compliments about our costumes and swapped style information closely after getting on the Carpathia. All her models, as well as my own, had gone to the bottom of the sea, and we both acknowledged that panier skirts and Robespierre collars were at a discount in midocean when you are looking for a ship to rescue you. Lady Duff Gordon asked: "Are you the one giving such interesting previews in WOMEN'S WEAR, and have you any idea what they are going to wear next year?" Our style costumes in mid-ocean: a pink bathrobe worn by me and a lavender by Lady Duff Gordon. Miss Rosenbaum said that it seems extraordinary and wonderful to her that so many people should have had a kindly interest in her fate. The proofs of friendship and feeling that so many have shown have touched her very deeply. For instance, all the Paris and other houses of acquaintance upon her arrival cabled their sympathy. Miss Rosenbaum said that perhaps shehad to go through this great trial to realize how truly kind everybody can be in life, and how little one can live with and be glad one is living. "After all, the only thing is friendship," she said. Miss Rosenbaum, too, feels deep gratitude for the many kindly expressions which have been extended to them by friends, so many as to be too far-reaching for her to answer personally all the telephone calls, letters and cablegrams she received, and she therefore begs of her many friends to accept in this expression her thanks and deep appreciation for the sorrow expressed.
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