Beatrice Anderson Voorheis, a longtime lingerie retailer and wholesaler, died Wednesday at her home in Claverack, N.Y. She was 66.
The cause of death was multiple myeloma, according to the Carole Hochman Design Group, where she was vice president of operations.
Voorheis started her career at Lazarus stores in Columbus, Ohio, in a buyer's training program, and moved to Bloomingdale's in New York as an assistant buyer of intimate apparel in the late Sixties. By 1972, she was promoted to buyer and was transferred to the Stamford, Conn., unit, where she served as intimate apparel department manager. She returned to New York a year later as buyer of better intimate apparel, utilizing her keen eye for style to build the a sleepwear department.
She switched industries in 1983 and joined the Carole Hochman Design Group as the merchandiser of the licensed line of Christian Dior sleepwear, and was later named a vice president. She shifted her talents to the licensed Oscar de la Renta sleepwear division in 1998, and in 1999 was named vice president of operations for the Hochman company.
A graduate of Michigan State University, Voorheis had a fondness for photography, cooking and tending to her gardens.
Carole Hochman, chairman and design director of the Hochman firm, said, "I've suffered a heartbreaking loss of both a valued co-worker and a very dear friend."
Peter Gabbe, the company's chief operating officer, noted that Voorheis had a "passion" for the intimate apparel industry.
"Bea lived and loved this industry, and was passionate in everything she did," Gabbe said. "She was a partner and a dear friend for 30 years and will be sorely missed."
Voorheis is survived by a sister, Katherine Cotton.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
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Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast