NEW YORK — Marjorie Schlesinger Deane, chairman of weekly merchandising publication and consulting service The Tobe Report, died on Saturday of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. She was 80.
In Deane’s 60 years in the fashion industry, she was president of the Fashion Group, a founder of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and served on the boards of the Educational Foundation for Fashion Industries and the Fashion Institute of Technology, as well as on the Fashion Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
In 1942 Deane was accepted to Yale University’s Drama School, but while preparing, she realized she was more interested in costumes and fashion than acting. She declined Yale’s offer, and took a job at department store Franklin Simon, while also attending the Tobe Coburn School.
After a stint at The Tobe Report, Deane joined Macy’s as senior vice president and accessory stylist in 1949, where she introduced such departments as the Accessory Bazaar, which later became The Arcade. At Macy’s, she also launched the first fashion TV program, “It’s Smart to Be Thrifty” with Gene Lockhart.
From that show, she was hired to become the fashion director for Look magazine.
In 1963 she returned to the Tobe Report, eventually got full ownership, and consulted stores such as Federated Department Stores, May Co., Wal-Mart, Neiman Marcus, Sears, The Gap, J.C. Penney and Saks Fifth Avenue.
She is survived by a sister, Kathryn Michel; two daughters, Gregg Deane Swain and Kathryn Deane-Krantz; two sons, Disque D. Deane and Walter Longstreet Deane, and six grandchildren.
Alberta Ferretti's "Rainbow Week" sweaters are back. The designer closed her #MFW show with a few day-of-the-week sweaters, which first debuted on the catwalk last January as part of the pre-fall 2017 collection. #wwdfashion (📷: @delphineachard)