Terry Mayer Dies at 89

She was a charming, generous woman who had a long career in fashion publicity and jewelry design.

Terry Mayer, a charming, generous woman who had a long career in fashion publicity and jewelry design, died Tuesday at the age of 89.

This story first appeared in the June 21, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

After college, she had gone to work in the publicity department of Macy’s, did publicity for David Crystal, then founded her own p.r. firm. She later became president of the Publicity Club of New York. One of her major clients was the Denim Council, for which she promoted the idea of denim as a fashion, rather than a utilitarian, material. She was also a founder of the Fashion News Workshop.

Always savvy about the importance of seeing and being seen, she was a regular at 21 in New York, where her table was No. 53. As she once put it, “I had been going to 21 since the Sixties and enjoyed being made a fuss over. Maybe that’s what life is all about.”

After a 30-year career as a fashion publicist, she reinvented herself as a jewelry designer, making jewelry out of bells. She called herself a “bellologist,” a term she invented, and her bell pieces included some 150 styles which were sold in such stores as Tiffany & Co. She became the president of the New York Chapter of the American Bell Association International, a group of bell collectors which often held meetings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mayer is survived by her nephews Roland Cohen and Benjamin VanVort, her niece Lorrie Ader and cousin Mabel Fisher. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Frank E. Campbell in New York.