One hundred and one years ago, “Women’s Wear” was launched by the Fairchild family. The subscription price was 1 cent a day; $3 a year. The few copies we have left are yellowed with years and crumble to the touch.
Today we launch our new Web site, the reimagined WWD.com. In the digital age, pages don’t yellow or crumble.
In that first edition, July 13, 1910, WWD reported about New York manufacturers secretly meeting over the striking Cloak and Suit Makers’ Union. At issue: demands for a 25 percent increase in wages and a 48-hour work week. The meetings didn’t go so well and the manufacturers walked out with contracts unsigned and, as the reporter put it, “anything but pleasant thoughts in their minds.” When was the last time you read in our paper about strike negotiations over wages and work weeks? Some things simply change.
Elsewhere, another story, “Talk of a Craze for Black in Paris,” reported as fact that “the peculiar beauty of the Englishwoman, particularly the blonde, is never seen to better advantage than in mourning…and there is already talk of une mode noire in Paris.”
They Are Wearing: Black! would be as much at home on Page One in 2011 as it was in 1910. Some things don’t change.
After all these years, WWD remains rooted in a spirited journalistic tradition transcending generations of reporters and editors. That tradition demands we cover news, people and events fairly and impartially and, in the process, provide institutional integrity for our readers and advertisers. Credibility and accuracy are everything to us. As the agents of you, our reader, we strive for the highest standard our imperfect nature will allow. In other words, we live to get it right.
And our sequence of news dissemination remains the same: from source to reporter to editor to reader. On the other hand, our standard tools, pencils and printing presses, now extend to algorithms and pixels that deliver information at the speed of a flying photon.
Our goal is to deliver business and fashion news to you as it happens, wherever you are and whenever you want it, from key global markets via newspaper, Web site, mobile, Facebook, Twitter and, before 2011 is done, a WWD app. Your doorstep; your desktop; your laptop; your phone.
Take a look at today’s WWD.com and you’ll see a moving instrument of breaking news on every page: dedicated markets coverage, a user-friendly design with channels that allow a deeper drill-down based on your specific interest, easier navigation with enhanced features, a carousel of fashion images, top stories and PDFs of all the latest issues, a new runway channel, expanded search capabilities and an exhaustive database, among many other features.
We ask a big favor: Anything in this evolving medium can best be described as perpetual beta. We’re dependent on you to push us to improve each day. Feedback is not only welcome, it’s essential. We hope you’ll send plenty of it our way.
Fashion is a fascinating business of big money and big ambitions, hustlers and visionaries. Its grit is balanced by its beauty. Boredom simply doesn’t enter into the picture and there’s no off switch. Our goal is simple but wildly ambitious: To deliver relevant, credible, responsible journalism every day from around the world that informs, enlightens and hopefully entertains from time to time, in whatever package you prefer, digital or print.
There’s a favorite old quote of Gandhi’s (no, not about minimalist messianic style) that might have some relevance here: “Truth is one, paths are many.”
So go ahead and choose your own path. We’ll go with you, only we’ll all be walking a little bit faster now.
Editor in Chief