Since its inception in 1910, WWD has offered readers not only news, but insights and perspectives in the form of opinion columns by seasoned staff, guests and paid columnists. Many WWD columnists were well-known across the fashion industry — celebrities in their own right, in fact — while others were hard-nosed businesspeople most familiar to the business-to-business community.
From Lester Gaba’s “Looks at Display” and Samuel Feinberg’s “From Where I Sit” to famed columnist Red Smith’s “Sportif” and Kenneth Collins’ “Today and Yesterday in Retailing,” WWD offered a platform for others to express their opinions, thoughts and strategies for success.
Today, not much has changed in this regard except for the breadth and depth of the insights published as well as how it is delivered (online, in the Digital Daily and on social via channels such as LinkedIn). Executive Editor Bridget Foley’s “Diary” is a long-running and regular feature of WWD that explores all aspects of the fashion industry — often asking poignant questions such as “Can Fashion Save the Oscars?” or offering clarity about the “Subtle Chic” found on the red carpet of the recent SAG Awards.
More recently, WWD has presented “The Outside View,” which serves as a platform for op-eds that are as opinionated as they are relevant. Recent columns include Gary Wassner’s argument for the importance of New York Fashion Week and Joanne Yulan Jong’s essay on how smartphones have shifted the power from photographers to influencers.
On the b-to-b side of the coin, WWD’s Think Tank feature offers tactical and strategic insights and perspectives for and written by retailers, brands and industry stakeholders. Recent columnists includes Accenture’s Jill Standish, who keyed into the importance of the sales associate in today’s complex market, and Coresight Research’s Deborah Weinswig, who shares her thoughts on the future of retail.