Edward Nardoza was loath to be photographed for this issue. The associate editorial director of Condé Nast’s Fairchild Fashion Group and editor in chief of WWD adheres to a core tenant of traditional journalism, that it is the reporter’s role to report, rather than become, the story. Of the generation drawn to the field by its Woodward-Bernstein zeal, Nardoza started out at then Fairchild Publications 30 years ago with the idea that his new beat at Footwear News was about far more than the latest heel height; it was about finance, business strategy, intriguing personalities and, most importantly, getting the scoop. Today, he instills that drive and tenacity in his reporters. “Ed has an uncanny ability to be disarming,” notes editorial director Patrick McCarthy. “But try to cross him on a story and you see how strong he is.”
Over the years, Nardoza has helmed all of the group’s major fashion titles, with top-spot tenures at FN, DNR and, since 1991, WWD. That trifecta readied him for his current role with the Fashion Group, from which he has directed the launches of WWD Collections magazine, WWD Ultimate Accessories Guide and WWD.com, and continues to nurture the paper’s evolving men’s wear coverage. Yet his old-school, get-the-story approach hardly begins and ends with hard news. Well aware of the essential integration of fashion and pop culture, Nardoza is as proud of WWD’s prefame 2007 Lady GaGa piece as he is of its serious economic coverage (well, almost). And this Brooklyn-reared, Yankee-loving cop’s son has come to embrace the fact that sometimes it is, indeed, about the heel height.