Twenty-six years ago today, fashion lost one of its acclaimed journalists: Eugenia Sheppard, for whom the CFDA named an award. Here, excerpts from a Q&A with the New York Herald Tribune columnist — and WWD alum — that ran in these pages on March 11, 1963.
WWD: What is the difference between Paris fashion and American fashion?
Eugenia Sheppard: You can’t compare them — they both have different ideas…and fashion is not just for one place…but Americans — they do want to make money, don’t they?
WWD: How do you write a fashion story?
E.S.: I suffer.
WWD: Really, how do you write a fashion story?
E.S.: First I have an idea…then I try to decide how to make people read that idea, how it can be made amusing…sometimes I just scrap ideas…I like to write.
WWD: What type of fashion story do you like to write?
E.S.: I don’t like to cover shows…I like stories where personalities are involved.…I am more interested in personalities than in clothes.
WWD: What is the role of the fashion magazine?
E.S.: I have enough worries — they have to work out theirs…really, though, each must have its own personality, its own individual point of view. There is no need to cut each other’s throats. It is most fatal for one publication to imitate another.
WWD: Do you think it is possible for the newspapers to present fashion in as exciting a manner as the magazines?
E.S.: The big thing is that the newspapers have immediacy. They can say what they want…and then forget it.
WWD: Do you believe that there is such a thing as an elegant group of people that sticks together as a group?
E.S.: I don’t believe in the Jet Set…as a solid organization, it is as valid as Santa Claus.