Skip to main content

Obituary: Howard Suslow, Architect of WWD’s Beauty Advertising

Suslow helped expand WWD's coverage into the beauty industry.

Howard Suslow, who helped launch and develop the beauty business within WWD and W, died Jan. 14 at his home in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 89 years old.

Suslow’s career in beauty and fragrance marketing began at Revlon. He joined WWD’s then owner Fairchild Publications in 1958. During his tenure, he elevated the presence of beauty advertising in WWD’s pages and oversaw the development of the mass market segment in 1992. He was promoted to vice president, beauty sales and marketing for Fairchild in 1994. Suslow retired from his role in 1996. Those who worked with Suslow called him “one of a kind,” with access to the key players in the budding beauty business. He was involved with the Fragrance Foundation and numerous industry charities.

“I’ve never met anyone so passionately devoted to his publication as Howard Suslow,” said Leonard Lauder, chairman emeritus of The Estée Lauder Cos. “He ate, drank and slept WWD and loved the paper and he loved the concept of print. He was a dear friend, and I will miss him.”

Related Galleries

Arne Zimmerman was president of Revlon at the time Suslow was hammering out the beauty blueprint. “Howard had a vision to add beauty cosmetics to the publication. He had the vision and fortitude to get a Friday beauty edition to market. He was a hard-working, dedicated individual who brought an energy and esteem that embraced the WWD story.”

You May Also Like

Those who worked at WWD and W with Suslow echoed those sentiments. “Howard was the best natural salesman who worked for WWD during my 30-year-tenure,” said Michael Coady, the former editor of WWD and W and former chief executive officer of Fairchild Publications. “He built the beauty category in both WWD and W. He as fine man with great wit.”

Stephanie George, the former president of WWD and W during Suslow’s tenure added, “He was also a gentleman, a statesman and the chief beauty officer for the entire industry. He cared as much about our clients as the brands he represented.”

Ed Nardoza, who retired in 2016 from his longstanding post as editor in chief of WWD added, “Howard made us a dominant commercial force. He was ‘old school’ in the best sense; tough, fully engaged in the fundamentals of the industry, with access to every ceo in the business and a prominent fixture at every event on the calendar.”

Suslow, a fervent Yankees fan, graduated from NYU in 1948 and served in the U.S. Army in Germany. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judy, sons Steve and Ken and four grandsons. Noted George, “He loved his family more than the world and all the people he mentored like me.” A celebration of his life was observed on Jan. 20 at his home.