What Pierre Bergé Taught Me About Fashion

by MR Magazine Staff

Timing is everything in life, and so it is in journalism. I had the good fortune of becoming a fashion writer in 1986, when the industry was still dominated by privately owned houses founded by extraordinarily tough but generous individuals — men like Yves Saint Laurent and his lifelong business partner Pierre Bergé; Valentino; Giancarlo Giammetti; and Oscar de la Renta. There was a second ring of designers whom I adored, and relied on for gossip and insight, like my friend Fernando Sánchez; and there were the editors who were a school unto themselves — no one more so than the late John Fairchild, whose family owned and ran Women’s Wear Daily during the prime fashion decades of the 20th century. I never worked for John, but we became friends later, after he had retired. Because these people were part of my development as a fashion writer, it doesn’t take much for a memory to be triggered, and then out rushes a whole series of them. But here I want to tell just one story, about Bergé, who died this week at age 86. It not only illustrates an aspect of his personality perhaps not addressed in the tributes to him, but it also spotlights a crucial difference in journalism and the fashion world between then and now. Read more at The Cut.