Eleanor Lambert

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Eleanor Lambert Berkson
Born(1903-08-10)August 10, 1903
Crawfordsville, Indiana
DiedOctober 7, 2003(2003-10-07) (aged 100)
Manhattan, New York City
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma materJohn Herron School of Art and the Chicago Art Institute
Organizationorganized the Council of Fashion Designers of America
Known forAmerican fashion and public relations industry
Notable workhelped with the founding of the Museum of Modern Art
appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to the National Council on the Arts of the National Endowment for the Arts
Spouse(s)Willis Conner (first spouse) and Seymour Berkson (second spouse)
ChildrenBill Berkson
AwardsThe Eleanor Lambert Award was named in her honor

Eleanor Lambert Berkson (August 10, 1903 – October 7, 2003) was a central figure in the American fashion and public relations industries.[1][2][3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Lambert was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana.[2][5] She attended the John Herron School of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago to study fashion.[2][5] Lambart wanted to be a sculptor but went into advertising.[6] She started at an advertising agency in Manhattan, dealing mostly with artists and art galleries.[2][5]

She was married twice, firstly to Wills Conner, in the 1920s,[4] which ended in divorce and secondly to Seymour Berkson[2] in 1936, which ended with his death in 1959.[6] Eleanor and Seymour had one son together, the renowned poet Bill Berkson.[6] She died in Manhattan in New York City.[4]


Photograph of movie stars posing with President Harry Truman and his family at the White House: (front row, left to right) Van Johnson; Ilene Woods; Diana Lynn; Margaret Truman; Margaret O'Brien; the President; Mrs. Truman; Constance Moore; (back row, left to right) Jo Stafford; Eleanor Lambert; Angela Lansbury; Helen Sioussat; Eddie Bracken; Paul Henreid; Zachary Scott; Alexis Smith; Cesar Romero; and Lucy Munroe.

In the mid 1930s, Lambert was the first Press Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art and helped with the founding of the Museum of Modern Art.[1][2][5] Jackson Pollock, Jacob Epstein, and Isamu Noguchi were a few of the many artists she represented.[2][5]

In the 1940s, Lambert founded the International Best Dressed List, the Coty Fashion Critics’ Award (in 1943), and New York Fashion Week.[1][5][7][8] In 1959 and 1967, she was asked by the US Department of State to present American fashion for the first time in Russia, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, Britain, and Switzerland.[1][7]

In 1965, she was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to the National Council on the Arts of the National Endowment for the Arts.[2] In 1962, she organized the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and stayed an honorary member until her death in 2003.[2]

In 2001, the CFDA created The Eleanor Lambert Award, that is presented for a “unique contribution to the world of fashion and/or deserves the industry’s special recognition.”[2] Months before she died, she had left her International Best Dressed List to four of Vanity Fair’s editors.[2] Shortly after her last public appearance at New York Fashion Week in September, Lambert died in 2003 at the age of 100.[2][9] Shortly after her death her grandson, Moses Berkson, completed a documentary film about her life.

Fashion historian John A. Tiffany was mentored by Lambert.[8][10] Lambert created the Council of Fashion Designers of America.[10]

One source credits Lambert as "she was a factor in the gross domestic product of the U.S., and even of the world" for her influence in the fashion industry.[11][dubious ] Lambert's influence is described as exogenous event risk in mathematical modeling.[11][dubious ]


  1. ^ a b c d "Stahl Case Study: Eleanor Lambert Demand Creator". ValueWalk LLC. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Tiffany, John. "Eleanor Lambert believed in destiny". Council of Fashion Designers of America. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Eleanor Lambert". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b c NEMY, ENID (October 8, 2003). "Eleanor Lambert, Empress of Fashion, Dies at 100". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Diliberto, Gioia (2009-09-09). "Eleanor Of Seventh Avenue: Where Fashion Week Came From". Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Eleanor Lambert Obituary". The Telegraph newspaper. 10 October 2003. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  7. ^ a b Skarda, Erin (April 2, 2012). "Eleanor Lambert". Time magazine. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Author to Discuss Fashion Industry Impresario Eleanor Lambert, Feb. 2". Library of Congress. January 3, 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  9. ^ Moody, Ron (October 8, 2003). "Eleanor Lambert (1903-2003)". Find a Grave.com. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  10. ^ a b DiNardo, Julia (December 6, 2011). "Eleanor Lambert: Still Here by John A. Tiffany". Fashion Pulse Daily. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Eleanor Lambert, Demand Creator" (PDF). HORIZON RESEARCH GROUP. July 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2013.


  • Ultimate Style: The Best of the Best Dressed List by Eleanor Lambert and Bettina Zilkha (April 2004) ISBN 2843235138
  • World of fashion: People, places, resources (1973) ISBN 0835206270
  • John Loring, Eleanor Lambert, James Galanos: Tiffany in Fashion. Harry N. Abrams Inc., New York NY 2003, ISBN 0-8109-4637-8.

External links[edit]