John Fairchild (editor)

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John Burr Fairchild (March 6, 1927 – February 27, 2015) was the publisher and editor in chief of Women's Wear Daily from 1960 to 1996 and the founding editor of W magazine in 1972.


Fairchild was born in Newark, New Jersey,[1] and grew up in Glen Ridge. His father was Louis Fairchild, who joined WWD in 1924, and Louis's father was Edmund Fairchild, the founder of Fairchild Publications.[2] John was a direct descendant of Vice President Aaron Burr. He graduated from Kent School in Kent, Connecticut in 1946 and Princeton. He had a brief tour in the Army but did not see combat. In 1949, while at Fairchild's Paris office, he met his future wife Jill.[3]

Fairchild died on February 27, 2015 at age of 87.[4]


He became the European bureau chief of Fairchild Publications in 1955, the publisher of Women's Wear Daily in 1960 and the founder of W in 1972. He wrote a column for the back page of W under the pseudonym Countess Louise J. Esterhazy.[1] Under his control, Women's Wear Daily was transformed from a negligible trade journal into a notorious, influential and controversial fashion publication that became known as the "bible of fashion".[5][6]


  • Fairchild, John (1989). Chic savages. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780671683344.
  • Fairchild, John (1965). The fashionable savages. Doubleday.
  • Fairchild, John (1967). The moonflower couple. Doubleday.


  1. ^ a b Turner, Zeke (25 June 2010). "The W We Were, With John Fairchild". New York Observer. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  2. ^ Michael Gross, "The McCarthy Era", New York Magazine, August 4, 1997 full text
  3. ^ Meryl Gordon, "Fashion's Most Angry Fella", Vanity Fair, September 2012 full text
  4. ^ John B. Fairchild Dies at 87
  5. ^ Horyn, Cathy (20 August 1999). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Breaking Fashion News With a Provocative Edge". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  6. ^ Miller, Lia (14 March 2005). "MEDIA; Women's Wear Daily Setting Its Sights on the Luxury Market". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2013.