Ruth Finley

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Ruth Finley (January 14, 1920 – August 25, 2018) was an American businesswoman who was the founder and publisher of The Fashion Calendar and a central figure in the American fashion industry.


Ruth Finley attended Simmons College in Boston between 1937 and 1941, where she majored in journalism and minored in nutrition.[1]. A summer internship at the New York Herald Tribune allowed her to meet the Tribune's fashion writer, Eugenia Sheppard, who then introduced Finley to Eleanor Lambert. Lambert became a mentor to Finley.

Finley worked as a theater usher in New York during college and after graduation. At the time, theater in New York followed a centralized schedule of dates and events.[1] Responding to a lack of coordination in the growing American fashion industry, Finley along with Frances Hughes started the subscription-based Fashion Calendar in the early 1940s. In erstwhile print form, the Calendar was published every week, and listed all logistical and contact information for all fashion shows and related events in New York City and abroad.

In the past, the extent of listings and content changed over time, and would at various time list other events of cultural significance. Finley's personal approach to conducting her business earned her the reputation and respect as the planner of New York Fashion Week.[citation needed]

Today, the Fashion Calendar exists online, and is considered the main source for tracking runway shows and promotional events year-round and during New York Fashion Week. On October 1, 2014, the Calendar was acquired by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. A documentary about Ruth Finley and the Fashion Calendar, directed by Christian D. Bruun, is scheduled for an upcoming release.[2]

Finley was an active board member of Citymeals on Wheels.[3]


2016: The Fashion Institute of Technology President's Lifetime Achievement Award [4]

2014: The CFDA Board of Directors Tribute Award [5]

2010: The National Arts Club Medal of Honor.[6]

2008: The High School of Fashion Industries Lifetime Achievement Award [7]

Quotes about Ruth Finley[edit]

Carolina Herrera: "Ruth has been a constant for all of us designers. She’s the magic behind the scenes of fashion week."[8]

Donna Karan: “God bless anyone who can keep this industry together" [9]


  1. ^ a b Nudell, Natalie (2018). "Ruth Finley's Fashion Calendar". In Deihl, Nancy (ed.). The Hidden History of American Fashion Rediscovering 20th-century Women Designers. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic Press. ISBN 9781350000483.
  2. ^ "Ruth Finley, Fashion's Original Calendar Girl, Is Getting the Documentary Treatment". Vogue. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "Citymeals on Wheels". Citymeals On Wheels. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  4. ^ Lockwood, Lisa. "Ivy Ross, Joe Zee Give Keynote Addresses at FIT Graduation".
  5. ^ "CFDA to Honor Oft-Overlooked Fashion Legends This Year".
  6. ^ "The National Arts Club Medal of Honor".
  7. ^ WWD Staff. "High School of Fashion Industries Honoring Finley".
  8. ^ Moin, David. "National Arts Club Honors Ruth Finley". WWD.
  9. ^ Karinzadeh, Marc. "2014 CFDA Fashion Awards: The Winners' Circle". WWD.

External links[edit]