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.
Ms. Finley attended Simmons College in Boston between 1937 and 1941, where she majored in journalism and minored in nutrition. A summer internship at the New York Herald Tribune allowed her to meet the Tribune's fashion writer, Eugenia Sheppard, who then introduced Ms. Finley to Eleanor Lambert. Lambert became a mentor to Ms. Finley.
Ms. 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. Responding to a lack of coordination in the growing American fashion industry, Ruth started the subscription-based Fashion Calendar in 1945. In erstwhile print form, the calendar was published every other week, and listed locations and time for all fashion shows and related events in New York City. Occasionally international events with relevance to the New York fashion scene would be included as well.
In the past, the extent of listings and content changed over time, and would at various time list other events of cultural significance. Ms. Finley's personal approach to conducting her business has earned her the reputation and respect as the master planner of New York Fashion Week and is considered a key figure for designers looking to break into the New York fashion scene.
Today, the Fashion Calendar exists online, and is considered the main source for tracking runways shows 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.
Quotes about Ruth Finley
- Deihl, Nancy (2018). The Hidden History of American Fashion: Rediscovering 20th-Century Women Designers. London: Bloomsbury Academic. p. 181. ISBN 9781350000469.
- "Ruth Finley, Fashion's Original Calendar Girl, Is Getting the Documentary Treatment". Vogue. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
- "Citymeals on Wheels". Citymeals On Wheels. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
- "CFDA to Honor Oft-Overlooked Fashion Legends This Year".
- "The National Arts Club Medal of Honor".