Eleanor Lambert, born in 1903 at Crawforsville, Indiana, is an American journalist and public relations manager. She has devoted her life to supporting American fashion.
After studying fashion at the Chicago Art Institute, she moved to New York to work in fashion field. At the beginning of her career, she wrote as fashion editor for Breath of the Avenue. Moreover, she acted as cover book designer in a publishing house.
Some years later, Lambert was able to open her own activity as advertising agency at Manhattan and, then, as press officer for the Withney Museum of American Art, representing different artists such as Jackson Pollock.
In 1936 she married the journalist Seymour Berkson, who died in 1959 leaving her alone with a baby, William, who is now a successful art critic.
Eleanor Lambert’s fashion innovations
Deeply fond of fashion, in 1940 Lambert creates the International Best Dressed List: a report card of the best celebrities fashion looks.
In 1942 she became the promoter of the Fashion Press Week, an initiative meant to illustrate American fashion to the international press, concentrating all shows in one week. She helped launch designers like Charles James, Bill Blass, and De La Renta. In 1943, The Fashion Press Week became the New York Fashion Week: the very first Fashion Week.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Eleanor Lambert Award
The American government awarded her several honors, but she herself has been the promoter of numerous organizations, such as the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The same Council gave her two awards, one for her career (1988), and one for her particular contribution to the development of fashion (1993). Furthermore, she has also been awarded a degree honoris causa from the Parson’s School of Design. In addition, Lambert instituted also the international award Best Dressed Poll.
Moreover, in 2001 the CFDA sets up the Eleanor Lambert Award: a prize addressed to people who make the difference in fashion field.
Eleanor Lambert passed away in October 2003, at the age of 100, after having done her last public appearance at the Neew York Fashion Week of September 2003.