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Life and Times

Over the course of its century, WWD has evolved from an all-type, once-a-week trade page to a global multiplatform enterprise.

fashion/news
Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD 100 issue 11/01/2010

1910: Women’s Wear debuts on May 21 as a page in the Saturday edition of the Daily Trade Record (which turns into Daily News Record, or DNR). Months later, Women’s Wear bows as a daily afternoon paper, and is published every day but Sunday. Price: One cent.

 

1911: Edmund Wade Fairchild, who with Louis E. Fairchild founded the company, opens the Paris bureau.

 

1915: Women’s Wear moves its operations from 42 East 21st Street to 822 Broadway at 12th Street to make room for three new Linotype machines.

 

1919: Subscription price is raised from $3 to $6 a year; circulation reaches 14,238.

 

1923: Fairchild begins publishing Women’s Wear Monthly twice a month for women’s specialty retailers and department stores. Two editions, one from New York and one from Chicago, cover the East and West of the United States. The 18-year-old Edgar W. B. Fairchild, son of Louis E., joins the firm.

 

1924: During the Twenties, Fairchild hires about 180 paperboys to hand deliver copies of the afternoon editions of Women’s Wear and Daily News Record to garment district workers. Edmund Wade’s son Louis W. Fairchild joins the company and eventually becomes chairman, a post he holds until 1966.

 

1927: Women’s Wear changes its name to Women’s Wear Daily.

 

1948: Louis W. Fairchild is named president of the company, succeeding his uncle, Louis E. Fairchild.

 

1951: Fairchild installs a 225-ton, $600,000 Scott press in the basement of its 12th Street building, which cuts printing time in half. By the end of the decade, the paper is publishing up to 5,000 pages of news a year.

 

1960: L.W. Fairchild’s son, John B. Fairchild, who had been running WWD’s Paris bureau, returns to New York as publisher. He makes significant changes in the paper’s focus, broadening its scope beyond industry news to the social, cultural and political scenes, sharpening its tone and adding new visual elements.

 

1964: Fairchild is named editor in chief of corporate publishing. He becomes publishing director in 1965 and president of Fairchild Publications in 1966.

 

1968: Capital Cities Broadcasting, which owned radio and TV stations, acquires Fairchild. The family-owned company becomes part of a publicly traded media empire.

 

1972: The biweekly W is launched as a large-format color offshoot of WWD, repackaging fashion and features from the daily newspaper for a consumer audience.

 

1980: WWD redesigns its front page, and instead of many different elements, features one large photograph.

 

1986: WWD reporters toss aside their typewriters and enter the computer age. Capital Cities acquires the American Broadcasting Co. (ABC). WWD’s single-copy price goes up to $1.

 

1991: Fairchild moves from 7 East 12th Street to 7 West 34th Street, once the site of Ohrbach’s Department Store.

 

1994: Color photographs start appearing regularly in WWD.

 

1996: The Walt Disney Co. acquires Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., making WWD part of its multimedia enterprise.

 

1997: John B. Fairchild retires as chairman and editorial director of Fairchild Publications on his 70th birthday and continues as contributing editor at large.

 

1999: Advance Publications Inc., the publishing empire owned by the Newhouse family, acquires Fairchild Publications, from Disney in a deal reported to be worth $650 million.

 

2000: WWD The Magazine, a twice-yearly publication that highlights coverage of the runway shows in New York, Milan, Paris and London, launches.

 

2004: WWD moves from 34th Street to 750 Third Avenue, where it still remains.

 

2008: Digital takes hold as WWD.com is redesigned and relaunched with a paid subscription model. Twitter followers skyrocket, breaking the one million mark.

 

2010: Menswear magazine is launched. WWD, now $3 a copy, redesigns its front page and begins preparations for a celebration honoring its 100th year.