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BEAUCHAMP DEPARTS DEPARTURES: Bob Beauchamp is retiring following more than 40 years in the fashion industry, most notably with men’s editorial positions at GQ, Esquire and Departures magazines. Beauchamp was instrumental in shaping the fashion coverage of GQ and Esquire in the late Seventies and Eighties, when designers like Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren were transformed into powerful lifestyle brands, largely on the strength of their men’s wear businesses. He joined the 1.04-million-circulation Departures in 1996 as editorial fashion director, transitioning in 2006 to the business side to create special advertising sections for the American Express Publishing-owned title as luxury marketing adviser.
Beauchamp, 68, started his career in the management training program at Loehmann’s and worked as a women’s buyer for several years but disliked the business. In 1976, GQ publisher Sal Schiliro persuaded editor in chief Jack Haber to hire Beauchamp as men’s fashion director. “I didn’t have any experience, but Sal had this confidence that I could do the job. I was a good dresser and had a certain taste level and had a reputation as a normal person without a big ego,” recalled Beauchamp.
At GQ, Beauchamp worked under editors Haber and Art Cooper, and alongside the influential art director Donald Sterzin, who would later play a pivotal role in creating Ralph Lauren’s lush advertising campaigns of the period. Current GQ creative director Jim Moore was an intern for Beauchamp at the time, while the legendary Condé Nast editorial director Alexander Liberman would review all the fashion pages each month. “There were times he could be brutal, but he was right 99 percent of the time,” recalled Beauchamp.
With Sterzin, Beauchamp worked closely with a new generation of photographers, including Bruce Weber, Rico Puhlmann and Barry McKinley. “We made men as beautiful as women,” said Beauchamp.
In 1987, he jumped ship to Esquire as editorial fashion director, where he stayed until 1996, working under a succession of editors, including Lee Eisenberg, Terry McDonell and Ed Kosner.
In 1999, Beauchamp created a consulting business with his wife, Linda Beauchamp, whose previous positions included president of the Donna Karan men’s business, fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue and president of Susan Dell. Linda does most of the work for clients, said Beauchamp.
Departures will toast Beauchamp’s retirement with a party at the Core Club on Tuesday.