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Eleanor Lambert

January 1, 2019

1993 – New York City

Eleanor Lambert, the publicist noted for establishing the international stature of American fashion, is equally well known in all fields of the arts and luxury living. In private life she is Eleanor Lambert Berkson, widow of Seymour Berkson, American journalist (d.1959). Their son, William Berkson, is a recognized poet and art critic. Born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, she was the first publicist to represent American art and its artists as personalities and international innovators. She introduced the Whitney Museum at its founding. Her belief in fashion as an art form led to the recognition of many now famous designers including Claire McCardell, Adrian, Norman Norell, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin and Valentino. She organized the semi-annual Fashion Press Week, forerunner of the centralized showings in Milan, Paris and New York. She founded the Coty Awards (1943-1979) and The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and received its Lifetime Achievement award in 1987 and 1993. The U.S. government appointed Miss Lambert to introduce American fashion to the world through fashion shows in Russia, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Britain, Italy and Australia. She served on the National Council of the Arts (later National Endowment for the Arts) at its founding in 1965. Her international Best Dressed poll, the traditional annual record of contemporary taste in dress, was established in 1941 and continues under her aegis. (Deceased, 2003)