Iconic fashion journalist and broadcaster Hilary Alexander dies aged 77

Iconic fashion journalist and broadcaster Hilary Alexander dies aged 77

Fashion journalist Hilary Alexander has died at the age of 77.

The prolific fashion editor and TV personality died on Sunday, which was her birthday.

She was one of the original Fleet Street fashion journalists, starting her career as a trainee reporter at just 16, and went on to become the fashion editor of The Daily Telegraph in 1982, where she remained for 26 years.

Alexander was said to have coined the term ‘supermodel’, and was good friends with a range of famous designers, including Gianni Versace, Zandra Rhodes, Lee McQueen, and Julien Macdonald.

Usually referring to her as ‘Hils’, they trusted her to keep their upcoming projects a secret, so long as she could break the story first.

New Zealand native Alexander was a self-confessed workaholic, making a name for herself on various networks as she shared her wealth of fashion knowledge on the likes of BBC and CNN, as well as appearances on Lorraine and Loose Women.

She was named British fashion journalist of the year twice (in 1997 and 2003), and, in June 2011, the British Fashion Council and The Daily Telegraph hosted a party to celebrate her career.

Then she was honoured with an OBE in 2013 for services to fashion.

What’s more, she published her own book, Leopard, Fashion’s Most Powerful Print, in 2018.

‘I don’t think that I will ever actually retire from the industry,’ she previously said.

‘I just love clothes and jewellery too much.’

Prior to her death, she worked as the editor-at-large for Hello Fashion Monthly and continued to freelancing in styling and broadcasting.

Alexander made many TV appearances in her time, from gameshows such as Weakest Link, to being a featured stylist on Britain’s Next Top Model in 2005 and 2006, then returning in the 2016 series.

Her legacy will certainly live on in the industry, with British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enniful branding her ‘one of the original, old-school fashion journalists.’

Enniful added in a tribute in the publication: ‘I remember she was really kind to me when I was first starting out in the industry. Everybody wanted to read what she had to say about fashion, but also she was hilarious, you could always feel her energy. She was so alive.’

Fashion designer Rhodes also said: ‘Hilary Alexander was the epitome of amazing enthusiasm and hard work. She never gave up on a story and the research that went with it. We will never be able to fill the gap she has left.’

‘Her wit, intelligence and her fashion wisdom will be greatly missed,’ added artist Daniel Lismore. ‘She was a very funny lady who led an extremely colourful life.’

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