Tributes have been paid to fashion journalist, Hilary Alexander who died at the age of 77 on Sunday (February 5) - the day of her birthday. The Daily Telegraph’s former journalist also wrote for the BBC and CNN, while rising to fame with TV appearances such as Britain’s Next Top Model.
Born in 1946 in New Zealand, she began her career as a reporter in home country and Australia, before moving to Hong Kong to work. In 1985, she became The Daily Telegraph’s fashion editor before becoming the newspaper’s fashion director in 2003. She left the publication in 2011.
She continued to work as a stylist, broadcaster, and editor-at-large for Hello! Fashion Monthly in recent years. Alexander received an OBE in 2013 for her contributions to fashion journalism, and in 2019 she was appointed honorary president of the Graduate Foundation.
She also was named twice as journalist of the year at the British Fashion Awards in 1997 and 2003 respectively. Since her death, celebrities and fellow journalists have paid tributes to her, describing her as one of the ‘kindest’ and ‘brightest’ people in the business.
Tributes to Hilary Alexander
British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful wrote: “Hilary was one of the original, old-school fashion journalists. I remember she was really kind to me when I first started 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.”
The celebrity and fashion guru also appeared on Lorraine Kelly’s ITV show, causing the host to express her sadness on Twitter. Lorraine wrote: "This is desperately sad news. I loved having #hilaryalexander on the show - wise, kind and always on top of her game."
In addition to her appearances on ITV’s Lorraine, she also frequently appeared on GMTV and BBC Breakfast as well as Clothes Show Live as a host. According to reports, the leading fashion journalist created the phrase "supermodel" while writing about fashion shows.
Throughout her illustrious career, Hilary developed friendships with renowned fashion designers such as Gianni Versace and Alexander McQueen.
Also paying tribute was David Furnish, who is married to Sir Elton John. He wrote on Instagram with a picture they took together with her at a formal event. He said: “So sad to hear of the passing of the great @hilaryalexanderobe.
“As Fashion Editor for the Telegraph, Hilary was one of the brightest and kindest people in the business. She was always so generous with the coverage she gave our @ejaf fundraiser “White Tie & Tiara Ball. Condolences to her family and friends. RIP.”