Babs Simpson, the influential fashion editor who lorded over Vogue's fashion photography from the 40s to the 60s, passed away last week at her Rye home. In 2006 at age 93, Simpson told Vogue:
“I have always thought,” she says with a clear, steady gaze and an even clearer, steadier voice (an imperious voice, one might say, though that would deny the warm, playful undertones), “that it’s as important to know when to leave as much as it is to arrive. If the party is over, you have to understand it’s time to move on.”
In its obituary, The New York Times said in part:
"Small, fierce and forever in a strand of pearls — real ones, naturally — Mrs. Simpson, as she preferred to be known, worked with many of the titans of fashion photography over her 25 years at Vogue.
She searched out Hemingway in Cuba (he had an eye for the model she brought along, Jean Patchett), dressed Marilyn Monroe for her final sitting with Bert Stern and tromped through Ireland with Anjelica Huston and Richard Avedon. She sat for Horst P. Horst and worked with Irving Penn, but even collaboration with the greats neither cowed her nor cracked her witty, no-nonsense mien."
Watch the video on Simpson and read the obits below on a life well lived.
The New York Times obituary.
The Vogue obituary.
Vogue article, 2006.