Jeanne Beker Set the Standard for Fashion TV Journalism

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It was demeaning oftentimes, and I had to do it all while still being on camera! I didn’t have a makeup artist, hairdresser, or a stylist that all the TV presenters have these days. I didn’t even have a field producer until the later years. It was me and the […]

It was demeaning oftentimes, and I had to do it all while still being on camera! I didn’t have a makeup artist, hairdresser, or a stylist that all the TV presenters have these days. I didn’t even have a field producer until the later years. It was me and the cameraman. We didn’t have a driver in the early years, so we’d be in Paris in the pouring rain, trying to hail a cab. There was a cameraman carrying all that gear, and there I was with the tripod in stilettos, because I refused to be that much shorter than the models. 

It also wasn’t just covering two or three shows a day—it was covering eight shows a day, and then squeezing stories in between the shows. Maybe there was something happening at a museum or gallery, and then being up late at night covering the parties. 

You also wore a lot of Canadian designers on the show, which I love. 

I wanted to be a cheerleader for designers in this country who were just as talented as the European or American counterparts, but did not have the finances to blow their horns as loudly. I had a clothing deal with various Canadian designers, who needed their wares to be shown on that platform. I wore Lida Baday, Wesley and Winsa, Zapata, Danier, Misura by Joeffer Caoc, Teenflo (which is now Judith and Charles), Sunny Choi, and Wayne Clark. I got the Order of Canada for promoting Canadian design, and that show had a lot to do with it.

What are you wearing these days? Your style is still fabulous at 70!

Over the years, I have acquired many pieces by the Irish designer Louise Kennedy. I find them to be absolutely fantastic. I love what Greta Constantine is doing, and I also love the Canadian label Smythe. I love their jackets, and the beautiful tailoring. They’re classic pieces that really have a certain quality and sophisticated sensibility to them.

Photo: Getty Images

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