The end of the year is a time for celebration, but also reflection and commemoration. Here, we look back at some of the fashion figures we lost in 2023. They include Davide Renne, 46, who had just been appointed creative director of Moschino, as well as nonagenarians Marc Bohan, who spent three decades at Christian Dior; Mica Ertegun, tastemaker/interior designer/philanthropist; Queens-born model Barbara Mullen; Seventh Avenue success story Leo Narducci, and Youthquake designer, Mary Quant. The industry, and by extension the world, has been impacted by all whose names appear below. They will be dearly missed.
Mica Ertegun, Tastemaker, Interior Designer, Philanthropist, 97
“I don’t like paillette dresses; I prefer simplicity,” said Mica Eretegun in a 2001 profile. Hamish Bowles described her approach to style as having “rigorous discipline combined with a theatrical sensibility,” and the same might be said of the interiors she designed.
Eretegun’s life story, related by Bowles, reads like a novel. Born in Romania, “she escaped the Soviet oppressors together with her countrywoman Queen Elizabeth of Greece, and on the royal train, no less.” Her journey included stops in Switzerland and Paris, where she modeled for Bruyere, and then on to Canada, to manage a chicken farm with her first husband, Stefan Grecianu. In a coup de foudre, Ertegun met and married Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records, in 1961. Having studied interior design, in 1967 she created MAC II, a decorating business, with Chessy Rayner.
The inseparable friends were known for shopping together and for their mutual passion for Madame Grès’s draped jersey dresses, some of which were exhibited in the designer’s monographic exhibition at the Costume Institute. Ertegun entered the International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1971. Mica, Oscar de la Renta told Vogue, “has always been herself; she takes from fashion what she thinks is right for her, and what is not right—well, she won’t put it on!” Specific about her own tastes, Ertegun was a generous philanthropist and hostess. As Vogue wrote in 1977, Mica had a “genius for making other people happy.”
Leo Narducci, Fashion Designer, 91
“I like soft clothes,” said the dashing Leo Narducci in a 1984, further burnishing his reputation, per WWD, as a “nice-’n-easy designer with a penetrating astute business sense.” Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, his parents were fashion contractors. “I ended up in business school at Boston University because my father was determined that I stay out of the rag trade. I flunked out,” he said in an interview. He spent four years in the Air Force, and enrolled at RISD upon his return.