Taylor, John 1921-2003
TAYLOR, John 1921-2003
See index for CA sketch: Born September 4, 1921, in Glasgow, Scotland; died December 19, 2003. Editor, publisher, journalist, and author. As the former editor of Tailor & Cutter and publisher of many other men's fashion magazines, Taylor was widely considered to have been a major influence in bringing credibility and interest back to men's clothing after World War II. Interestingly, his first career was not in fashion at all; it began when he was still a youth growing up in London, where he became a child actor on the weekly children's program The Ovaltineys Concert Party. Gaining some renown for his comedic talents, Taylor won other roles as a child actor and singer, and just before World War II was accepted to sing with the Oscar Rabin Band. With the onset of war, however, Taylor enlisted in the Royal Navy, became an air gunner and pilot with the Eastern Fleet in North Africa, and saw action in Madagascar. After the war, he returned to England, but instead of resuming an acting career he decided to try his hand at journalism. Despite his lack of experience, he was hired in 1946 to edit Tailor & Cutter, a clothing trade magazine. Taylor transformed the rather uninspired technical publication into a huge success by making the articles much more entertaining to read; thus, he managed to quadruple its circulation during his nearly two decades as editor. His early success prompted him to also launch another men's style magazine, Man about Town, in 1952. In 1969 he was hired by Industrial Publishing Co. to be director of their clothing titles, including British Style magazine. He also served as publisher of such magazines as Manufacturing Clothier, Buttons, and Hards Year Book of Clothing Industry. Taylor's most recent endeavor was the 1999 launching of Savile Row magazine. During his long career, Taylor helped to put British fashion on the map and to make it acceptable for men to be interested in fashion styles. The winner of the 1970 Fashion Writer of the Year award from the British Clothing Institute, he was the author of half a dozen books, including The Care and Feeding of Young Ladies (1975), Fibres and Fabrics (1979), and Dyes and Dyeing (1980); he was also a regular columnist for numerous periodicals, such as Punch, High Life, Penthouse, Observer, New York Times, and Daily Mail.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Press Gazette, January 15, 2004.
Times (London, England), January 6, 2004.