I was just informed that editor, author, television personality and style expert Charla Krupp has passed away. I’m in a state of shock and I kept thinking that there must be something I could do. I imagine that Krupp would have wanted us to move on and remember her legacy, so let me do that now.
Charla Krupp was the first major personality I ever met as a writer. My first big event came directly after her book, How To Never Look Fat Again, had just been released. Deeply uncomfortable with my weight, my first big assignment was to attend a huge party at The Empire Hotel, filled with notables and celebrities, and interview people coming off the red carpet. Two glasses of champagne and no liquid courage gained at that point, I crumbled in a heap in a corner, crying like a small child. This is when I spied Krupp, who walked directly to me and began a conversation that would change my life.
Krupp, ever indefatigable and extremely enthusiastic, listened to my story about how I had sold everything I owned to move myself to New York to become a fashion and beauty writer, how I was terrified about being so heavy in the industry, and that with little to no experience I was scared to death. At which point, she said, “You’re beautiful, you’re brave and you’re smart. You can do whatever you want, regardless of how much you weigh.” And then she gave me some advice about clothing that would actually help me look more streamlined in photographs. The last thing she said to me was, “Honey, you’re going to be so amazing. I’ll look for your name in lights someday.”
I only saw her one more time at a fashion event and she recognized me instantly. She complimented my weight loss and told me to keep going, that the industry needed more people like me who really wanted to be there. I never got a chance to thoroughly thank her for her advice, for her amazing books that imparted her passion for women looking and feeling their best, for her smile that kept me going for years after our chance encounter.
The Washington Post article said that Krupp made over 100 appearances on television, which is where I first encountered her boundless energy, her wealth of knowledge and her passion for women being smart about their choices and their lives. Today, Charla succumbed to a battle with breast cancer, a disease that is taking so many heroes, known and unknown. For her pain and suffering, to her family and friends, I can only offer this brief story to join in your sorrow of the loss of a woman who was truly a beautiful, wonderful, talented human being. She will forever be missed.
Charla, for giving me what was most likely the most important piece of advice at the exact moment when it was needed, for showing me that my passion really did have purpose, and that clothes that fit will always make you look and feel sexier than the ones that don’t, I thank you, I honor you and I wish you safe passage.