Watch CBSN Live

'Old Navy' Fashionista Dead

Carrie Donovan, the fashion editor whose outsized glasses and flamboyant speech gave her a second career touting T-shirts and cargo pants in Old Navy commercials, has died.
She was 73.

Donovan died at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center. She had been ailing for several months, said George O'Brien, a friend.

Donovan's eye for trends and outgoing personality brought her success as a fashion journalist, first as a reporter for The New York Times and then as an editor for Vogue, Harper's Baazar and The New York Times Magazine.

"She was perfectly cast for a fashion editor," said Karl Lagerfeld said. "She was the leading lady of that role."

With her trademark pearls and oversized black-rimmed glasses, Donovan was a one-of-a-kind fashionista. Her home on the Upper East Side had red walls, red furnishings and leopard carpeting, and she sprinkled her speech with French phrases.

Although she worked as a journalist for more than 30 years, well into the computer age, she wrote all her copy by hand - never having mastered the typewriter. And although she studied dressmaking, she never mastered needle and thread.

Donovan began working for Old Navy in 1997, taping a series of television ads that showcased her quirky image and fashion credibility.

She appeared in 42 spots, often sharing the screen with a dog named Magic.

Donovan, born in Lake Placid in 1928, became enamored with the fashion world at a young age. At 10, she sent actress Jane Wyman sketches for a wardrobe and received a handwritten reply. She graduated from the Parsons School of Design in 1950.

She is survived by her sister Joan Donovan of Cambridge, Mass.

© MMI The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue