Longtime Style Director and FIT Professor Lynda Johnson Dies at 65; Johnson worked at Fairchild Publications for nearly 27 years and at FIT for 34 years.

September 27, 2021 – WWD – Former Children’s Business style director and longtime Fashion Institute of Technology faculty member Lynda Johnson died Saturday at the age of 65.

Johnson died of pneumonia at Mount Sinai Morningside, according to her husband Alonzo Wright. A celebration of her life is expected to be held next year. Known for being without any pretenses whatsoever, Johnson was not one to put people out of their way, wanting everyone to get their just desserts and believing in sacrifice of self before someone else, Wright said.

In 1978, two years after graduating from FIT, Johnson joined what was then Fairchild Publications as fashion editor of Sportstyle magazine. After working in that role for seven years, she became style director for Sportstyle and Children’s Business, which had just started. Johnson specialized in the fashion side, covering trends and leading fashion shoots. After nearly 27 years at Fairchild, Johnson left in the fall of 2005, when Children’s Business was shuttered.

In 2009, she started Style Source Media with her business partner Tracy Mitchell-Brown, the former executive editor at Children’s Business, to create www.kidstyle source.com. Having first met Johnson after joining Fairchild in 1986, she said, “Lynda was an easy one to work with, because she was so passionate about what she did. She was so committed — everything had to be just right with fashion shoots. She was such a teacher as well. We had so many of her FIT students in to help and they picked up her enthusiasm. They learned and I learned from her.”

Johnson rallied Mitchell-Brown to create their online venture, an information site for the children’s industry, which Johnson felt was needed and that she kept up with after Mitchell-Brown relocated to Atlanta in 2016. Johnson also worked as a freelance stylist for fashion shoots for children’s manufacturers and magazines. “At all the trade shows, everyone would be so touched to see her because she was a rallying force around the new companies and the new designers,” Mitchell-Brown said, adding that she knew generations of business owners due to her tenure.

Johnson first started teaching at FIT in 1987 and worked in a multitude of disciplines. She was an assistant professor, teaching advertising and communications, magazine journalism, fashion journalism and a publicity workshop. She also held educational seminars about the fashion and communications industry for high school and college students from across the country. Roberta Elins, a professor of advertising and marketing communications, said, “Lynda was an outstanding educator and a dearly loved colleague. Her students knew that she demanded excellence and they loved her for making them achieve their full potential. She was a mentor to so many current students and alumni.”

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