Obituary: Ruth Staiman

Ruth StaimanRuth Staiman, former Bloomingdale’s fashion director, Esquire director and co-founder of The Fashion Office, has died after a battle with cancer. Holly Adam, a friend and former colleague, submitted the following tribute.

It is with a heavy heart that we share news of the death yesterday of Ruth Staiman, a co-worker of mine, and a dear friend of many in the menswear world.

Ruth’s time in New York, after graduating from NYU, was spent at Bloomingdale’s and Esquire prior to moving to Florida. She started her own company, aptly named The Fashion Office. The logo was very near and dear to us. Two glorious white chairs upholstered in lime green velvet that sat on the opposite side of Kal Ruttenstein’s desk. Ruth was very proud to have “graduated” from Kal U.

She was a force of nature, the gorgeous blonde ponytail swinging, arms akimbo, handbag contents spilling out, all the while shining. It was a heel every day, despite the weather. Hermes was the only appropriate bag to contain the myriad contents. Chanel? The ensemble of choice.

Where might she be on any given day? Hard to say, but suffice it to say that Ruth had the international travel bug and soaked it all up. Whether for business or pleasure, this girl—and I use that term lovingly—let no moss grow under her feet. She hit the ground running. She loved nothing more. Especially if her family was in tow.

Oh, and she loved pink. One of our biggest disagreements. I’m not a pink gal, and for those of you that know me, no surprise. I loved her still. Our fallback agreement place was black.

Ruth accomplished so many things, including being on the forefront of print-to-digital media. At the end of the day, none of it mattered to her.

She cherished every single moment of her life with her sons Phillip and William, and later with her beloved husband Billy and their daughter Elizabeth. Bizzy and I share not only a first name but a birthday. Biz turned 8 on Friday. Ru and I were messaging that day, and she was surrounded by family and wouldn’t “chat.” They trumped everything for her.

A service will be held in Florida tomorrow. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, consider a donation in her memory to Palm Beach Synagogue or the Hebrew Academy of Morris County, New Jersey.

I am sure the sunshine today is Ru working her magic already. Wonder what bag she’s carrying?

—Holly Adam with Mary Ellen Barone, Kimberly Cihlar, John Fowler and Tom Julian

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