PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.


Charla Krupp, fashion writer and adviser, dies at 58

Wendy Donahue
Chicago Tribune (MCT)

Beauty books come and go, traded for younger models. But Charla Krupp’s “How Not to Look Old” has remained a bible for women since its 2008 publication.

The book spent 18 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, sold more than 300,000 copies and inspired Krupp’s 2010 follow-up, “How to Never Look Fat Again,” which spent four weeks on the best seller list.

Ms. Krupp, 58, died of breast cancer on Monday, Jan. 23. She was a resident of Manhattan and Sagaponack, N.Y., and was married to Richard Zoglin, Time magazine’s theater critic and an author.

Ms. Krupp grew up in Wilmette, Ill., and graduated from New Trier West High School. She then earned a journalism degree with Bronze Tablet honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was editor of the Daily Illini. She moved to New York to start an internship at Mademoiselle before graduation ceremonies in 1975.

Over the next few decades, she wrote and edited entertainment and beauty features at Glamour, InStyle, Shop Etc., More and People StyleWatch magazines. She appeared more than 130 times as a “Today” show contributor and lent support to other women in the media.

When Cindi Leive, editor in chief of Glamour, started working as an assistant at the magazine, Ms. Krupp was entertainment editor.

“And I thought she was perhaps the most capital-‘F’-fabulous person I had ever met,” Leive said. “She got highlights before anyone I knew did. She got her nails done on a weekly basis before anyone I knew got regular manicures.

“There was a signed picture of her and Madonna together on her desk and she had special light bulbs in her lamps and feathers in the decor. I just thought she was the most glamorous person I had ever seen, and nothing I ever encountered of her after that changed my mind.”

A self-described beauty addict, Ms. Krupp loved little luxuries and became Glamour’s beauty director.

“But the thing that hit you about Charla when you worked with her was what a hard worker she was,” Leive said. “She was this beautiful woman interviewing celebrities, getting fantastic beauty treatments, and yet she would literally be sitting cross-legged in her office chair at 9 o’clock at night checking her copy. She sweated every detail.”

Leive remembered Ms. Krupp assembling a goodie basket for a colleague who had lost her job. When another colleague was sick, Krupp bought a cashmere shawl and brought it to her at her home.

“She was really warm and attentive and even after we no longer worked together, she and I worked to establish a scholarship in the name of our former mentor (former Glamour editor) Ruth Whitney,” Leive said. “She was very determined that our former boss, who had passed away, would be remembered. That was the kind of person she was — the best combination of hard-working, salt-of-the-earth good-hearted, and also just fabulously glam.”

Through the years, Ms. Krupp often enlisted friends and family members for research on various beauty products.

“We had so much fun testing out the products. We’d have one type of makeup on this side of the face and another on that side,” said her cousin, Lisa Schatz Glinsky. “And she credits everybody in the book — even if you put mascara on one eye or polish on one nail, she didn’t miss a thank-you for anybody.”

One of Ms. Krupp’s “Today” show segments led to calls from publishers proposing a book on jeans.

“And Charla, in her expansive way, said, ‘Why don’t we look at every element of what a woman wears and how she can look young with every aspect?’” recalled Karen Murgolo, vice president and editorial director at Grand Central Life & Style, which won out over other publishers interested in what became “How Not to Look Old.”

“It’s still one of the best proposals I’ve seen,” Murgolo said. “First of all, she delivered it with flair, by sending it in a pink shopping bag with pink lipstick and pink tissue paper so you immediately took notice of it among all the other proposals.”

But Ms. Krupp wrote for the average woman, not just fashionistas, said Murgolo, who still hears of women giving it to friends on major birthdays.

“I had a woman who said her sister was a professor and never wore makeup but she still bought the book — because she still has to wear clothes and shoes,” Murgolo said. “And it was a genius title. It’s still selling well.”

In 2009, Ms. Krupp was inducted into the University of Illinois’ Illini Media Hall of Fame.

She also is survived by her mother, Esther Krupp; a sister, Lora Nasby; and a brother, Jay Krupp.

A funeral service was scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Goldman Funeral Home, 8851 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, Ill. A memorial service in New York is being planned.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





Is Carl Neville's 'Eminent Domain' Worth the Effort?

In Carl Neville's latest novel, Eminent Domain, he creates complexities and then shatters them into tiny narrative bits arrayed along a non-linear timeline.


Horrors in the Closet: Horrifying Heteronormative Scapegoating

The artificial connection between homosexuality and communism created the popular myth of evil and undetectable gay subversives living inside 1950s American society. Film both reflected and refracted the homophobia.


Johnny Nash Refused to Remember His Place

Johnny Nash, part rock era crooner, part Motown, and part reggae, was too polite for the more militant wing of the Civil Rights movement, but he also suffered at the hands of a racist music industry that wouldn't market him as a Black heartthrob. Through it all he was himself, as he continuously refused to "remember his place".


John Hollenbeck Completes a Trilogy with 'Songs You Like a Lot'

The third (and final?) collaboration between a brilliant jazz composer/arranger, the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, vocalists Kate McGarry and Theo Bleckman, and the post-1950 American pop song. So great that it shivers with joy.


The Return of the Rentals After Six Years Away

The Rentals release a space-themed album, Q36, with one absolute gem of a song.


Matthew Murphy's Post-Wombats Project Sounds a Lot Like the Wombats (And It's a Good Thing)

While UK anxiety-pop auteurs the Wombats are currently hibernating, frontman Matthew "Murph" Murphy goes it alone with a new band, a mess of deprecating new earworms, and revived energy.


The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 80-61

In this next segment of PopMatters' look back on the music of the 2000s, we examine works by British electronic pioneers, Americana legends, and Armenian metal provocateurs.


In the Tempest's Eye: An Interview with Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood's 2010 debut put them on the map, but their critical sizzle soon faded. After a 2017 comeback of sorts, the group's new record finds them expanding their sonic by revisiting their hometown with a surprising degree of reverence.


Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.


Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.


'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.


Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.


The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.


The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.


'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.


1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.


'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.


The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.