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Washington Post Fashion Editor Dies

May 6, 1990

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Nina Hyde, who as The Washington Post’s fashion editor shared wine with Yves Saint Laurent, her recipes with Bill Blass and her tears and pain with Ralph Lauren, Geoffrey Beene, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta and Donna Karan, is dead at 57.

But before she died, they and other designers shared their pocketbooks in her honor. The Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research, was founded by Lauren and his friends more than a year before she succumbed to the disease Friday.

She had trooped the world with them, the showrooms of Paris and New York and Tokyo, and even Beijing. But Nina Solomon Hyde had her own style.

She didn’t own a pair of high heels, wore a Swatch Watch picked up years ago at an airport novelty shop, and sometimes would show up in the same outfit three times a week. Her wedding ring was usually her only jewelry.

″Clothes,″ she once observed, ″are important as another way of looking at ourselves. They are as revealing as how we vote, what we eat, what we choose to see at the movies. To me, that is why writing about clothes is important.″

To that end, she tried to address herself to the general reader, ″the one who doesn’t know how to cope with all the choices out there. The one who is stunned by the prices. The one who is looking for some reality in the fashion business. The one who is looking for some help.″

In recent years, she devoted her experience and energies to a more compelling concern of women - detection and treatment of the disease which was to kill her.

In 1982, she said, a mammogram was misread at a time when her chances for full recovery would have been 90 percent. The mistake was not discovered for three years, when her cancer had spread to more than a dozen lymph nodes.

″When I was first told ... I threw a pen across the newsroom - I decided to keep the problem to myself,″ she once wrote. ″Now I’ve come to the point where I can talk about my cancer, and I talk a lot.″

Her crusade prompted Lauren, a longtime friend who himself has recovered from a life-threatening tumor removed from the lining of his brain, to launch the research facility in her name at the Georgetown University hospital. Sixteen other major designers kicked in as well.

Mrs. Hyde, once a writer at Women’s Wear Daily, came to Washington in 1961 when she married Lloyd S. Hyde, a childhood friend, and soon joined the Washington Daily News. She moved to the Post in 1972 when the News was closed.

She is survived by her husband and two daughters, Jennifer Hyde of Washington and Andrea Hyde of San Francisco.

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