“No one had any higher style,” Polly Mellen, one other longtime Vogue editor, who overlapped with Mrs. Simpson there, stated in an interview. She wasn’t lordly or haughty, Ms. Mellen stated; she didn’t name-drop or lean on her connections. “She didn’t need to,” she stated. “These issues weren’t vital to her. She simply went about being Babs. She went to work — I’m unsure she needed to go to work — to do a job that appealed to her.”
Mrs. Simpson lived a richly cultured life exterior the journal, although mates stated she was usually personal about it. “She gave me the very best books, vital issues to know and skim,” stated Phyllis Posnick, her assistant for a time, who went on to develop into a senior trend editor at Vogue herself. “She went to the theater on a regular basis. She went to ballet. She’d say to me, ‘You must actually see this, expensive.’ ”
Mrs. Simpson by no means remarried (and stored her married title to the tip of her life) however discovered a bohemian companionship with Paul Magriel, an artwork collector and author. They lived in the identical Manhattan condo constructing, on East Finish Avenue, although they maintained their very own flats on totally different flooring. He died in 1990.
In 1972, Mrs. Simpson joined Home & Backyard journal, the place she remained till it closed in 1993. (She stored a fantastic modernist home, designed by Paul Lester Weiner, in Amagansett, on the East Finish of Lengthy Island, and a backyard designed by Bunny Mellon. Oscar de la Renta, a good friend, credited her with a variety of his preliminary backyard concepts, his spouse, Annette de la Renta, recalled.)
“Her stylish was understated and fully authoritative,” stated Wendy Goodman, the design author, who met Mrs. Simpson at Home & Backyard. (By then the journal’s title had been modified to HG.) She was equally understated about her exploits.