Edith Raymond Locke, Mademoiselle Editor in the 1970s, Dies at 99

Edith Raymond Locke, Mademoiselle Editor in the 1970s, Dies at 99

Ms. Locke lived with relatives in Brooklyn, worked in a toothpaste factory, among other jobs, and learned English at night school. A secretarial job at Harper’s Bazaar led to an assistant editor position at Junior Bazaar, a competitor to Mademoiselle.

She also worked at the Abbott Kimball Company, an advertising agency, where she wrote a regular newsletter about fashion. It was sharp enough to catch the attention of Betsy Blackwell, the editor in chief at Mademoiselle, who hired her in the early 1950s.

Mademoiselle, or Millie, as it was nicknamed, was devoted to fashion and beauty but also literature, publishing the work of James Baldwin, William Faulkner, Jane Bowles, Truman Capote and Carson McCullers, among many other authors.

It was known, too, for its guest editor competition, when college juniors were invited to edit the magazine’s August issue, and were put up at the Barbizon Hotel. (Sylvia Plath was chosen in 1952, and rendered her darkening summer there in “The Bell Jar.”)

As a fashion editor, Ms. Locke set photo shoots in exotic locales, working with tourist offices who were eager to attract Americans. She photographed models in the Canary Islands (one, memorably, on a pregnant camel), Corsica, Sicily, Greece and, much later, the Caribbean, where she met her husband, Ralph Locke, a travel agent who was managing the Buccaneer, a resort in St. Croix.

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