Charla Krupp–magazine editor, best selling author and champion of women making the most of their assets (and least of their flaws)–was the very first subject of the “Shopping with…” column I wrote for seven years in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. At the time, she was editing the smart, but short-lived ShopETC. magazine and was in Minneapolis for an appearance at Marshall Field’s. I picked her up at the downtown store and set out to show her that Minneapolis had some decent shopping. She was a terrific sport: poking around Bibelot in Northeast, sipping tea at Intelligent Nutrients, suffering through rush hour traffic for a look at the Galleria, where she bought herself a sexy pair of Michael Kors heels at Pumpz & Co. and a tie for her husband at then-hot Kuhlman.
It didn’t matter that she was a big time New York fashion editor and I was a Midwestern newspaper reporter barely fitting into my lame outfit, having given birth just a few months before. We were just a couple of girls who delighted in shopping.
We stayed in touch, and based on the articles and comments surfacing in the hours since her untimely death today at age 58 from breast cancer, so did many people lucky enough to cross paths with Charla. She may have moved in a rarified world, but her advice was always down to earth, timeless and a confidence boost to everyone–no matter age, or size. You’ve got to love someone with the common sense to tell women not to wear ruffled skirts. Ever. Even when they are on-trend. “Ruffles on the behind don’t flatter anyone!” she said. I hear that every time I step into a fitting room.
The last time I saw Charla was after a Mall of America appearance to promote her second best seller, “How Never to Look Fat Again.” We enjoyed a spirited dinner with friends. She excitedly jumped topics, from the latest diet to her encounters with Oprah to magazines and hair color. We parted with her encouraging me to write a book, and the moment she returned to New York, she actually sent me her agent’s name and number.
Charla was a good one. She will be missed.