Rhoda Ring Obituary – The Record/Herald News

Rhoda Ring, creator of “Seventeen” magazine and the junior apparel market in the 1940’s, passed away peacefully at her home in Las Vegas on June 15, 2022, three weeks before her 99th birthday. She was born on July 5, 1923, and grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey, the older daughter of Jack and Fannie Friedman. She attended NYU School of Commerce on a full scholarship, graduating number one in her class and with many scholastic awards. As a fresh ingénue out of college, she landed a job with the PR impresario, Bert Nevins. Walter Annenberg and his Triangle Publications was a client. At a corporate meeting with Annenberg in 1943, young Rhoda raised her hand as Annenberg was pounding the table looking for new money-makers to add to his empire, and she presented the idea of creating a magazine for teenage girls who had income from war factory work but had no fashion magazine or clothing lines that were made for them. She suggested the name, “Seventeen” as Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel’s title had just been reverted into public domain, and she suggested that Annenberg take one of his movie star magazines, “Stardust,” keep its “S,” name it “Seventeen” and create content for the teen girl market. “Seventeen” magazine became the “fashion bible” for teenage girls during the forties until the 1970’s, and Rhoda developed marketing channels directed towards their interests. She created a fashion and media brand named “Teen Timers” which she launched with apparel manufacturers for fashion and created and hosted a nationwide radio program every Saturday morning over WOR Radio named “Teen Timer’s Radio Hour.” Rhoda travelled the country, discovering and interviewing such rising pop stars as Sarah Vaughan and Gordon McCrae. She appeared on the cover of “Women’s Wear Daily,” and was featured in many of its articles as the voice of teenage fashion. Revlon was another Nevins client. At the same time of Rhoda’s idea with “Seventeen” she worked on the Revlon account. Revlon had just launched the innovative product and marketing idea of pairing colors of nail polish and lipstick. Lipsticks were a relatively new product for Revlon and the duo idea prompted an era of Revlon’s rollout of a pallet of different reds, the most fashionable and demanded color at the time. It was the peak of the war, and “Rosie the Riveter,” was the character who personified women and teenage girls working in the factories manufacturing supplies and armor to support the war. Rhoda suggested, “Rosy Future,” a name pairing the red cosmetics with the working women. She also suggested the spelling, “ROSY” because it spaced out better on the label than “ROSIE,” and conveyed a positive future outlook in the face of the war. At the same time, she was credited with selling more war bonds than any celebrity, as she traveled the state of New York with NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to the factories where the women “Rosie’s” worked. After her marriage to Hackensack dentist H. Raymond Ring in 1947, Rhoda turned to the interior design of hundreds of homes and professional offices in the New York-New Jersey area Her connection with Revlon came full circle when Revlon Chief Executive Michel Bergerac, called her in the 1970s to design his executive offices and suite in New York. She was a well known and beloved figure at the “D&D” building at 979 Third Avenue for many years. Rhoda is survived by two daughters, Beth Ring, an attorney in New York City and Pamela Joy Ring, a retail marketing consultant in Las Vegas.

Posted online on June 22, 2022

Published in Record and Herald News


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