NEW YORK -- Owen Hartley, 44, an award-winning senior vice president and design director of Fairchild Publications, of which Supermarket News is a unit, died last week in Indian Wells, Calif. He died of complications arising from AIDS, according to Mitchel Mills, his companion.
d W's conversion in 1993 from large-size newspaper to its present magazine format.
"I've never met anyone quite like him," said John B. Fairchild, chairman and editorial director of Fairchild Publications. "He was a great star for us. Not only did he create the look of W and build a fantastic art department, but more significantly, he was a great fighter. Even when he was battling this horrible disease, he gave us his ideas, his time and his courage. He never quit and he never complained."
Patrick McCarthy, executive vice president, editorial, at Fairchild Publications, said, "Owen had a major impact on the editorial direction of all the Fairchild newspapers and magazines, and without him, we never would have had the courage or the talent to change W from a newspaper to a magazine. His contribution was immeasurable."
Hartley, who was born in Brooklyn, was a graduate of the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan, and took numerous courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He joined Fairchild in 1979 as art director of Sport Style. After stints in various positions, he was named design director of Fairchild Publications in 1992.
A memorial service will be held in New York at a date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Desert AIDS Project, 750 South Vella, Palm Springs, Calif. 92264.