Tributes paid to fashion icon Hilary Alexander

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Tributes have been paid to fashion journalist and broadcaster Hilary Alexander - said to have invented the term ‘supermodel ‘ - who has died aged 77.

She died on her birthday on Sunday after a lifetime spent observing the world of fashion.

British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful said: “I remember she was really kind to me when I was first starting out in the industry.

“Everybody wanted to read what she had to say about fashion, but also she was hilarious, you could always feel her energy. She was so alive.”

Broadcaster Lorraine Kelly said she was a great guest on her show and always “wise, kind and always on top of her game”.

Designer Zandra Rhodes said she was “the epitome of amazing enthusiasm and hard work”.

She added: “She never gave up on a story and the research that went with it. We will never be able to fill the gap she has left.”

Fellow designer Daphne Guiness said she was “a fantastic writer of fashion”.

New Zealand-born Alexander started as a journalist aged 16 and became fashion editor of the Daily Telegraph in 1985 - staying at the paper for more than quarter of a century.

She also made regular appearances on TV and featured as a stylist on Britain’s Next Top Model for the 2005 and 2006 series and later returned for the 2016 series.

In 2011, she won the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA) special Eugenia Sheppard Media Award with designer Diane Von Furstenberg calling her ‘an incredible force’.

Fellow designer Michael Kors presented Hilary with the award and called her ‘unsinkable’.

She was friends with designers including Gianni Versace, Alexander McQueen and Julien Macdonald and was twice named British fashion journalist of the year and was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to fashion.