DDI Loses a Friend, Ronald Knoth

RonKnoth We are incredibly sad to report the loss of one of DDI’s dearest friends, bloggers and fabulous fashion/retail gurus, Ronald Knoth. Ron had been an avid contributor to the Retail Design Diva blog for several years and will be sincerely missed.

In addition to his blogging for the Diva, Ron was also a full-time faculty member at LIM College. In April 2011, Ron served as the keynote speaker for "Fashion Now & Then," and this past summer, his own blog, thebespokenfor.net received the Editor’s Choice Award from blogvill.us and was also named one of the top 10 blogs covering fashion illustration by bloglovin.com. Previously, Ron served as the assistant creative director for Goldsmith LLC and senior case manager for The Floating Hospital in the Bronx.

His memorial service took place Sept. 14 at the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel at 2 p.m.

Below are some thoughts from DDI staffers regarding Ron and his impact on our work.

Ron has been a huge support to me for the past few years that I’ve written for DDI. His humor, wit and grace always gave me the confidence I needed to write from my heart and share the good, bad and otherwise that exists in the retail world. I will miss Ron’s charm, his support and his presence dearly. He has been a huge part of my DDI experience, and I am deeply saddened by this loss. Thank you Ron for everything you did for me, and for being part of my DDI journey. 
—Heather Strang

Ron was easily the most interesting person I've ever met (or probably will ever meet). His contributions to the Retail Design Diva were always clever, offering fresh perspective and a unique view. His gifted storytelling took this blog to a new level, and inspired our readers in a multitude of ways. Ron would always tell it like it is, which made him such a dear friend and contributor of this blog and DDI Magazine. He was always eager to offer a helping hand, and I am ever so thankful for the years that I was blessed to know him, both professionally and personally. His positive outlook and humorous wit were unmatched. In a world full of sameness, he was a true original and will be deeply missed, but never forgotten. Thank you Ron for touching our lives and hearts.
—Jessie Bove

As I write this note, I sit in the wee hours of the morning with a glass of sweet wine in hand and smile on my face. Not, most likely, the most appropriate way to go about writing your thoughts on someone's passing…but that is the spirit that fills me as I try to come up with words to enunciate Ron Knoth's untimely and most bereaved death. Ron was the kind of person who treated you as if he had known you your entire life from the moment you first met him. His demeanor was comforting, and his insights into the visual merchandising industry were profound. When I was pregnant and griped of a nauseated appetite, he sent me two bags of tea in the mail–one chocolate and one vanilla–to satiate whatever taste suited me that day. I'll never forget the day our managing editor walked into my office with a box full of buttons (I mean literally…an entire large box full to the brim with multicolored buttons)–a collection sent from Ron because he thought us Atlanta girls needed a token from the Garment District. And every time I passed a store window in New York with Ron in company, he was always first to point out the mundane in a way that made it ever more exciting–the way a mannequin's hand placement was just so or why the color chosen for the scarf was seasonally apropos. He was the kind of man who made life feel easy and delightful, and made the visual industry feel so full of possibilities. To our blogger, our counterpart and above all our dearest friend–Ron, we will miss you endlessly. Stay fabulous, my friend
—Alison Embrey Medina


  1. Just to clarify, Ron's memorial service took place at the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel at 2pm on September 14. His brother, sister, and partner of 13 years all spoke on his behalf.

  2. Cheryl,

    Thank you for the clarification. We published the memorial LIM College had in Ron's honor.

    So wish we could have all been together in NYC to honor this wonderful man.


  3. The loss of a friend so dear leaves me speechless and stricken with grief in a way that could never be explained. God puts people in our lives that love, motivate, support and educate us unconditionally to do what we've been called to do for a designated time. This union feels so right and so perfect, you could never even imagine it ever going away.
    Ron Knoth was a special human being that God created. He had a heart of gold and a genuine concern for others. A man who supported diversity who helped us all to accept the reality that being different was okay. Always upbeat and positive looking at the brighter side of things. A man of many creative talents sharing them all with the world without reservations. He knew his purpose in life and he fulfilled it joyfully. I feel blessed to have had such a wonderful person come into my life. He will never leave me as long as I have and share the memories of his presence and time here on this earth.
    Ionia Dunn Lee, President and Founder of Threads of Color Non-Profit Corp., Fashion Director for Today's Black Woman Magazine, and Adjunct Professor at LIM College.

  4. Ron Knoth – aka Leeander Scott – also had a 20+ year association with Sensations Magazine (www.sensationsmag.com) as a published poet. His research article on fashion was published in our Issue 47, "20th Century America," Spring/Summer 2010, and is reproduced in one of his blog postings with supplementary photos. Leeander was a kind and generous man, and a long-time supporter and contributor to our publication. On both personal and professional levels, I am deeply saddened at his loss, and our sincere condolences go out to everyone associated with him. We were pleased to be part of his poetry career – through publication with us, his poems are in permanent archive in such places as The Library of Congress, New York Public Library, and some of the top university libraries in America.

  5. David,

    Thank you so much for sharing this even greater insight into our friend Ron Knoth. I had no idea that he wrote poetry – so beautiful to know his words are living on just as his deep friendship and love carries on inside of all of us. Thank you again for sharing.


  6. I am so sorry to read this. I had been enjoying Ron's humorous and authentic posts for a while. Retail has lost a great thinker and critic, but his writings will always be among us.

  7. In the obituary in The New York Times, the family has asked in lieu of flowers, to do something to help others. We are conducting a small fundraiser for food pantries in NJ in memory of Leeander Scott and of my mother, who passed away in August. Those interested in making a $10 contribution may find details in the "In Memory of Two" section on the main page of our website, http://www.sensationsmag.com – and included is the opportunity to see some of Leeander's published poetry. The opportunity will run through Tues October 11.