Sadly JC Suarès passed away. I have known him since the 80’s. He was always somehow in my life. Jean-Claude was faithful to his friends and friends of friends. Love was a real commitment: he had been with his wife for over 30 years. He was an inspiring and inspired creative director.
I saw him again when I was editor in chief of France-Amerique, a then weekly publication in French for the French and frenchspeaking people in the US. The new director who had bought the magazine from Le Figaro wanted to revamped the publication. Of course I thought immediately of Jean-Claude. Not a given deal: France-Amerique had a limited budget and was not as prestigious as some periodicals Suarès was coaching. Also the man was a grande gueule, a very outspoken person whose style did not fit everywhere. One thing one had to know about JC was his love for horses. It defined him. He had a few thorough bred and rode a lot. Like his friends he was addicted to freedom..
I was not sure he would be a match in the context of a specialized publication. But he was … Jean-Claude never renounced his french-speaking backround ( his mother was a Jew from Tunisia and his family spent some years in France ) and was happy to be associated to this project. The director was convinced by Jean-Claude’s personnality. In the end, in a different way, both were flattered. Jean-Claude shook our world upside down, bringing in colors, titles, photos. The weekly became a biweekly, ( later to be revamped in a monthly as it is today). The publication was flashier than its precedent version to the dislike of some subscribers. But it was finally alive and that was what really mattered.