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Oklahoma City fashion icon dies

Following a short illness, Ruth Meyers died at home Sunday night.
by Paula Burkes Published: October 22, 2012

When Oklahoma City boutique owner Ruth Meyers went to the clothing market in New York and dined at Tavern on the Green or 21 Club, people would turn and gaze at her as if she were a movie star, said one longtime employee.

“Ruth had a presence,” Charlet Sauls said. “She loved life … the fashion industry … being out … late-night dinners and Champagne. She was always impeccably dressed, and always wore heels and sunglasses.”

Sauls said Meyers’ winning knack for selecting and discovering women’s attire as much as qualifies her as a superstar in the fashion industry.

Sauls raves of Meyers’ discovery of designers such as Michael Vollbracht, when he was starting out, or selection of a simple printed jersey dress that, to Sauls’ and others’ surprise, sold like crazy back home in Oklahoma City.

Meyers died at her home Sunday night, following a short illness.

“She was an unbelievable woman,” said Sauls, who worked as her personal assistant for 28 years. “The world will be different without her.”

Meyers in 1975 opened Ruth Meyers Inc. at 6471 Avondale Drive in Nichols Hills Plaza, where she worked until three years ago when Cindi Shelby, a former 21-year employee, bought the store.

“Ruth was my mentor and like a second mom to me,” Shelby said Monday. “She was a champion of women civically and personally, and truly ahead of her time as a woman having her own business.”

A Clinton native, Meyers attended the University of Oklahoma and, before opening her own store, logged 12 years as a sportswear buyer at long-gone Kerr’s Department Store downtown and later worked as vice president of Balliets when it was owned by Buddy Rodgers.

Meyers launched her store as a partnership but became the sole owner eight years later. She once had a store downtown and one in Edmond.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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Memorial services for Ruth Meyers are tentatively set for 11 a.m. Friday at Christ the King Catholic Church, where she was a member. Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Directors is handling arrangements.


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