Tribute to Barbara Fierros

Tribute to Barbara Fierros

With great sadness we honor prop stylist Barbara Fierros who passed away on August 1st after losing her near 2-year battle with cancer. Many in the magazine and advertising communities are grieving the loss as so many of us were honored recipients of her great talent and beautiful spirit.
Barbara began her career in New York City about 13 years ago working at Kutner's Prop Company. She eventually began assisting then prop stylist Anita Calero before embarking on her own career as prop stylist and owner of Prop Haus. Barbara collaborated most frequently with photographers Anita Calero, Craig Cutler and Kenji Toma. Her gifted eye and fine taste helped enliven the pages of almost every magazine in the industry.

Barbara was an incredible human being. Her absence leaves a gap that those who loved her most will struggle to fill for some time. We are thankful only that her suffering is over and her soul is at peace.

We at The Society of Publication Designers extend our deepest sympathies to Barbara's family, friends and colleagues. Some of you have been generous enough to share your reflections on Barbara's life and career here on our site, and we encourage others to leave their remembrances in the comments. Thank you for your words and insight.


Barbara was half of my success.
We started my photography career together; she was my right eye, I was the left.
We created memorable images: simple, quiet and elegant like her soul.
I will truly miss her irreplaceable being and my love stops with her.
--Anita Calero

Barbara was an alchemist. Bringing just a few precise, often-unexpected objects, and an insight or an idea, she could turn product into art. In the same magical way, her sly wit and modest charm transformed photographers, art directors, editors -- all of us on set with a role to play -- into an unlikely group who found beauty in the task of the day and in each other.
--Mary Shanahan, Town & Country

During the past years of my career in NYC, Barbara was always my favorite. Her diligence and delicate work helped me to pull the images in my head into visuals. On every project, she fully understood what I wanted to do and, sharing ideas with her was always fun. Most of all, she was my friend whom I truly was delighted to have worked with.
Thank you, Barbara. I will miss you.
With all of my respect,
Kenji Toma

I'll remember Barbara Fierros very fondly.
She was the woman with the whitest crisp shirt, worn so casually yet so stylishly over denims in a perfect contrast.
She was the anthropologist who always dug up the perfect objects, not mere props, but beautiful testimonies of craftsmanship, to beautify a photograph.
I was in awe of her sense of style, her cool demureness, her business and artistic trajectory.
She never talked much to me, but I could hear a lot through her actions, and what I gathered told me about a beautiful and very poetic soul.
Her waves of salt and pepper, her dreamy eyes; these are the images I will keep of her. But the moments I will miss the most were the ones dotted with her laughter, light and crisp like the white shirts she favored.
--Camille Domain

Here I am trying to do justice to Barbara in an email and I swear I can hear her modestly deflecting the words of praise before they're even written.
If there is any sense to be made in her passing, it will be in the memory of her grace under pressure, her quiet good taste, sly sense of humor, and the calm and inspiration she brought to work with her.  We, as well as our industry have suffered a great loss.
I'll miss you, Barb!  I'll miss our ritual first-of-the-season and last-of-the-season iced coffees, I'll miss our L.A. stories, and I'll miss your smiling eyes and big heart.
Thank you for your friendship, collaboration and spirit.  In my striving for the qualities you embodied, I will do your memory justice.
Victoria Granof

Barbara Fierros has been styling for Town & Country for the past 10 years or so. Not only has she always been a kind and sweet person but an incredibly hard and ingenious worker. I know this because she always graciously managed to come up with rich backgrounds and props to style our pages on a shoestring budget. She never complained and made the most of the one-day prep time assigned by starting her prep days I came to find out at 5 AM! Even once she got ill she continued to work for us and we are proud to have her work grace our pages one last time in our Oct. issue's Fashion & Style Women's page. Please don't miss her on our Contributor's page where her lovely soul shines through a beautiful portrait.
--Devin Traineau, Town & Country

I will forever miss Barbara, her beautiful smile, her contagious giggling, our sweet friendship and her as my stylist. We met on set 5 years ago and ever since then being able to work with Barbara meant breakfast, lunch and dinner together! And so many bellyaching laughs. We joked about waking at 5 a.m., her being able to decipher the street parking in the city, shopping for Benzs on Ebay, vintage mannequins, the Theory sample sale, teaching her to text, her gold leafed surface, big auction purchases and how we both loved paté. I am very thankful to have known Barbara and to have had the chance to make beautiful pictures together. Alas, we were fortunate to have been able to say our goodbyes. I will always remember her happiness, her strength, for being a beautiful friend and for all her talent.
--Effie Tsu, Town & Country

Barbara had an easy but indelible smile. When it came to styling, she was one of those rare people who got it right away - always coming through with unusual props that seemed to be caressed by nature or belonged to someone with a fantastic life. Barb was a good one gone too soon.
--Randy Elia and Peggy Bennett, Bennett.Elia Design, Dallas

*The Fierros Family will be distributing contributions in Barbara's name to charities she was involved in. Contributions can be made payable to:
                        Olga Peck (Her sister)
                        2166 Shoshone Avenue, #1,
                        Chico, CA 95926


(All photos by Anita Calero)

  • jana welch

    How lucky to have had sunshine up close, everyday without fail. To experience the warmth and beauty of a soul so sweet. Her gentle spirit carrying gifts of wisdom and kindness. She always cared. She always listened. She always laughed. A taste for pretty things but a place for it all. I smile when I remember her smile. Barbara "Cash" Fierros has shared life with me. How can I not thank the heavens for giving me such a gift.

    I will miss Barbara everyday that the sun rises into the sky. But I will live each day with the sunshine we shared together, in my heart.

    - Jana Welch

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