(Oxford English Dictionary)
beautiful people orig. U.S. (occas. written with capital initials), (a) 'flower' people, hippies; (b) wealthy, fashionable people; the 'smart set'.
1964 Vogue 15 Feb. 49 What the beautiful people are doing to keep fit.
1966 MRS. L. B. JOHNSON White House Diary 23 Jan. (1970) 356 'The Beautiful People' are all heading for Acapulco and in the list of the beautiful people was Lynda Bird's name.
1967 Spectator 4 Aug. 131/1 Far from being one of the Beautiful People, I was in an ugly frame of mind.
1970 Ladies Home Jrnl. Sept. 81/1 Cleveland Amory..feels that the Beautiful People and the Jet Set are being threatened by current economics.
24 May 1941, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, Lewis Gannett book review, pg. 11, co. 6
The Beautiful People
We also meet Sedik, the Slovak waiter with a broken Guarneri violin; a dope-addicted doctor, and an alcoholic nurse, and they are all beautiful people.
21 June 1964, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, section 2, pg. 1:
The Beautiful People
AT DIAL PRESS Henry Robbins' telephone kept ringing frantically Friday. Dozens of people wanted to know whether there was any connection betwen the sad suicide of pretty blonde fashion model, Ellen Wood, and "All the Beautiful People," a novel by Richard Dowling, which was withdrawn temporarily from publication after the review copies had been sent out.
"I wouldn't be surprised if she had got hold of a copy of the book, but she certainly wasn't the heroine," Mr. Robbins said.
The heroine, also a fashion model, is a swinging, hip girl, very amusing but pathetic because she has no center, no core. Named satirically for the Vogue-coined phrase, "the beautiful people," the book starts as a brittle portrait
The New York Spy
Edited by Alan Rinzler
New York, NY: David White Co.
The phrase "Beautiful People" popped off the pages of Vogue in the spring of 1962 and was used to describe the whole new spearhead of society that came in with the Kennedys.
24 March 1972, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), "Low Hems Raise Curiosity: Result Is Book Probing Women's Wear Daily" by Anna Anable, pg. 3-E, col. 2:
She became steeped in WWD folklore, which assumes you know BP means "beautiful people," CP means member of the "cat pack" hence terribly chic and snappy, and FV means "fashion victim," or one who lets clothes wear her rather than the other way around, plus all the code names for New York restaurants frequented by the BP and CP.
February 27, 2015
John B. Fairchild Dies at 87
By Mort Sheinman
NEW YORK — John B. Fairchild, who transformed Women’s Wear Daily from a trusty but tedious trade publication into a provocative, powerful and whimsical international force — along the way pioneering the coverage that would become standard fixtures of modern-day fashion and celebrity journalism — died Friday morning at age 87 after a long illness.
Fairchild created nicknames for people and places that became part of the industry’s lexicon:
It was Fairchild who called a certain segment of society the BP (the Beautiful People) and a segment of that segment the Cat Pack.