Social-media outreach has begun for advertising executive Madonna Badger, who survived a fire in Connecticut on Sunday that claimed the lives of her parents and her three young daughters. Community pages on Facebook have appeared to support Ms. Badger and her family. Says the description for one: "We will brainstorm and pool for her recovery from her unimaginable, devastating loss."
The blaze engulfed Ms. Badger's $1.7 million house in the Shippan Point neighborhood of Stamford, an affluent area along the Long Island Sound. It has been ruled by Stamford's mayor, Michael Pavia, as "fireplace-related"; foul play has been ruled out. Ms. Badger and a friend , contractor Michael Borcina, managed to escape. But Ms. Badger's parents, Lomer and Pauline Johnson, and daughters Lily, 9, and Grace and Sarah, 7-year-old twins, perished, trapped on upper floors with firemen unable to reach them.
Ms. Badger is the founder of Badger & Winters Group, a branding, design and creative services consultancy specializing in the fashion and beauty industries. Clients have included Chanel, Vera Wang, Zac Posen and Emanuel Ungaro, and some fashion publications, such as Nylon and CosmoGirl. The firm has also worked with Procter & Gamble since 1998 on the Max Factor, CoverGirl and Clairol brands.
A native of Lexington, Ky., Ms. Badger graduated from Vanderbilt University and started her career as a graphic designer at Esquire magazine. She was as an associate art director at Allure and Mirabella magazines, and went on to become senior art director at CRK, Calvin Klein's in-house ad agency. She has been credited as the brain behind the iconic underwear ads that launched Mark Wahlberg's career.
After a three-year stint at CRK, she left to found Badger Way Advertising, which over the years has had a number of iterations: Badger & Partners, Badger Kry & Partners, and now Badger & Winters Group. In 1996, at just 30, Ms. Badger was named to Ad Age sibling Crain's New York Business' Forty Under Forty list. In 2003, Advertising Age wrote about Ms. Badger's firm when it worked with Coty Beauty to launch songstress Celine Dion's perfume line.
She is separated from her husband -- and the father of all three girls -- Matthew Badger, who also works in the advertising industry. The London-raised director has made fashion films for Calvin Klein and Donna Karan, and has directed work for Target , Volvo and JCPenney, among others, working with agencies such as Peterson Milla Hooks, Arnold and Saatchi & Saatchi. In 2001, he joined Epoch Film's roster.
Her father, Mr. Johnson, had a long career with Brown-Forman, the parent company of a number of brands, including Jack Daniel's and Southern Comfort. He is being called a hardworking and generous person, as illustrated by his playing Santa at Saks Fifth Avenue during the holidays.