Fred Hughes "was a bit of a snob who let people believe he was related to reclusive millionaire Howard Hughes". (DB261) He was known for his aristocratic looks. However, as the seventies progressed his behaviour became more outrageous which many people attributed to his drinking. Later, he found out that he had MS.
Bob Colacello on Fred Hughes in the late seventies:
"Now he liked to show off the shredded linings of the same suits and announce, 'Those idiots who vote for the Best Dressed List should see this!' They had, and stopped voting for him. Diana [Vreeland] saw the decline in Fred's appearance as a sign of an inner collapse. 'His sprit is broken, Bob,' she said. 'He used to have such spirit, such enthusiasm.' She blamed it on drink and drugs. 'You can't tell me he isn't taking cocaine, Bob,' she said. 'Everybody else is. Why should Fred be any different?'" (BC433)