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Depending on who you ask, New York Times critic Cathy Horyn is either a rare voice of journalistic integrity in a universe of pandering or a stone-cold grinch. The Daily Beast's recent profile of Horyn begins with her trashing Fashion's Night Out:
I don't want it to continue? You know, we're a nation of shoppers. That's how people spend their time, shopping online, shopping in stores, acquiring. And I feel like we perpetuate that with Fashion's Night Out. What are you really celebrating? Not art or great books. You're celebrating shopping.Horyn can get away with this kind of blunt honesty because she works for a newspaper, rather than a glossy magazine where sharp criticism could endanger relationships with advertisers. But as the Daily Beast points out, her approach reads as aggressive in an industry that's used to editors who either say something nice or don't say anything at all.
The irony, of course, is that while fashion criticism is relatively toothless, fashion people aren't necessarily known for being warm and fuzzy. As if to prove that point, Beast reporter Jacob Bernstein went from party to party during Fashion Week asking people what they thought of Horyn. Some were politic (Donna Karan: "She's not neutered"), some said they didn't read reviews, and some declined to respond.
As for Karl Lagerfeld, he managed to be one-up anything dismissive Horyn has ever said with this contribution: "I prefer to look at beautiful pictures in magazines like American Vogue and French Vogue by editors like Anna Wintour and Carine Roitfeld." We'll translate in case you don't speak Kaiser: Words? Words are for commoners.
· Fashion's Most Feared Critic [The Daily Beast]