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NYT Critic to Pseudo-Intellectual Haters: Fashion Isn't Superficial

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Friedman via Getty
Friedman via Getty

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New New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman granted an interview to Haaretz while in Israel recently and discussed everything from her work history (her fashion writing career began at Instyle London) to her thoughts on blogging to the state of fashion criticism to her feelings about pop culture. But she only gets fired up when Haaretz reporter Sahar Shalev asks her if fashion is "really important." To the eggheads that might turn up their nose at the topic, Friedman says, yes, it is.

"...It took me a long time before I was not embarrassed to say that I did what I did. But I think there is always a rush to judgment on the thing that's the pretty, shiny toy in the corner. It's easy to say this is superficial. But something I'm really struck by is that in the worst parts of the world, in the most challenging regions of the world, life is really terrible and hard, full of starvation and death, but there's fashion. There is a fashion industry in Afghanistan. There's fashion in Zambia. There was a Fashion Week in Ukraine during the revolution. There's always fashion. It's a basic human instinct. And it's very much about humanity and freedom, and it's not very superficial at all.
Not to mention that it's a global business trading in billions and billions of dollars. Humanity, though, let's go with that angle.
· NYT fashion director in Israel: There's nothing superficial about clothes [Haaretz, sub req']
· Why Hillary Clinton's Style Should Be Scrutinized [Racked]
· NYT's New Fashion Critic Opens Can of Sass on the CFDA Awards [Racked]