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Cathy Horyn Critiques Fellow Fashion Writer Suzy Menkes

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

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The latest issue of System magazine is out on newsstands, and it features a 15,000-word conversation with veteran fashion critic Cathy Horyn. While it's not yet online, Business of Fashion has a fascinating excerpt of the story in which Horyn reminisces about her career and the current state of the fashion industry.

Of note in the shortened version: Horyn is known for not sugarcoating any of her opinions and that extends to her thoughts about fellow critic Suzy Menkes. System's Jonathan Wingfield asks Horyn how she feels about the fashion pr machine and branding in particular ("I don’t even like that word," Horyn says) and then Menkes gets brought into the discussion. When asked if Horyn considers all the branding fanfare as a negative distraction, she replies:

I remember Suzy Menkes writing about this in the [International] Herald Tribune about five years ago. She was going on about branding this and branding that; of course, she was absolutely right, that did happen, and the importance of branding has become key. But then it started becoming a part of her writing, there was just too much of an embrace of that language and the methodology that those companies were using. And I thought, ‘Wait a minute, Suzy, why are you working for these people? You work for a newspaper and you’re a critic, please try and stay somewhat independent of that thinking.’ Suzy won’t like me saying that, she’ll say that I’m a… well, she will say what she will say. I mean, people could say that I’m being a Pollyanna about this, but it’s had a terrible influence, I find it polluting.