British Vogue’s newly appointed international editor Suzy Menkes has a fresh mantra for the fashion industry: No more nastiness.
Menkes, a renowned fashion critic who recently left her long-held post at the New York Times, denounced fashion’s “bitch brigade” culture in her first column for the magazine.
That’s why her stand against needless meanness in the industry is pretty remarkable. Her stance isn’t meant to eliminate criticism altogether—after all, that’s her job—but to combat the culture of negativity that pervades runways and backstages and prevents designers and stars from taking a chance on new styles.
“I find dispiriting not the harping criticism itself, but the concept that no one can dare to be different, if he/she wants to avoid the worst dressed list,” Menkes wrote. “I am all for fashion diversity, not dictatorship; for rejoicing not carping.”
“My personal take on fashion criticism is that I am so happy to see a great collection and give credit where it is due,” she writes. “And if the show is a flop? I try to offer constructive—not hateful—comments. It is about thoughtfulness as opposed to meanness and analysis rather than knee-jerk reaction.”
Menkes argues that the speed of social media and Internet commenting means that a half-thought-out comment often has more traction than a considered response to a collection. It is, she says, “not worth the rush to judgement.”
“If the bitches are winning,” Menkes concludes, “the true fashion lovers are losing.”
Photo via Telegraph