Saturday, October 12, 2013

A response to Colin McDowell at Business Of Fashion that BOF apparently doesn't want you to see


As a fashion writer who covered NYFW for six years and has since moved into the industry working directly with designers, most recently as the Director of Designer Relations for Manufacture NY, I feel my perspective is more accurate than most. To Mr. McDowell's primary point I would say that a designer/brand should never have any response to a negative review. We're adults, grow up and take criticism even if it's uninformed or personally motivated. From the designer's side though the frustration arises from the fact that 90% of the fashion press has no idea how clothes actually get made or understands anything about how the fashion industry functions. If you were watching a sporting match and the commentators knew nothing about the sport they were calling your bewilderment and frustration would approximate what the designers feel when the 40th pretty 20 year old comes up and asks the same insipid question that the last 39 did. Great critics, ala Kenneth Tynan or Pauline Kael, are as knowledgeable and passionate about their subject matter as the artists they cover. If they're not then why do we care what they think? My response then boils down to two edicts. To the brands, grow up. If you believe in a collection then you won't care what the press thinks. They're not the buyers and they have never had as little influence over them as they do right now. To the critics, study up. If you don't know what muslins are or who Mainbocher was then why should we read you?

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