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The New York Times’ Fashion Director Vanessa Friedman Sounds Off

Vanessa Friedman

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If there’s one person you can count on to be a straight shooter in the fashion industry, it’s Vanessa Friedman. The New York Times fashion director and chief style critic recently sat down with Paper‘s Mickey Boardman to talk John Galliano, bad reviews and more in her signature tell-it-like-it-is style. Here are the highlights:

On bad reviews: “If you aren’t willing to say when something doesn’t work, then when you say it does work it doesn’t mean anything.”

On designers’ reactions to her reviews: “I’ve been spoken to — politely. And disagreed with. But it’s never resulted in anything more than that…Mr. Armani spoke to me once.”

On fashion’s high-intensity production schedule: “Whatever you think of Gaultier ending his RTW, the idea that you would be like, ‘Hey, I’m just not going to do this anymore’ is an interesting idea.”

On diversity in the industry: “I think it’s also that when people get into power who are representatives of minorities, that’s when the situation shifts.”

On John Galliano: “He could have said, ‘I’m going to open my own house and I’m going to do made-to-order garments for certain women. I’m just going to be super special and protective of my own mental health and reputation and everything.’ Fashion probably would’ve loved that and applauded him. So I feel like, in a way, there was this chance to do something really daring and use his history and all the mess to kind of produce something really different. But he didn’t take that.”

[via Paper]