Suzy Menkes has become Vogue’s newest contributing editor. And she only does digital
The start of the week saw Suzy Menkes make a momentous move. The long-standing and much lauded International Herald Tribune fashion writer, was announced as Vogue’s latest acquisiton. Menkes, it was announced, has become their newest editor, and will be contributing across all their titles as she will be writing online exclusively.
One of the chief proponents of the old-guard of fashion writing, and often hailed as a champion of the superiority of established (print) fashion writing versus blogging by those who hold onto that belief, Menkes surprised all by joining Vogue on a digital basis solely. Bravo and chapeau to you Suzy. In her first piece published on June 3rd, Menkes very aptly chose to tackle the sine qua non of the online existence she has just embarked on – the phenomenon of bitchiness. In “Fighting the Bitch Brigade” she says that one look at many of the fashion and showbiz sites is enough to let you realise that “bitchiness is a sugar rush for readers”, an arena created and abused through the opportunity that social media has given writers and readers alike, ultimately unhelpful if not detrimental to the fashion industry. She goes on, “If the bitches are winning, the true fashion lovers are losing”, highlighting how the fashion community is a tightly-knit one, that revolves around two or three fashion meets a year composed of critics and practitioners, and far removed from The Devil Wears Prada examples of the industry (see Ab Fabs send up of Menkes herself).
The digital age has allowed for fashion writing to exist with two to three degrees of separation from the heart of that community, thereby allowing bitchiness its crown and throne. She concludes – “Suzy Menkes in Vogue is going to be anti-bitch.”
Menkes’s presence as a digital fashion writer is a dastardly move. It not only brings Menkes’ talent, taste and knowledge to a far wider and younger audience, but it also raises the bar for online fashion writing as a whole. If Suzy Menkes in Vogue is anti-bitch, then many more will follow, and that can only bring good.
Roisin Agnew @Roxeenna