9 Things You Should Know About Cathy Horyn

by Sydney Sadick

Her cultish Twitter account and her scalding runway reviews have designers itching for her approval—yes, we’re talking about New York Magazine’Cathy Horyn, who never fails to bring the candor. The fashion critic joined for a Q&A at Fashionista’s How To Make It in Fashion conference, where she opened up about her journalism career, her advice for Generation Z, and why she loves Twitter. Here, the nine things you never knew about the fashion editrix.

  1. She started her first “legitimate” newspaper job in 1980 in Northern Virginia.
  2. At the beginning of her career, her focus wasn’t on the clothes. “What I really connected with, as a writer, was that fashion, like all forms of history, has a plot…I didn’t give a crap about what the trends were, I didn’t understand any of it, but I could see the plot.”
  3. She found a job through an advertisement. “There was an ad in Publisher Magazine where everyone used to get their jobs in journalism and it was for the Detroit News in fashion writing. It said, ‘No experience needed.’ I wanted it, and I went to Detroit.”
  4. The Washington Post had its eyes on her. “They contacted me in 1983, out of the blue, and said, ‘We’ve been watching your stuff.’ They asked, ‘Would you come to Washington and do an interview?’ After the interview, their administrative editor said, ‘We don’t have a job for you, but at some point we will want to hire you. It may be seven years.’ And it was seven years to the day, almost.”
  5. She started the On The Runway blog at The New York Times. “There were only a few blogs at The Times at that moment. We started it because, to me, it was the time and place for things that couldn’t be in the paper. Sometimes you didn’t want to write a story about the makeup at The Emmys or how someone looked. You just want to get it out there and get involved in the most organic, fun way.”
  6. Instagram isn’t her fave social media tool. “I’m not so much of an Instagram person. I love Instagram as someone who goes through Instagram and look at all the style. It makes me really happy. Twitter is very pretentious, and I like that about it.”
  7. Forty-five characters is enough. “I loved to be able to sit in a show and think, ‘Can I summarize this show in 45 characters, and then I’m done with it?’ I don’t have to come back. Or it was just an exercise in words and thoughts compressed.”
  8. Her opinions have resulted in designers banning her from shows, like Hedi Slimane during his YSL era. “The newspaper world didn’t have a great affection for PR people. You weren’t supposed to toe the line with those houses at all; you were supposed to speak your mind and be independent.”
  9. She has advice for aspiring journalists. “The most important thing is to build your relationships with people. If you have a choice of two jobs, choose the people first. I once made the mistake of choosing a title that was more well-known when another editor I really liked wanted me to write for her. Choose the people first and then the rest will follow—because you’ll get more opportunity.

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