Fashion’s Honest Voice Fades Out: Cathy Horyn Leaves The International New York Times

Cathy Horyn is regarded as the industry’s most honest voice – calling it as she sees it – no flowery words, no sugar coated articles, just straight direct to the point intelligent observation.

Last week, the fashion world was caught by surprise when  news broke out that the iconic The International New York Times’ (INYT) resident fashion critic will soon retire

Cathy Horyn, renowned fashion critic, is a staple on fashion front rows. Photo is from
Cathy Horyn, renowned fashion critic, is a staple on fashion front rows. Photo is from

She joined the publication in 1998 and soon became one of the industry’s most prominent voices, influencing designers and retailers worldwide. It was said that her decision to take a step back is prompted by her partner, Art Ortenberg’s health issues. Though noble in her reason, fashion insiders are sad about her departure.

The influential fashion portal Business of Fashion‘s Editor Imran Amed wrote a beautiful piece encapsulating what most people in the industry are feeling. He writes:

In a memo to the New York Times newsroom announcing Horyn’s departure, executive editor Jill Abramson and styles editor Stuart Emmrich called her “the pre-eminent fashion critic of her generation… who has set an almost impossible standard for those who may follow.”

But the question on my mind is this: Is there anyone who can actually follow someone like Cathy? Have we, the fashion industry, nurtured and nourished truly independent, informed voices who say what they really think? I think not. Too much fashion writing is fluffy drivel concerned with front-row attendees and the “hottest new trends.” And too often, it describes the clothes in only an elementary, superficial way that lacks an understanding of how garments are designed and constructed, and how they fit into a wider cultural and economic context.

Read the full piece here

We support Ms Horyn’s decision, as it takes great courage to give up her active career as one of Fashion’s most vocal observer. But we expect nothing less from a woman who had no fear – throughout her career she had her share of burning bridges and offending designers, to keep her ideal of maintaining her views and comments unadulterated. A breathe of fresh air for readers of fashion.

We do hope that in the near future, young fashion critics of her calibre steps up and fill the void she left.