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People of Fashion with Christian Freedom

People of Fashion with Christian Freedom
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This week is the start of Fashion Week in New York City.  Because of this we thought it would be interesting to feature an article about someone who has played a big role in the fashion scene for many years.

Our man in fashion, Christian Freedom, recently attended Fern Mallis’ fashion icon talk series featuring Suzy Menkes, famed author and fashion reporter for the International Herald Tribune who discussed her long and storied career.   Her love of fashion began while studying dressmaking as a teenager in Paris.  Though she decided not to pursue design she still wanted to be a part of fashion and writing was a way to do that.  In fact, her signature pompadour hairstyle really started out as a practical way to get her bangs out of her eyes while writing.  As editor of the student newspaper at Cambridge University, her first journalistic “get’ was an interview with the singer Marianne Faithfull.  Before she started being invited, she snuck into a Chloe fashion show in Paris dressed as a cleaning woman.  She went on to work for Anna Wintour’s father Charles at The Times, reporting on fashion and cultural events. She said that he was the first editor to take an interest in her writing and to mentor her. Suzy’s career has always been important to her, even retaining her professional name after she wed.  She is proud to be of the generation of “firsts” in Britain i.e. first CEO, first editor, first prime minister; however, even though she loves her job, colleagues and designer friends she would not have missed raising a family and puts her relationships with her children before her professional commitments.

Her influence in fashion has proved to be quite important.  She has helped to discover and promote new talent and, as a result of a negative review of hers of the disorganized NYC fashion shows, Bryant Park fashion week was founded.  She discussed the major changes in fashion today including the immense pressure designers are under to churn out multiple collections per year, unlike in the old days when just two were required.  Suzy also hopes that consumers will start to act more responsibly and think about the sweat shop type conditions under which fast fashions are made.

At 69 years old she is still going strong and considers herself young compared to some of the designer powerhouses like Karl Lagerfeld and Ralph Lauren to name just a few.

There will be more talks from fashion icons this fall including Bruce Weber and Kenneth Cole.  You can get tickets at www.92y.org.

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