This morning brought big news for everyone in fashion PR: Cathy Horyn will step down as The New York Times‘ chief fashion critic after more than 15 years in the position, effective immediately.
As Capital New York reports, Horyn “occupied one of the fashion industry’s true critical pulpits” but was not always a favorite among the design community due to her propensity for brutal honesty in reviewing designers’ newest collections and personal comments about designers themselves; Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent famously banned her from their shows.
On a somber note, the given reason for this last-minute announcement is the illness of Horyn’s partner, former Liz Claiborne executive Art Ortenberg.
Notes from the memo just released by Times executive editor Jill Abramson and styles editor Stuart Emmrich after the jump:
“It is with both deep sadness over her departure and immense gratitude for the legacy she leaves behind that we announce that Cathy Horyn, the paper’s chief fashion critic since 1999, is leaving The Times.
How do we measure the impact that Cathy has made at The Times? Is it in the 1,123 bylined pieces she has written in the past 15 years? The promising designers she discovered, the unoriginal ones she dismissed, the talents that she celebrated in ways that illuminated their creative process for a readership that ranged from the executive offices of LVMH to the bargain shoppers at Barneys Warehouse?
Cathy will be sorely missed by all of us in Styles and by the paper as a whole.”
She will not be sorely missed by many in the fashion world, but we have little doubt that everyone will be watching very closely to see who replaces her.