Cathy Horyn is one of fashion's greatest critics. She doesn't pull any punches on what she thinks, no matter who the designer is. She was famously banned from Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent shows after she went in during one of her patented reviews. She doesn't give a single fuck, which is exactly what you want in a critic. After stepping away from the circuit awhile back, she just recently got back in the ring, reviewing shows for The Cut and we couldn't be happier. She also just did a huge interview with System that The Business of Fashion got an exclusive excerpt of. In short, Cathy Horyn promises she will never stop going in *Rich Homie Quan voice*. Some of the highlights below:
On being selective with her show reviews and possibly missing something:
For sure, you might miss something. But the bigger fear is that you might not perceive the stuff that you are seeing correctly, that you might not have the right set of eyes or the right amount of information, or you’re just not up to date.
How to be a good critic:
A couple of things: longevity and being free of influence. You’ve always got something influencing you, but you should work at keeping some distance from that. You just have to say what you think.
In considering the scale of a brand's business in a review:
Armani and Thomas Tait are almost two different industries. I mean, I really like Armani: I like the business, I like him as a guy. I like that he has achieved so much, I like all the crazy people who work for him. But honestly, it’s very difficult to write about the clothes. I think for a critic it’s almost better not to attend; I can’t write in a critical way about Armani because there’s very little to say. He’s a made guy, he’s not going to change how he does things, there’s not going to be any particular newness.
On being friends with a designer and reviewing their collections:
I think you can hang out and have an affinity for certain designers, but I think that if you believe you are truly friends then you are in for trouble. And it’s not good for your professionalism nor good for your copy, if you believe that. The other side of that is if I don’t like something someone has show on the runway then I have to be able to say it to their face.
On writing things that may have affected relationships:
No, because they probably weren’t relationships. The people who got mad at me are still very friendly with me, but we don’t go on vacation together. We don’t go to dinner together. I can still walk into their studio though, even though they yelled at me five years ago. I mean really yelled. It’s fine.