Fashion Roundtable: An Interview with Three Leading Black Fashion Journalists
QUESTION: WHAT ABOUT MORE
BLACKS COVERING FASHION?
Just the fact that you pulled this roundtable together, shows progress. but I fear one step forward, two steps back. I'm disturbed by the number of black fashion journalists dropping out, ( a reflection of the growing number of black journalists declining across the board, according to recent reports). Monique Greenwood, Roy Campbell, Darlene Gillard Jones are three from the fashion family who have moved on to other areas and I question: Why?.
QUESTION: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OFF-BEAT COMMON PRACTICES IN THE FASHION BUSINESS?
Constance: When you're a journalist at a major newspaper, the pressure is huge. The jockeying for gifts, it's unbelievable. You cannot understand it unless you've experienced it.
Bernadine: Geoffrey Beene has been quoted as saying advertisng and money dictate fashion. True?
Robin: I deeply hope it's not true. Fashion exists so there are beautiful things to buy and sell.
Teri: It has always been that way. Dior and Balenciaga, they sold clothes.
Constance: Even if you're a celebrity designer, it doesn't work after the initial puff of celebrity if the clothes, the goods aren't there.
Vivian: How much of a part does the cult of personality play in getting a designer coverage and success with the press?
Robin: This is not so different from any other industry. Someone who has a charming personality is going to get the benefit of the doubt. The person who slams the door, you remember that down the road.
Bernadine: Here's another Geoffrey Beene quote. "Fashion is in a terrible state--an overdose of too much flesh."
Robin: When is fashion not in a troubled state? Okay, there was an aberration in the 1980's when Christian Lacrois did clothes that were incredibly costume-y. They cost a fortune but people were buying them.
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