The State of Fashion Journalism Today

Last month, Elle published an interview with fashion mastermind Rei Kawakubo. Although interviews with Kawakubo are few and far between, this one slipped under my, and many others I suspect, radar because of its, well, rather dryness. If it were to be remembered, it would be as nothing more than a wasted opportunity; unfortunate, but insignificant. That is, until the original conductor of the interview and co-author of the piece wrote a lengthy, spirited piece published on In his seemingly unfiltered essay, Jacques Hyzagi tore into both publications and industry moguls themselves, calling Anna Wintour's Met Ball "insufferable", labelling New York Magazine as a bore, and hitting almost every other icon in fashion publishing. Hyzagi explained, in the most unforgiving of fashions, how his "once-in-a-lifetime" interview was ignored, sabotaged, and manipulated. Hyzagi will write a small piece on Kawakubo similar to the real, insightful interview, which is to be published by the British fashion magazine 10, but the full, true interview will never be seen, as it is now complete property of Elle.

Although Hyzagi's revealing essay for Observer was borderline rant-ish, it also shed light on the treatment and, to a lesser degree, newfound power of fashion journalists. Any individual working for a publication, in the fashion field or otherwise, is subject to the priorities of said publication, which usually consist of high pageviews, "share-ability", and advertising. Journalistic integrity is barely a priority, especially today with advertisement and social media numbers existing as such a significant element in a publication's survival online or, more rarely, in print. But Hyzagi refused to let the manipulation of his own work go without acknowledgement. The tone of his essay is completely fed-up with fashion publishing's bullshit. Although he most likely burned numerous bridges in the process, he stood up for his work. Although he immaturely insulted numerous people and publications whom I respect (including, to my ultimate dismay, my fabulous favorite Hamish Bowles), he also didn't allow anyone, regardless of their position, get away with the arguable destruction of his piece. His bravery in calling out established people and publications hopefully paves the way for other fashion journalists to truly speak their mind, even if the execution of Jacques Hyzagi's outcry wasn't the most respectable.

I am by no means congratulating Hyzagi on the popularity of his shallow, exaggerating, and entertaining piece, but observing and predicting what commotions like these mean for the future of fashion journalism. Maybe Hyzagi is being completely honest, maybe he's desperate for a few minutes of fame in this age where fame seems to only last for mere minutes. The truth we will never know. But we do know now that journalists are less likely to go quietly when it comes to the validity and honor of their work. As always, honesty is the best policy.

Fashion mastermind Rei Kawakubo, photo published along with Hyzagi's Elle on Earth essay for


  1. I can empathize with anyone whose work is subject to such heavy editing that it becomes unrecognizable and looses its charm and purpose. HOWEVER, the immaturity is beyond obnoxious and will burning so many bridges all at once in spectacular fashion will affect their trajectory for years and years

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