Saturday, February 19, 2005

Condé Nast's Feuds with Geoffrey Beene, Yeohlee, and Ralph Rucci Continues...

Talk about the continuing "dissing" of some of America's most creative fashion designers, the old nastiness and small-minded behavior of some editors at Fairchild and parent company Condé Nast continues unabated. For years, these same editors also carried on a vendetta against Pauline Trigere by refusing to attend her shows and, then, only after her death acknowledged just how important a designer she really was.

As has been reported by Lookonline.com and others, Ralph Rucci was for years ignored by WWD. And only in the last few seasons, with Ralph being invited to show at the French couture shows, and influential industry heavyweights coming to his support (Joan Kaner, Cathy Horyn et al) that WWD finally had no choice but to relent and cover him just to avoid embarrassing themselves. However, while most editors who saw and reviewed Ralph's recent Fall 2005 collection thought it was outstanding, the WWD review was insulting in both tone and substance.

Well, at least WWD talks about Ralph, but little or nothing has been heard about Geoffrey Beene's new designer Einar Holiloekk and Yeohlee. Go over to Style.com and you will notice that these two well-known design houses are not even listed as showing during fashon week.

The feud between Geoffrey Beene and Fairchild goes back for years and has been widely commented upon in the fashion press. One would think after the death of the great designer, Fairchild would put that issue finally to rest. But it appears, Fairchild, like the elephant, has a long, long memory.

Yeohlee, another New York designer of long standing, who recently had a retrospective at F.I.T., also seems invisible to Style.com. What crime Yeohlee may have committed against those fragile egos of Fairchild I do not know. One thing is certain, three great American design houses, who believe that talent alone should speak for itself, continue to be abused, neglected or at best under reported. Once again, as with Pauline Trigere, these same Fairchild editors have put coporate hubris over editorial integrity.

-Ernest Schmatolla

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