Equal Time for Critics of Lookonline.com

Lookonline.com is known for editorials criticizing others for their actions, contents or deeds. But if you dish it out, then you also have to be willing to take it! So in that spirit we want to share with you, our gentle readers, some of the all time classic “put downs” of us sent in by others that are archived in our letters to the editor section. We believe by sharing these “gems” with you, we will give you a good laugh and it may tell you as much about the sender as it does about us. We will post additional emails in the near future.

First up is a note several years back from Horacio Silva, that “boy-about-town” columnist for Chic Happens, the tawdry and popular gossip column of Lee Carter’s hintmag.com. His e-mail was in response to an editorial the publisher of Lookonline Ernest Schmatolla did on then editor Liz Tilberius’s handling of Harper’s Bazaar. In this note he takes the publisher to task for not knowing the meaning of words, for a lack of intelligence, for “an eyesore” of a website design, and advised that the site would be better off just offering a series of useful links. I would say dear Horacio covered just about all of the bases with this note. If “attitude” had a voice, this e-mail would be an opera!

“Not enough intellectual horse-power…”

“It’s a shame you have neither the intellectual horse-power to follow through with your ideas, some of which are okay, nor the financial backing to show how much better you would do things given the chance. As it stands, your efforts seem undergraduate and underfunded. There was a good story there about Liz Tilberis’s grandstanding and the decline of Harper’s Bazaar as the front-runner in fashion publishing but instead we get the inane grumbling of someone who probably didn’t get invited to the book launch. I’m certainly not a fan of Tilberis — who is? — but she deserves the respect that a well-balanced, intelligent piece would have afforded her.

Meanwhile, don’t you think it’s a bit rich of you to talk about “visual aesthetics” (by the way, aesthetics can only be visual) when your site is such an eyesore? I wish you the best, but it’s time for you to rethink what you’re doing. Why not restrict yourself to a well presented and useful set of links? At least then your site will have a purpose. I’m sorry to sound harsh, and by the way I’m on the side of the underdog, but at the moment I have to agree with the dude from Hurricane.” – Horacio Silva

And here is short little ditty from Amy Spindler, Style Editor of the The New York Times Magazine and friend of all “boys about town” in response to our e-mail complaining that our ‘What’s Black & White and Available All Over?’ feature article was used for more than just the basis of a NY Times Magazine article the following month:

“I’ve never looked at your website and have no plans. to do so. It is a very obvious idea, and an equally obvious headline, since that was the biggest trend of last season. We don’t need websites to tell us that. I guess it is a coincidence.” – Amy Spindler

And speaking of the “dude from Hurricane” e-mail that Horacio agreed with – here is another of our all time favorite insults. We call it the “The Shnook On-line” email. It concerned our editorial on “7th on Sixth” barring links to other fashion sites by the CEO of Hurricane Interactive who put up the first 7thonSixth site…

“My name is Jordan Harris and I am the CEO and President of Hurricane Interactive. Get it right or you will look even more idiotic! Ernie, if you are trying to be a “business man”, you should learn to choose your fights wisely. I am not your enemy, I own a company that makes a profit. I am not in the business of “non for profit” the way you are. Maybe if you learned how to deal with people you would actually gain some credibility and make some money. No one gives a crap about your little Website, do your self a favor and go back to doing whatever it was you did before you decided to self promote yourself through a front-end called Shnook On Line”. – Jordan Harris

And on making friends and influencing people comes an email from Mr. Timothy Hudson claiming to run an on-line retail fragrance site called pheroma.com. He emailed asking for us to put up advertising about sale items from his site on the Fashion & Beauty Internet Association site that The Look On-Line hosts in exchange for a 10% commission on sales generated from the site. I informed Mr. Hudson that ” Our policy is not to give away advertising space. Few good sites ever run that kind of promotion. If you cannot afford to pay for advertising, you cannot afford to run it.” In response to our email this is what he wrote us:

“Thanks for all the info, since you must be right about good sites being able to afford advertising and that no good sites create any quality relationships that are mutually beneficial. Hey I’ve got a really good idea. Go to your bathroom, take the plunger there sitting in the corner and shove it up your ass.” – Timothy Hutton

And finally out of the mouth of babes…

JEES you guys..! dont you have any money to hire GOOD Writers!!! your writers are HIGHLY unprofessional. JEEZ, i think that even my baby sis can write better! Please do something about your magazine. I am not the only one who feels this way. i think your WRiting and your editorial time SUCKS BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – name withheld



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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