But, maybe the most surprising thing Friedman's seen in her time at the paper is the rise of fashion as a topic worthy of serious discussion and analysis. It was not always this way. Friedman, FT's first-ever fashion writer, recalls that as soon as she sat down for her job interview with the paper's editor, he declared, “I never think about clothes.” Later, when she told the head of a major bank what she did for a living, "He laughed so hard and turned so red [over the thought that the] Financial Times had a fashion editor," Friedman worried he'd have a heart attack.
But, somewhere along the way — thanks in no small part to critics like Friedman and Cathy Horyn, who Friedman has replaced at The New York Times — fashion began to gain a more serious reputation. And, for all the reasons Friedman enumerates, from Bernard Arnault translating luxury's exclusive appeal for a mass audience, to Steve Jobs making design fetishists of us all, maybe the best one of all is what Friedman closes her column with — the simple, self-evident answer she wishes she'd been armed with at her FT job interview in 2003 and that she now uses for anyone who question's the topic's legitimacy: Fashion matters because "the world is not run by naked people." We'll be stealing that one. (Financial Times)
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