HomeFabulosity by Corbin Chamberlin › Fabulosity: Meet Financial Times Fashion Editor Vanessa Friedman - Page 3

Do you think changing the core-aesthetic is the biggest mistake a designer could make during these unstable times?
Clearly you have to push yourself, no matter what profession you're in. You must stretch your talent, thinking or your own ideas, and you have to experiment. But I think what’s really imperative when you’re doing something like a show is that you are able to recognize or able to work with someone who is able to recognize something that is not working. It’s very good to try, but until you have succeeded you shouldn't show us anything. It's an issue where there is a lot of “Oh god, it’s time to show. Let’s put something on the runway and see what happens. We don’t have to make it, we’ll put it on the runway and we just won’t produce it.”

What were the standout collections of NYFW for you?
I thought Proenza Schouler was really good, as well as Narciso Rodriguez.

Countless shows, weeks of traveling and a overall demanding schedule. How do you unwind from fashion week(s)?
I play with my kids. Kids are a pretty good palette cleanser.

Which interview/profile was your most challenging?  
It’s actually not a fashion profile. The hardest profile I ever did was with Robert De Niro. He was just totally uninterested in being interviewed, even though he had agreed to it and it was like an intense paralysis every time I asked a question. In terms of fashion, Rei Kawakubo was interesting. Partly because we were working through her husband, who was doing the translation and she was very hyper-sensitive about certain things. But it wasn’t bad, it was just a kind-of an interesting experience. I much rather talk to someone who has strong feelings and strong opinions instead of someone who is just smiling all of the time. 

Like the "Pucci" book, do you have any special projects in the works?
I don’t. "Pucci" was a kind-of close to my heart book because I know Laudomia and I’ve always loved those clothes. It was really interesting because I learned a lot that I didn’t know when I was doing it. There are lots of people I’m interested in writing about, so we’ll see. 

Was there ever a point in your career where you thought or realized that you had arrived?
Hopefully there is room for improvement. {laughs} I like to think that I can still get better. No, I think everything that I do, I try to do the best that I can. I do think I can be better.

How do you think the recent disasters in Japan will affect its fashion industry and the rest of the world's?
Funny, I was just writing about it. A friend of mine Lucien Pellat-Finet, who is a french cashmere king has four stores in Japan and his sales are up like 30% since last week. Which I don’t quite understand. There was a lot news today about luxury stocks falling because people are worried that Japan represents a giant chunk of their revenues and this will hurt them. But the thing is Japan as a luxury market has been stagnant if not contracting for a decade. Even though it's still a large chunk of sales, it’s not as big as companies think. It will disappear anyways. So, this won't hurt the companies as bad as it might hit other sectors like automobiles, computers, but we’ll see. I think the other question is when terrible things happen and people tend to feel guilty or feel that is in inappropriate to spend a lot of money, that may kind-of have a knock on psychological effect with consumers on the Western world. Then again, it remains to be seen.