Fashion Wars

Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane Slams New York Times Style Critic Cathy Horyn

The new designer of Saint Laurent attacked The New York Times fashion critic following her negative review of his show, calling her names and accusing her of being “a publicist in disguise.”

10.02.12 11:15 PM ET

First it was Oscar de la Renta, now it’s Hedi Slimane.

The new designer of Saint Laurent lashed out at The New York Times’ style critic in a message posted to his Twitter account on Thursday. In a post titled “My Own Times: Miss Cathy, Freedom of the Press,” the designer wrote a paragraph-long attack of the writer, stating that “Miss Horyn is a schoolyard bully and also a little bit of a stand-up comedian.”

On Tuesday, Horyn published a less-than-glowing review of Slimane’s debut collection for Saint Laurent. In it, she revealed that she had not been granted a seat at the show because of an article she wrote about Raf Simons in 2004. In the article—to which she said Slimane “bitterly objected”—she wrote that the designer’s slim tailoring wouldn’t have been possible if not for the work of Simons.

In her Monday review of his show, for which she cited digital images since she wasn’t given a seat, Horyn wrote that Slimane “refused to interpret the YSL style, beyond updating its proportions. Even the colors seemed flat, suppressed.” She continued: “Considering that Mr. Slimane was an avatar of youthful style, I expected more from his debut. I had the impression from the clothes of someone disconnected from fashion of the past several years. If so, that might be an interesting perspective. But there wasn’t something new to learn here.” She finished the article with harsh words for the designer’s PR strategy: “Also, the self-important air of Saint Laurent’s media relations—the calls informing reporters that Mr. Slimane wouldn’t be taking questions backstage—is out of touch.”

Only a few hours later, Slimane shot back. “Insiders argue she is an average writer, and a little bit provincial, but I disagree, she did some great things,” he wrote of Horyn in a black-and-white post, true to the brand’s new aesthetic. “Her biggest achievement so far is a book about Bill Blass, that I haven’t read. It might be terrific, and I’ll be happy to recommend it, if it helps the sales.”

He continues with a low blow, criticizing her sense of style: “I also often hear that her sense of style is seriously challenged, providing that she is meant to be an authority in the Village. This is totally irrelevant, no one has ever asked for her to be an inspiration to others after all, and likely it would never happen anyway.” He resorts to name-calling, writing that she is “seriously thick” and “perfectly predictable,” and accuses her of a conflict of interest, citing her friendly relationship with Simons, who is now the creative director of Dior. “I don’t mind critics, but they have to come from a fashion critic, not a publicist in disguise,” he writes.

In a final zinger, Slimane adds:  “In conclusion, and as far as I’m concerned, she will never get a seat at Saint Laurent, but might get a 2 for 1 at Dior.”

When reached by WWD on Tuesday evening, Horyn responded to Slimane's attacks by saying, "It's just silly nonsense to me." 

This comes on the heels of Horyn’s spat with Oscar de la Renta, after she wrote that “Mr. de la Renta is far more a hot dog than an eminence grise of American fashion.” De la Renta retaliated with a full-page letter in Women’s Wear Daily, saying, “If you have the right to call me a hot dog why do I not have the right to call you a stale 3-day old hamburger.” Even Lady Gaga has weighed in, debuting a new song with the following lyrics: "Nicopanda got style trick; Cathy Horyn your style ain't dick."

The War on Cathy may have officially begun.

Slimane posted the following message to his Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon.