Nicole Miller Baby Phat
What is my version of a nightmare? Inadvertently mixing up two fashion shows and reviewing them. The bad dream was all too real for Cathy Horyn of The New York Times during this last New York Spring Fashion Week. Add to that that your paper takes a month to do anything about it and you have a total SNAFU.
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New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn wrote of the Nicole Miller show that she "was sure [she] had witnessed the absolute rock bottom of American fashion." But an unusual correction in Friday’s New York Times, a month after the article ran, raised serious questions about what exactly it was Horyn had seen. As reported in today’s WWD by Irin Carmon.
"After leaving Nicole Miller’s show," Horyn wrote in the Sept. 11 article, where "the PETA people were clawing at everyone," Horyn reflected on the commercialization she saw at fashion week. She mocked the presentation of a vodka bottle during Miller’s show: "Folks, just a few short moments from our commercial sponsor!" (My sentiments exactly for Baby Phat, but I did like Nicole Miller).
The trouble was, as Friday’s correction noted, a different group, unaffiliated with PETA, was the one vocally protesting, and they were there to excoriate Kimora Lee Simmons (Baby Phat), not Miller. The vodka bottle, as expressly announced in the show, was designed for a charity auction; Miller does not have corporate sponsorship. But despite the paper having been alerted to these errors "the day the review appeared," the correction was "delayed for additional reporting and research, and was further delayed because editors did not follow through on the complaint."
Clearly a slap at Horyn’s editor, Trip Gabriel, who had been alerted to the errors by Miller’s business partner Bud Konheim, who also wrote to Horyn and Times public editor Barney Calame. (The actual animal rights organization, the NYC Animal Rights Group, also claims it wrote to Horyn.) Two days later, Konheim heard from the office of the public editor, promising a response from a Style editor. Then, a full week after the article appeared, Konheim said he received an e-mail from Gabriel saying he was working on a response to the main contention the clothes had been ignored, and, Konheim said, wondering if he was seeking a correction. Konheim responded that he was. But the subsequent deafening silence from the Times led Konheim to call his lawyers.
A letter sent on Oct. 6 by attorney David C. Berg demanded a "formal public apology" and "complete and public retraction…no later than Oct. 13, 2006" — the day the correction finally ran. Berg and Konheim said they had heard nothing from the Times until then and learned of the correction only by reading the paper.