Breakout Feud Tactic: The Open Letter
The open letter, an age-old scandalizing tactic, made a major comeback in 2012. First came Oscar de la Renta’s full-page open letter to New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn, in which he called her a “stale 3-day old hamburger” after she called him “far more a hot dog than an éminence grise of American fashion” in her review of his spring show.
Then came Hedi Slimane’s take on the format, his created on some ancient looking computer program (MS Paint?). Again taking aim at Horyn, Slimane blasted the critic for her consistently biased views of his work, and tweeted out the neo-gothic-designed note to his 32,000 followers.
Weeks later, Horyn’s boyfriend Art Ortenberg wrote a note to WWD, in defense of his girlfriend.
Then came Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve’s take on the format, writing to the trade paper with his own thoughts on the Simons/Slimane rivalry—prompted by WWD editor Miles Socha’s take on the two designers’ slippery relationship.