New York Times Fashion Critic Cathy Horyn Resigns

Today, the fashion world sends off a big name: WWD reports that New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn has resigned. This isn't the first shakeup for the Times' fashion department; fashion news director Eric Wilson departed for InStyle in October, and now Horyn is making an unexpected exit.

Fashionista has published an internal memo regarding Horyn's resignation sent by executive editor Jill Abramson and Styles editor Stuart Emmrich to staff members this morning:

It is with both deep sadness over her departure and immense gratitude for the legacy she leaves behind that we announce that Cathy Horyn, the paper’s chief fashion critic since 1999, is leaving The Times. Cathy’s reasons for leaving are personal ones, to spend more with her partner, Art Ortenberg, who has had health problems, and whom she feels would benefit greatly from her increased presence at home.

Though the ill health of her partner, Liz Claiborne co-founder Art Ortenberg, is noted as the reason for the departure, the proximity to the start of New York Fashion Week and the use of the word “resigned” as opposed to “retired” has raised some eyebrows.

Known for her brutally honest commentary, Horyn was both praised and hated by many in her industry. Unlike some in the media, she was one of the few willing to give truthful critique backed by her years of professional expertise and was not phased by the megawatt star status of her subjects.

We'll miss Horyn's quips like these:

On the lack of creativity seen during NYFW Fall 2013 shows...

Flicking through a digital slide show of mostly black clothes seemingly designed for depressed urbanites is enough to induce a coma. The problem is there are too many labels and not enough genuine talent.

Regarding Hedi Slimane’s new Saint Laurent...

In terms of design, the clothes held considerably less value than a box of Saint Laurent labels.

On Lady Gaga’s 2011 CFDA Awards Versace ensemble...

As funny and as fresh as Gaga was in her speech at the recent C.F.D.A. awards, she looked embalmed in the black Versace harness (apparently from Gianni Versace’s final collection), and I don’t know why Donatella Versace said she was honored by Gaga’s selection, unless, of course, she thought she had to say something nice about the superstar.

On Oscar de la Renta’s design talent, or lack thereof…

Mr. de la Renta is far more a hot dog than an éminence grise of American fashion.

Sheer poetry.

I can only hope that with her departure she does not take with her the dedication to excellence she has shown over her 15 years of service.

She will be sorely missed by many. (Well, maybe not by Lady Gaga.)