Oscar de la Renta does not want to be an Oscar Meyer Weiner.
He wants his vision respected, especially by New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn.
In a mixed review of his SS2013 show, Horyn wrote, “Mr. de la Renta is far more a hot dog than an éminence grise of American fashion. He opened his lively show on Tuesday with a red latex pencil skirt, a sleek ivory wool pantsuit and dairymaid lace. The models’ hair was streaked with war paint, and midway along, after bead-quivering jackets and neon-bright skirts, he sent out white lace with black pencil-like scribbles. It was wonderfully cantankerous, a good bit of window-dressing for the gooey stuff that followed.”
Perhaps he could take the criticism of his collection, but the personal jab put Oscar over the edge.
The designer then decided to take action against the Horyn and write an open letter in WWD. He opens his letter with a statement about his age and the length of time he has been working in the fashion world.
Keeping with the BBQ theme, Oscar penned, “I respect and accept criticism because in many ways it does help us develop; I try to make my work better each time. What I do not accept is when criticism is personal. 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? My advice to you is to abstain from personal criticism. Professionals criticize the clothes, not the people.”
Horyn responded, “I used the term in a professional context, as someone showing off his tricks, like a surfer. I thought an ad was a little over-the-top.”