Suzy Menkes or Suzy Peta Menkes OBE was born in Beaconsfield, United Kingdom on December 24, 24 1943. She is a British journalist and fashion critic. Previously she was a fashion editor for International Herald Tribune and now she has been the editor of 21 international editions of Vogue online.
Menkes was born and raised in England and continued school at Brighton and Hove High School. When she was in her teens in the 1960s, she decided to move to Paris to learn to sew clothes in what is now ESMOD. She got the task to make her first couture show at Nina Ricci, which made her even more encouraged in developing her interest in the fashion world.
After she come back from Paris, she continued in the fields of history and English literature at Newnham College, Cambridge. During her college, she became the first female editor in the campus newspaper.
After completing her studies at Cambridge, she worked for The Times in fashion sections. She also had written several books include about the style of fashion in the British Empire.
Menkes claimed to admire the work of Eugenia Sheppard from New York Herald Tribune and Prudence Glynn in the Times of London. While at Cambridge, she became the first woman to work for Varsity, a university newspaper. After that she joined The Times as a junior reporter. At the age of 24, she took her first job as a fashion journalist at the London Evening Standard, where she was recruited by editor Charles Wintour, who also became her mentor.
Charles Wintour made her understand that as a fashion editor, she was a channel for the public because she took information and then spread it in a way that could be understood by others. For her that is the meaning of real work.
After 25 years as a fashion journalist in The International Herald Tribune, she decided to quit in 2014 because she felt that since joining the International New York Times, the working atmosphere had been different since many new people entered.
Suzy Menkes and Her critics in the Fashion World
In fashion, Menkes is known for her sharp criticism, both positive and negative. In the 1990s, she caused a stir by stating that the iconic quilted Chanel handbag had ended. In response, Chanel issued a full-page advertisement in the International Herald Tribune refuting the claim.
Suzy Menkes and Her Environmental Concerns
Last month, she received a Visionary award at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards in Milan on September 24. She just conducted an interview with Eco-Age whose creative director was Livia Firth which is the pioneers of the Green Carpet Challenge. In her interview she discussed her work in the fashion industry and her observations of environmental and social impacts.
This award was very poignant because since 2009 she already talked about green fashion will become part of the fashion industry.
Indeed, in her role as a Fashion Editor in the International Herald Tribune, almost ten years ago she wrote articles for The New York Times, about what later became a new keyword for the fashion industry – “sustainability” and “responsibility”.
Ten years since writing the article, there are some significant changes. The IPCC report that responsible luxury industry has become the main focus of the annual Condé Nast International Conference held every April.
The main thing is connecting between the clothing provider and whoever wears it. She said it was necessary to encourage all parties to be really interested in the origin of the clothes they bought because buying goods simply because they were cheap could be counterproductive. But this is indeed a quite radical change if you want to sue anyone because not all have large amounts of money to buy sustainable fashion products.
Menkes mphasized that if you really like clothing, you will hate the idea that the product is produced by people who are treated like slaves or use methods that destroy the environment. Suzy Menkes said that we certainly cannot expect people to suddenly change their behavior completely, but changing attitudes is something anyone can do.