Robin Givhan

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Robin Givhan (born September 1965[1]) is the former fashion editor for The Washington Post. She left The Washington Post in 2010 and is now the fashion critic and fashion correspondent for The Daily Beast and Newsweek. She won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for criticism, the first such time for a fashion writer. The Pulitzer Committee explained its rationale by noting Givhan's "witty, closely observed essays that transform fashion criticism into cultural criticism."

The native of Detroit, Michigan was valedictorian at Renaissance High School in 1982, graduated from Princeton University in 1986, and holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After working for the Detroit Free Press for about seven years, she held positions at the San Francisco Chronicle and Vogue magazine. She has been employed on and off with The Post for more than 10 years. She moved from New York City to Washington, D.C. in 2009 where her fashion beat was expanded to also cover First Lady Michelle Obama.[2]

Givhan appeared as a guest on The Colbert Report in January 2006.

Givhan generated an uproar on July 20, 2007, when she penned a Washington Post opinion piece that drew attention to an outfit worn by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during her July 18 speech on the Senate floor. Givhan said Sen. Clinton's slightly V-shaped neckline was "unnerving" and "startling," especially for a woman "who has been so publicly ambivalent about style, image and the burdens of both." She added, "[I]t was more like catching a man with his fly unzipped. Just look away!"

Givhan has made a reputation for being blunt. In an interview on writers who cover the fashion industry, Givhan told CBS News, "There are a lot of people who sort of say that something is good or important or progressive or edgy when in fact, it's just crappy. And no one will just say it's crappy," Givhan states bluntly." She added, "I'll also say when I think something is absolutely magnificent."

Commenting on a heavy, dark-green parka worn by Vice President Dick Cheney at a ceremony in 2005 commemorating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Givhan wrote, "It's the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.... Here he was wearing something that visually didn't symbolize to me the level of solemnity and respect that I thought a service like this demanded... He was representing the American people. I don't want to be represented by someone in, you know, a parka who looks like he's at a Green Bay Packer game."

She also slammed the attire worn by the wife and young children of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts during his swearing in as Supreme Court Chief Justice, saying they resembled "a trio of Easter eggs, a handful of jelly bellies, three little Necco wafers."

In August 2009, she criticized First Lady Michelle Obama for wearing shorts while on a family vacation. "Avoiding the appearance of queenly behavior is politically wise. But it does American culture no favors if a first lady tries so hard to be average that she winds up looking common," wrote Givhan on the subject of the first lady's attire.[3] Givhan continued her criticism in the January 3, 2010 Washington Post, complaining the First Lady lacked "focus" in her advocacy.[4]

In 2013, Robin Givhan was inducted into the University of Michigan's Detroiter Hall of Fame. Givhan's upcoming book about the The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show, tentatively titled One Night at Versailles is due to be released in late 2014 or early 2015.[5] She has also contributed to a number of books, including captions for photographer Lucian Perkins's book Runway Madness and a commemorative book entitled Michelle: Her First Year as First Lady.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  • [1] University of Michigan Detroit Center; Detroiter Hall of Fame

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