Suzy Menkes

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Suzy Menkes
Born (1943-12-24) December 24, 1943 (age 71)
Occupation Journalist, fashion critic
Notable credit(s) Vogue, The Times, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Harper's Bazaar

Suzy Menkes, OBE (born 24 December 1943) is a British journalist and esteemed fashion critic. Formerly fashion editor for the International Herald Tribune, Suzy Menkes is now International Fashion Editor for nineteen worldwide editions of Vogue.


Menkes was born in the UK. She was educated at Brighton and Hove High School. In the 1960s, she went as a teenager to Paris to study dressmaking at at the Chambre Syndicale fashion school. Viewing her first couture show at Nina Ricci-courtesy of her White Russian landlady- sparked her interest in high fashion. She lives in Paris, is widowed and has three sons and three granddaughters. She holds the Legion d'Honneur in France and a British OBE.[1]

On her return from Paris, she read history and English literature at Newnham College, Cambridge while her sister studied at Oxford. After Cambridge, she worked for The Times reporting on fashion. In addition to her journalism, she has written several books, particularly on British Royal style.

Admiring "good journalism" [2] and espacially the work of Prudence Glynn at The London Time or Eugenia Sheppard ,after leaving Cambridge in 1966 where she was the first woman who signed up to work for VarsIty, the university's newspaper, she joined The Times of London as a junior reporter; headhunted by Charles Wintour , her mentor, who was then editor of the London Evening Standard and gave her at only 24 , in spite of her inexperience, her first job as fashion journalist:

{{|He really made me understand that as a fashion editor, or any other role at the paper,
you are conduit to the public. You’re supposed to take in this information and then pass it on
— that idea that,as a journalist, you’ve got to really take things in and then explain them in a way
that’s comprehensible to other people.That’s the job.}}![3]

Then, she joined the Daily Express before returning to The Times where she met her late husband and father of her three sons, David Spanier; left The Times and joined The Independent in 1987; poached by the International Herald Tribune in 1988. After 25 years commenting on fashion at The Herald international Tribune, she left it in 2014 saying that:

  {{|The Tribune left me. It morphed [in 2013] into the International New York Times.
New people came in; nothing felt the same. It was the ideal time to move,
and my new job is a terrific idea because is there anything more international than fashion? [4]

In 2015, Jonathan Newhouse, chairman of Condé NastInternational appointed her the online voice of all the Vogue accross the world (except the US edition) working as "a critic and reporter on Vogue's websites accross the world".[5] She's also responsible of organising an annual CNI industry conference. In her new role as international editor, She will be alsoresponsible of organizing the annual luxury conference for Vogue's parent company, Condé Nast International, focusing from now on the to digital media and spin-off events (Voguefestival, for example).


Among Menkes's trademarks is her pompadour which is an exaggerated declension of Madame de Pompadour's hairtsyle - favorite of King Louis XV- and consists in raising its hair in a powder puff on the top of the head.Therefore, she is often nicknamed in the media as "Samurai Suzy" because of her rankness and taste for fashion maximalism.

In November 2009, she appeared as one of the judges on the finale of Lifetime TV series Project Runway. In 1996 she appeared in the second 'Last Shout' special in British comedy Absolutely Fabulous, playing herself.

Unlike Anna Dello Russo, she systematically refuses gifts from fashion brands She openly criticized "The Circus of Fashion" in an article issued in the New York Times in 2013 denouncing the attitude of bloggers and stars followers of street style and dressed like "peacocks" to draw the attention of the photographers during Fashion weeks. Her unpicking of the business of bloggers and street photography, caused the latest hullaballoo.

During her marriage, she was converted to the Judaism and she refuses since then to attend fashion shows taking place on Holy days. Available and curious, she's eager to discuss with young creators.In the fashion industry , by the time, she became influential and emblematic as known as Karl Lagerfeld or the late Isabella Blow. "Like a slightly mad auntie, she is," Kate Moss told the New Yorker when it profiled her in 2003.

Her opinion is highly respected because of her harsh but fair critics.For instance,when she declared that Chanel handbag "over", the company took out a full page ad in the Tribune by way of refutation. She declared her oppostion to Marc Jacob's show running two hours late in 2008. On the contrary, she brings Nicolas Ghesquière to the fashion sphere's notice and predicted before anyone else,his departure at the last Margelia fashion show.

In 2013, she held auctions at Christie's online, selling over 80 personal pieces of her wardrobe for her grandchildren.


Unlike the delicate relationship often shared between fashion houses and designers, with the fashion media and journalists, Menkes has a reputation within the fashion industry for being much loved by all for both her personality and her reviews of fashion shows, considered to be fair and balanced. A designer once refused to invite her to his show due to taking offense at some negative comments she had made in a previous collection review (though she did give positive comments as well). She is responsible for launching several careers in fashion, including successful handbag designer Pauric Sweeney.


  • How to be a Model, Suzy Menkes. Sphere, 1969, ISBN 0722160364
  • Knitwear Revolution: Designer Patterns to Make, Suzy Menkes. Penguin USA, 1985. ISBN 0-14-046695-9
  • The Windsor Style, Suzy Menkes. Salem House, 1987. ISBN 0-246-13212-4
  • The Royal Jewels, Suzy Menkes. Contemporary Books, 1990. ISBN 0-8092-4315-6.
  • Queen and Country, Suzy Menkes. Harpercollins, 1993. ISBN 0-246-13676-6
  • Hussein Chalayan, Hussein Chalayan, Caroline Evans, Suzy Menkes. NAI, 2005. ISBN 90-5662-443-1
  • Manolos new’s shoes,Suzy Menkes. Thames &Hudson Ltd, 2010
  • Fashion Antwerp Academy 50, Suzy Menkes.Lannoo,2013
  • The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,Suzy Menkes.Harry N.Abrams, 2001
  • Jazz Age Fashion: Dressed to Kill ,Suzy Menkes, Daisy Bates, Virgiia Bates. Rizzoli,2013.
  • XL-FASHION DESIGNERS A-Z ,Steele, Valerie, Suzy Menkes. Taschen, 2013.
  • XL-FASHION DESIGNERS A-Z MISSO, Steele, Valerie, Suzy Menkes. Taschen,2013.
  • XL-FASHION DESIGNERS A-Z PRADA, Steele, Valerie, Suzy Menkes.Taschen, 2012.
  • XL- FASHION DESIGNERS A-Z AKR ,Steele, Valerie, Suzy Menkes.Taschen,2012.
  • XL-FASHION DESIGNERS A-Z ETRO,Steele, Valerie, Suzy Menkes.Taschen,2012.
  • XL-FASHION DESIGNERS A-Z STELL, Stelle, Valerie, Suzy Menkes. Taschen, 2012
  • Valentino, Matt Tyrnauer, Suzy Menkes.Taschen, 2009
  • Knitwear Revolution: Designer Patterns to Make, Suzy Menkes. Penguin Books,1985
  • Dolls For The Princesses: The Story Of France And Marianne , Suzy Menkes, Faith Eaton. Royal Collection Enterprises, 2005
  • How to be a Model, Suzy Menkes.Sphere,1969


  1. ^ International Herald Tribune biography (PDF)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Suzy Menkes
  4. ^
  5. ^

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