LONDON, United Kingdom — After 25 years as the style editor of The International New York Times, formerly The International Herald Tribune, Suzy Menkes has been named International Vogue Editor at Condé Nast International (CNI), said chairman and chief executive Jonathan Newhouse. Menkes will be a fashion critic and reporter and have “a permanent presence” on all Vogue websites in Condé Nast’s international (non-US) markets, including Britain, France, Italy, China, Russia, Japan, Germany and Spain, according to a statement, significantly broadening her online reach. She will be based in London, though her start date has yet to be determined.
Reached at the Sacai show in Paris, Menkes told BoF: “I think it’s tremendously exciting to start a new life, to extend my career. I’ve been so happy for so many years at The International New York Times, but you know, there’s nothing like change. Fashion is all about change. So, the fact that Jonathan Newhouse has given me this chance to take my skills to Condé Nast, I think it’ll be very exciting for me.”
“Suzy Menkes is a unique talent, with superb judgement about fashion and keen insight into the business behind it. She is hugely influential and respected,” said Jonathan Newhouse, in a statement.
Indeed, Menkes has built a reputation as a fair and informed fashion critic with extensive experience through her quarter of a century covering fashion shows and designers. Importantly, Menkes also hosted an annual luxury conference for The International Herald Tribune and will spearhead a similar event for Condé Nast International in her new role.
According to some insiders, the move, so late in her career, was prompted by growing tensions between Menkes, who is 70, and The International New York Times since its rebranding last October.
Whatever the cause, her departure marks the third high-profile exit from The New York Times’ fashion and style section in recent months. Last October, former fashion critic and reporter Eric Wilson left the Times to take up a position at InStyle. Then, at the end of January, former fashion editor Cathy Horyn, left the newspaper. Now, with Menkes’ exit, the Times will have lost its most authoritative fashion critics.
Furthermore, what this means for The International New York Times’ flagship luxury conference, which was largely built through Menkes’ strong industry relationships and is widely thought to be a significant source of revenue for the organisation, remains unclear. This year’s conference is set to take place in Miami on December 2nd and 3rd.
“I’m a very unusual fashion editor, because I love fashion and I actually enjoy going to shows. I enjoy seeing what’s happening in the world, and I want to continue being a part of it,” continued Menkes.
“Suzy’s in the prime of her creative and critical life. I have no doubt that she’s got another 20 years on all of us, I think she’ll go until the last possible breath in her body!” added an emotional Jessica Michault, editor-in-chief of Nowfashion.com, who worked with Menkes at the International Herald Tribune for sixteen years. “Everybody says they’re passionate about fashion, but it really is true with Suzy.”