Whoops. How Can One Confuse Nicole Miller For Baby Phat? Second City Style Fashion Blog

October 16, 2006 • Fashion


Nicole Miller                        Baby Phat

What is my version of a nightmare? Inadvertently mixing up two fashion shows and reviewing them. The bad dream was all too real for Cathy Horyn of The New York Times during this last New York Spring Fashion Week. Add to that that your paper takes a month to do anything about it and you have a total SNAFU.

New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn wrote of the Nicole Miller
show that she "was sure [she] had witnessed the absolute rock bottom of
American fashion." But an unusual correction in Friday’s New York
Times, a month after the article ran, raised serious questions about
what exactly it was Horyn had seen. As reported in today’s WWD by Irin Carmon.

"After leaving Nicole
Miller’s show," Horyn wrote in the Sept. 11 article, where "the PETA
people were clawing at everyone," Horyn reflected on the
commercialization she saw at fashion week. She mocked the presentation
of a vodka bottle during Miller’s show: "Folks, just a few short
moments from our commercial sponsor!" (My sentiments exactly for Baby Phat, but I did like Nicole Miller).

The trouble was, as
Friday’s correction noted, a different group, unaffiliated with PETA,
was the one vocally protesting, and they were there to excoriate Kimora Lee Simmons (Baby Phat),
not Miller. The vodka bottle, as expressly announced in the show, was
designed for a charity auction; Miller does not have corporate
sponsorship. But despite the paper having been alerted to these errors
"the day the review appeared," the correction was "delayed for
additional reporting and research, and was further delayed because
editors did not follow through on the complaint."

Clearly a slap at Horyn’s editor, Trip Gabriel, who had been alerted to the errors by Miller’s business partner Bud Konheim, who also wrote to Horyn and Times public editor Barney Calame.
(The actual animal rights organization, the NYC Animal Rights Group,
also claims it wrote to Horyn.) Two days later, Konheim heard from the
office of the public editor, promising a response from a Style editor.
Then, a full week after the article appeared, Konheim said he received
an e-mail from Gabriel saying he was working on a response to the main
contention the clothes had been ignored, and, Konheim said, wondering
if he was seeking a correction. Konheim responded that he was. But the
subsequent deafening silence from the Times led Konheim to call his

A letter sent on Oct. 6 by attorney David C. Berg
demanded a "formal public apology" and "complete and public
retraction…no later than Oct. 13, 2006" — the day the correction
finally ran. Berg and Konheim said they had heard nothing from the
Times until then and learned of the correction only by reading the

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