American Vogue's Sally Singer Will Show You the Light.

Written By bryanboy

American Vogue’s Sally Singer Will Show You the Light

I could no longer remember what it was I was looking for earlier but boy am I glad to have come across this video of the super inspirational Sally Singer speaking at the Commonwealth Club last year. I’ve just spent a FULL hour watching it and I think you should, too. Do it now! I won’t take no, or excuses, for an answer.

OK, fine, I chuckled every time she made these cheeky innuendos against Cathy Horyn/the New York Times but those aside, she reinforced my personal beliefs about the big, powerful machine that’s called American Vogue. Sally, is in my opinion, the most insightful woman in the magazine. She breaks it down and explains everything, 360 degrees, in a way that you and I and millions out there can understand.

Anyway, I better go grab dinner now cause I’m starving and I don’t want to spoil by reiterating what she said but let me share you my favourite part:

“Fashion is about, fashion and personal style is not about excluding people, it’s about taking people who feel like they’re on the downside (sic) and giving them tools by which they can project another self…. freedom or just the ability to change.

You look at Marc Jacobs, you look at Alber Elbaz, you look at the top people working in the business… these are not people who grew up comfortable in themselves. These people who realized early on that if they dressed a certain way, they could project another image to the world. An image that might be true to them… it allowed them a fabulosity that the world was denying them. If you look great your whole life, wear whatever. Who cares, you know? Fashion is about allowing you to be someone that you think you can create.

It’s so many more tools. I never understood why people find it to be such an imposition in their lives. It should be a pleasurable thing to do.”



Watch and tell me what you think.

As far as I’m concerned, before y’all go accusing me (like what my friend Mauricio told me) of being brainwashed and slowly turning into a Vogue drone (which is not true; nice try Mau Mau but I’m no Plum Sykes or LSD), let me just say that I’ve seen the light. Everything is just making much more sense these days.

PS. Just wondering… if American women do not want to be dressed head to toe as she said, then why does American Vogue often style their shoots/editorials with the similar, if not the same, look that’s shown on the runway?


  1. Fashion is all- encompassing. Unfashionable to one could be fashionable to another.
    I especially love this: “If you look great your whole life, wear whatever. Who cares, you know? Fashion is about allowing you to be someone that you think you can create.”
    Thanks for sharing! Very insightful indeed !

  2. Jewelled

    Politics of editorial styling. Companies paying for ads and thus keeping their magazine afloat must have some control over their print image I’m sure. Very commercial with these big mags, not so much about creativity anymore.

  3. i felt like poor sally was being so attacked, but loved the interview, made me feel like so much better about my expensive buys, that i still wear and some iv had for years ^_^

  4. I love Sally. The interviewer seemed to be trying to paint her as a ‘Devil Wears Prada’ fashion demon, but she handled every question with poise and intellect. She was able to eloquently articulate everything I’ve always thought about fashion, but could never really express. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Bryan, you won’t believe this but I was in the room, in the audience, when this was taped (I live in San Francisco). The whole talk lasted about an hour and it was so amazing. THANK YOU for posting this. The camera must have been in the back of the room because I didn’t know it was videotaped!

    I wrote my thoughts on the evening here:


  6. Sally is such a fantastic speaker. And even though I still have a twinge of discomfort about luxury on a deep level she always defends it in ways that remind me how noble and timeless expensive things can be–without relying on snob-itude.

  7. this post is amazing! so inspiring, Sally Singer is so down to earth. She could write a book called “Fashion, Styling for dummies” that’s how good she is in explaining and analyzing trends.
    My favourite part is when she says that people in Vogue wear the same things many times a week. My personal moto is when you love one piece you can wear it all the time!
    once again congrats on the post!

  8. daneuyeno

    Thanks man for posting this, I mean you watch a lot of crap, now adays, mostly on the T.V. , But this is was brilliant.
    I loved how she was explaining all the details, of the clothing, and you could feel like the room had to really keep up and, maybe even struggle, with what she was saying. I was like, oh man I feel like that, all the time whenever I try to start up a conversation on why fashion has a relevance.
    The cocktail dress, example was fantastic. I recently bought an Alexander Wang black stretch top, with detailed stitching, and my friend Jeff saw it and he was like, “where are you going to wear that?” Ha. I was like what are you talking about wherever. He also added, -isn’t that dress for women?
    Anyway thanks, I wrote a letter, but this interview was just so exciting, steadily I’m getting to read the works of Sally Singer and Hamish Bowles.

  9. I haven’t watched the video yet (I’ma watch it after work, I promise!) but I just wanted to thank you for the P.S that you added, because I wonder that same thing all the time!!

  10. How to create a bag for $5 as you can buy from The Warehouse or Walmart? Make them in the third world sweatshops out of cheap materials, that neither last long nor usually are the most healthy options, with dangerous colouring and paints or chemicals, illegal additives and carcinogens. Plus encouraging the abuse of workforce and often child labour.
    I hate that bitch the interviewer, she is the typical idiot and proud of it too.

  11. oh wow I love her! She is very inspirational. I feel like the interviewer is bashing her with questions that “common people” would ask. And she is not asking so nicely. It was also annoying that she asked the price point of a Thakoon pre-collection dress. Really?
    but thanks for the post. loved it.

  12. AdhiPuTaw

    Agree. US Vogue has been copying runway looks for its editorial styling simply to keep advertisers coming. The logic is quite obvious: if you put together X top with Y bottom, instead of with X bottom, then it could be taken as a suggestion that Y bottom matches better with X top than X top with X bottom itself. Therefore, readers should be buying Y bottom and not X bottom.

    As for creativity, US Vogue’s styling still looks good to me, so I don’t think US Vogue needs to force itself to look crazy and avant garde just to be considered creative. But if by creative you mean not copying runway looks then, yeah, US Vogue hasn’t been as creative as it should and could.

  13. Marissa Pronk

    Wauwie, Thanx for posting Bryan! I so agree with Sally, and why is it, that there is still so much to defend if you’re a fashionista?!?!?! I feel some sort of jealousy from the ‘other’ woman, and that we often have to justify why we love fashion and explain that it is so much more than just clothes.. But Loved it, and a great Jjjiiihhhaaaaa for Sally!
    Grtz form fashionable Amsterdam, Holland!

  14. michelle

    i watched the whole thing too. I thought it was really insightful. I especially loved how she talked about how people working in fashion aren’t the best looking, richest or always in the “in crowd”. Fashion is special because of what it is able to transforms you into. I really like her and her point of view.

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