Monday, Apr. 02, 2012

Robin Givhan

Robin Givhan, a Detroit native who was a fashion critic at the Washington Post for more than a decade, made history in 2006 when she became the first person to win a Pulitzer Prize in criticism by writing about fashion. Givhan's claim to fame comes out of a career of analyzing the intersection of appearance and actions, particularly when it comes to matters of power and race. She has shown her readers that the clothing choices of the world's most influential women are worth a serious look — and at the same time, she has taken those women to task if they don't choose carefully enough. In Givhan's work, fashion has real meaning. Her focus on the fashions of the powerful is so strong that, in 2009, she left New York City for Washington in order to better cover the Michelle Obama beat, where she blasted the First Lady's shorts, writing, "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." In 2010, Givhan left the Post to write for Newsweek and the Daily Beast.