I don’t want to fight with a twenty-year-old fashion blogger.
A few months ago, I attended a party at a Dallas boutique. I don’t remember which designer the forty or so cool folks who were present that night were celebrating. I was distracted by a young woman outside who was smoking a Marlboro Light. I realized it was the redhead behind the personal-style blog Sea of Shoes, Jane Aldridge.
I hadn’t seen Jane in a few years. A Parsons grad, I was working at the time as the style editor at the Dallas Morning News, a job that involved more than a few cocktail parties with the likes of Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, and Diane von Furstenberg. I had first met Jane and her mom, Judy, when they were somehow hanging with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at another boutique shindig. (“Who’s the tween wearing Comme des Garçons?” I remember asking my colleague.) When we’d last seen each other, Jane had mentioned wanting to apply to art and design schools. So now I asked her about this as she sipped champagne. She told me she had decided against studying fashion. Then, she said it.
“Why should I go to college? I’m already doing what I want.”
These words are printed in large, ombré type on page 121 in the April issue of TEXAS MONTHLY, in a profile I wrote about Jane for the magazine that has become the grounds for an online he-typed-she-typed. Jane now contends, via a post on her blog, that this quote (and other facts in my piece) were “blatantly” made up. Fueled by some snarky posts across the blogosphere, the whole thing has become a tragicomic tempest. The quote has been discussed in some of the more than one hundred comments on New York magazine’s The Cut blog. The twelve words have been tweeted and retweeted and retweeted, and blogs Jezebel, Fashionista, and D Magazine’s Frontburner have reported Jane’s dissatisfaction with the story.
The amount of cyber judgment has, frankly, surprised me. In profiling Jane, I wanted to show a sophisticated young woman with discriminating taste who is unquestionably in charge of her future. I wanted to show how she’s a self-taught creator who has the wide-eyed wonderment of a Disney character. Yes, she can