>> During New York Fashion Week in February, Vogue's fashion news and features director Sally Singer allowed Atlantic Monthly editor Benjamin Schwarz to follow her around for a piece in the magazine's June 2009 issue. And more recently, she consented to being photographed in her eclectic Chelsea Hotel apartment by photographer Todd Selby. Between the two features, a nice look at the inner workings of Sally Singer, who thinks that women should "buy less, but buy better . . . the world does not need more things.”
In fact, she only bought one dress this season, at Barneys — a cocktail dress by Isabel Toledo, who "make[s] a garment that lasts" — and says that her idea of a stylish woman is one who “wears great things from five years ago, 10 years ago.” She discourages trend-driven, recreational shopping — “yo-yo dieting of clothes buying”; Speaking at a “Conscientious Consumption” panel, Singer told the audience the current economy made her "quite optimistic, " because it has made women think, “My God — why did I need all this stuff?”
And she hopes that consumers become more conscientious: “Things that are very expensive can be very expensive for just the right reasons — because they were made beautifully by someone who really gave a lot of care to the design and by people who were fairly paid along the way to execute something that was rather difficult. Those prices that often seem high are fair prices.”
In fact, she admires Michella Obama's approach, because the First Lady doesn't favor the biggest or trendiest names, and doesn't chose pieces tied to a “look” or a “moment.” She hopes that women see Obama chose to wear designers like Isabel Toledo, whose clothes are expensive because they're well-made and she pays her cutters and sewers well, "and they’re inspired to do the same.”
Below, Singer in her apartment.