Le Figaro‘s Critical New Hire: Godfrey Deeny-------
It was announced this morning that Godfrey Deeny has been appointed as editor at large for women’s fashion at the French newspaper Le Figaro, where he will write features and cover the collections. He succeeds Virginie Mouzat, the long-limbed Parisian editor who recently decamped to the new local edition of Vanity Fair. Deeny, an occasional contributor to Style.com, is one of the more interesting figures in this business. A boarding school boy from the north of Ireland, his interests include—albeit not necessarily in this order—fashion, women, decent food and drink, sport (he is a staunch supporter of Liverpool FC, the great English football club that is in what might kindly be described as a “rebuilding” phase), and art. False modesty is not one of Deeny’s vices, though there is surely a winking irony in the fact that his e-mail address dispenses with the second syllable of his first name. Deeny was the Paris bureau chief of Women’s Wear Daily back in the day when John Fairchild ruled that publication with an iron fist. One of my favorite stories concerns the time he and Fairchild attended a Versace show and a paparazzi squall broke out over a diminutive figure in the front row. “Who’s that?” asked Fairchild. “Prince, Mr. Fairchild,” said Deeny, recognizing the singer, then in the first flush of his global fame. “Yes,” Fairchild is said to have replied. “But of what country?” Subsequently, Deeny was instrumental in launching Fashion Wire Daily, a putative competitor to his former employer. That was perhaps a quixotic quest given WWD‘s stranglehold on fashion news, but in recent years FWD has endured as a vehicle for Denny’s independent, sometimes acerbic fashion show reviews. During her tenure at Le Figaro, Mouzat gained a reputation as one of the industry’s most outspoken reviewers. Her Tom Ford takedown achieved near legendary status. One hopes and expects that Deeny will continue the tradition of biting the hand that feeds.