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Robin Givhan is Leaving WaPo

Longtime fashion guru Robin Givhan is leaving WaPo after 15 years. Blake Gopnik is also checking out.

> Update: As first reported by NYT Jeremy Peters, Givhan is going to work for Tina Brown and The Daily Beast/Newsweek. Gopnik is joining Givhan at the same destination.

See the memo after jump…

We have two staff announcements.

Robin Givhan is leaving after 15 years at the paper. In that time,
Robin has demonstrated herself as an extraordinary talent, stretching
the definition of fashion beyond the discussion of trends or runway
flights of fancy. Thanks to Robin’s Pulitzer-awarded acuity,
Washington Post readers have learned how to understand world leaders
through the way they dress. A parka, a pair of stiletto boots, a pair
of hiking shorts launched national debates on what political figures
must have been thinking when they made such personal decisions, or
whether they were thinking through their public image at all. She has
not only explained the iconic status of Michelle Obama’s inaugural
gown, Madeleine Albright’s patriotic pins, freshman Rep. Frederica
Wilson’s Stetsons, she made Washington understand something
fundamental about how every public appearance is a self-expression. No
one is more in command of her own powers of self-expression than
Robin, as her reasoned, elegant columns have proven each Sunday and we
will miss her.

Blake Gopnik has also informed us of his intention to try something
new elsewhere. Blake has given ten years of his insight and his
intellect to the readers of the Washington Post, and is now taking on
a new opportunity in New York, the place he has long understood and
explained but will now fully inhabit. We are sorry to lose his voice
on the matters of aesthetics and politics that he has interpreted in
Washington’s fine arts centers, though he leaves us with one of his
greatest journalistic moments, leading a team in Style who have
reported on and challenged the Smithsonian’s decision to remove a
provocative work of art from a provocative exhibit. His columns
decrying the removal of “A Fire in My Belly,” the video piece by David
Wojnarowicz, have earned national attention, and stand with the many
adventurous uses of his platform, whether profiling Washington’s
homegrown enigmatic sculptor Jim Sanborn, championing the electric
blue splash of Yves Klein, or challenging Facebook to give its 500
million users more of a visual eyeful. He has set the bar high for his
successor and leaves Washington a different cultural place than when
he arrived.

The Style section wishes the best to both of these exceptional
colleagues as they leave the fourth floor. We will begin looking for
new voices to join the collective of cultural critics who make Style a
forum for breakthrough reporting and who will challenge the way we
think, in the tradition that Robin, Blake and the entire team
exemplify.
Ned   Kevin  Lynn

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