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Amy M. Spindler, style editor for New York Times magazine

NEW YORK -- Amy M. Spindler, the style editor for The New York Times Magazine who became known for her pointed criticism of the fashion industry, died Friday of a brain tumor in her Manhattan home, according to her husband, Roberto Benabib. She was 40.

Not afraid to tell the truth, Ms. Spindler built a reputation as a tough reporter. Unlike other fashion writers prone to flattery and sympathetic reviews, she demanded more from designers, in columns that could be witty and tart. Designers responded favorably. Tom Ford, the creative director of Gucci, was quoted as saying in the Times: "She explained to us how we really feel about fashion."

In addition to her pointed criticism of clothing lines, Ms. Spindler exposed unflattering industry trends.

In 1997, after fashion photographer Davide Sorrenti died of a drug overdose, Ms. Spindler upbraided magazine editors for promoting "heroin chic" on their pages.

"What Mr. Sorrenti's death has revealed is that fashion photography is indeed a mirror of the tight-knit world that produces the photographs. And as long as drugs are unchecked in the industry, that image will be difficult to change," Ms. Spindler wrote.

Born in Michigan City, Ind., Ms. Spindler graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism. She then moved to New York, working in entry-level jobs at several Conde Nast magazines.

She later moved to Paris and became associate fashion editor of W Europe.

Ms. Spindler joined The New York Times as a columnist in 1993 and was named fashion critic a year later.

In 1998, Ms. Spindler became fashion editor of The Times Magazine, a position she left in November.

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