Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel GiaSo apparently the term 'fashionista' was actually invented by someone named Stephen Fried. Few probably know of him (myself included), but he claims to have invented the word 'fashionista,' and now he is apologising for it.

I know... What the WHAT?!

Apparently Fried came up with the word in 1993, while writing a biography of Gia Carangi, the supermodel who died aged 26 of HIV. You might remember Angelina Jolie played her in the film, Gia. He conjured up 'fashionista' in his book, Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia, in order to easily reference all the people at a sitting for a magazine photo or print ad.

These days, the official definition of a fashionista is "a person employed in the creation or promotion of high fashion, such as a designer, photographer, model, fashion writer, etc. Also: a devotee of the fashion industry; a wearer of high-fashion clothing."

"I got tired of listing photographers, fashion editors, art directors, hairstylists, makeup artists, all their assistants, and models as the small army of people who descended on the scene."

Fair point. It's tiring work constantly listing loads of fashion industry folks one after another. Having written for CQ for the past seven years, I totally get it. Sort of. What I don't get, however, is why this bloke Fried feels the need to apologise for coining the term.

"Twenty years ago, I apparently changed language forever. I published a book that unleashed upon an unsuspecting public a single word of terrifying power and controversy. That word is 'fashionista.'
"I suppose I should apologise to all users of language for my crime against nomenclature. I could also apologise to my wife, a writer and my editor, who lobbied loudly against the word when I invented it - and later came to believe that if we had only copyrighted it, we'd be fabulously wealthy by now."

Ah ha! Now it all makes sense. Had he copyrighted the term he'd probably be sunning himself on a billion dollar yacht somewhere, actually hanging out with Angelina Jolie, instead of writing a strange apology about it for The Atlantic.

On behalf of well... everyone in fashion, I'd like to say a big thank you to Mr Fried. You've done me a huge favour. Not only is he is responsible for the name of one of my favourite websites, he's also saved me from tirelessly typing out lists (when I could be doing other things like washing my hair or watching Revenge) and trying to find a word for all those fashiony types who flock to fashion week purely to get street papped.

Honestly Mr Fried, don't be so hard on yourself mate.


Two total fashionistas.