January 18, 2018
A New York Times style critic may have accidentally admitted never being to Philadelphia in a recent article about fashion in an Italian city.
Guy Trebay's article, "Milan Is Still Making It New," published Wednesday, begins as follows:
MILAN — Despite its reputation for being predictable, safe, conservative, sometimes boring — the Philadelphia of fashion — Milan still has the power to surprise.
The article goes on to describe suits, designer brands and other areas of expertise foreign to this writer. But, um, what was that about, Philly? A tip of the hat to Deadspin's Hannah Keyser, who pointed out Trebay is describing essentially the opposite of Philadelphia. (She also threw in some cheap shots on the city's safety and our sports fans, but we'll let that slide.)
That’s....not at all what Philadelphia is known for? pic.twitter.com/2XDuN57Zkl— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) January 18, 2018
Now, Trebay's wording makes it seem like he's referring to the city, in general, as "predictable, safe, conservative, sometimes boring." Although there remains a possibility he was describing Philly's fashion scene, something I admittedly have little knowledge of and wouldn't be able to defend. (PhillyVoice staffer Marielle Mondon jokingly replied to the notion in a company message board, "Excuse me, we wear very nice sweatpants here.")
We've reached out to Mr. Trebay (look, I'm just like a Times reporter!) for further clarification. To argue about how "safe" the city is, in this forum, would be inappropriate and downplay the complex issues of violence and crime. But the notion of Philly's reputation being "predictable," "conservative" and "sometimes boring" is one I can easily refute with just a few fast facts about the city: