Meet Robin Givhan


Robin Givhan Photo Credit: Helayne Seidman

Anyone who knows anything about fashion knows Robin Givhan.  She is the fashion critic at the Washington Post, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, the author of The Battle of Versailles, and/or as I know her to be, a badass in any fitness related scenario.  When I moved to Washington from Paris I quickly determined that Robin was one of the few people with any depth on the local fashion scene, so I stalked her for months until she finally agreed to meet me for tea.  We talked about Paris, New York, fashion (obviously), and the tendency of women in Washington to wear lululemon all day long (see New Yorker cartoon by Drew Dernavich).

I am honored to now call Robin a friend, and continue to be blown away by the breadth of her knowledge of my favorite subject (fashion – duh).  She also happens to be one of the most candid, witty people I know, so I knew she would be the perfect person to answer my first Proust Questionnaire.

Herewith, Robin Givhan, who should stop depriving herself of cookies.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Having a sense of accomplishment

What is your greatest fear? Giving up

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My temper

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Laziness

Which living person do you most admire? My father

What is your greatest extravagance?  Art

What is your current state of mind? Whirling

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? I think assessing virtue is overrated.

On what occasion do you lie? When looking at other people’s baby pictures

What do you most dislike about your appearance? I try not to go down that rabbit hole

Which living person do you most despise? Those who live in a fact-free universe

What is the quality you most like in a man? Kindness

What is the quality you most like in a woman? A sense of humor

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “conjure up” 

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My family

When and where were you happiest? At the top of a mountain I’ve just hiked up – real or metaphorical

Which talent would you most like to have? To dance

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? To be more present

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Making my parents proud

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? My dog Oscar

Where would you most like to live? In northern California

What is your most treasured possession? My memories

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Having no one to call “friend.”

What is your favorite occupation? Journalist

What is your most marked characteristic? Determination

What do you most value in your friends? Honesty

Who are your favorite writers? John Irving, Donna Tartt

Who is your hero of fiction? Harriet the Spy

Which historical figure do you most identify with? I like to look forward

Who are your heroes in real life? People who run towards the fire when others are running away

What are your favorite names? I don’t like names; I like people.

What is it that you most dislike? The bigotry of low expectations

What is your greatest regret? Not eating more cookies

How would you like to die? With my stilettos on.

What is your motto? You won’t know until you try.

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