Vogue had the right idea when it published An Insider’s Guide to Philadelphia: Where to Stay, Eat and Shop on its website last month.
Just 90 miles on I-95, Philly is New York’s bedroom community – and packed with great places to stay, eat and store.
But Vogue’s factcheckers needed to do a little more fact-checking. The room was filled with inaccuracies that a local could sort out. Come on, man. The New York media should know by now that Philly isn’t playing this.
“They wrote that Frank Gehry had designed the entire Philadelphia Museum of Art, but that was impossible because the building had opened a year before he was born,” said Billy Penn editor Beatrice Forman, who wrote a open letter to Vogue in Billy Penn calling on the venerable fashion publication to do them.
Other factual missteps include the confusion between El Vez and El Rey – there is no speakeasy in El Vez. The Vogue article suggested tourists visit Rikumo in the city center, but the Japanese tea and tchotchke shop moved to Ardmore in 2020,
The piece also pointed fashionistas to Meadowsweet Mercantile, but that boutique also closed its storefront. (As Forman noted, “Philadelphia’s coolest kids order their fashionable prairie clothes online at Madewell and Reformation, anyway.”)
Forman also emailed the editors of the website and offered to write her own guide which she wrote was not a “stilted version of Philly that draws on the overly filtered travel porn of the row houses in Rittenhouse Square”. She offered her services for a price, of course.
On Monday, the inaccuracies were removed. Vogue, Forman said in a Tweet, did not issue a correction or accept his offer to write a new, improved version.
“I mean, I feel vindicated,” Forman said Monday afternoon. “It’s always nice to know that you were right and that someone listened to you. But the fact that they didn’t do their due diligence, as a fellow journalist, it leaves me a bit irritated.
Not only was Forman angry with Vogue because she’s a proud Philadelphian, but she also grew up reading fashion magazines like Vogue and one day, she says, she hopes to work for one. “They report stories that interest me,” Forman said. “So seeing mistakes like this gives credence to the idea that fashion journalists don’t take things seriously and they’re not real journalists and that’s the furthest thing from the truth.”