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March 16, 2011 11:24 AM

Privacy Please: Interviewing Katie Holmes

On Tuesday, I sat down with Katie Holmes and Jeanne Yang, the two design partners behind the Holmes & Yang line which sits on Barneys New York's sixth floor alongside other pricey designer lines....

On Tuesday, I sat down with Katie Holmes and Jeanne Yang, the two design partners behind the Holmes & Yang line which sits on Barneys New York's sixth floor alongside other pricey designer lines. Both Holmes and Yang were sweet, chit-chatting about the line, their design philosophy and how important it was for them to keep making their clothes in America -- Yang's mother owned a factory in Los Angeles that she was forced to close, making this an issue of personal resonance for the designer.

They were charming and the clothes -- high quality separates with real women in mind -- were impressive, especially for a celebrity whose name isn't Victoria, Mary-Kate or Ashley.

But the celebrity hook brings me to an altogether different point.

I really wanted to ask Katie if Suri, her 4-year-old daughter who has become quite a style icon of her generation, ever puts in her two cents, and tells her mother which pieces she likes from the collection.

Just as I was walking into the interview, I was asked not to bring up Suri. Holmes, like any mother, is apparently very protective of her little one's privacy and it was suggested that she become upset if I asked about her daughter.

I was quite taken aback. I know celebrities can be quite guarded, but given the type and number of Suri photos in circulation -- in high heels with Starbucks cup in hand -- I was surprised that my innocent question had the potential to unleash a meltdown.

The whole incident made me once again ponder the celebrity-fashion equation, and how there seems to be a double standard.

On the one hand, celebs desire to be taken seriously as designers, yet they don't want to play by the fashion rules. I sometimes wonder if Halston president and chief creative officer Sarah Jessica Parker would sneak off the movie set to discuss a story on markdowns and chargebacks.

Of the lot, Victoria Beckham is one of the exceptions. She is approachable, and if there is a question she doesn't want to answer, she knows how to deflect it. I just wish Katie took some cues from her pal.
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