i Editor's Letter: You as the editor


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The Independent Online


I've been enjoying your suggestions for what you would do as editor since I announced my departure soon to launch the London Live TV channel.

Many focus on removing lighter elements, ranging from Caught & Social to the 10 Best and Style, – even doing away with fashion altogether. No disrespect to you all, but how dreary i would be if we removed all the light from the crucial mix of light and shade that gives the paper its personality.

Sometimes, readers complain that we feature products that are "too expensive". Your gist is that there's a recession on and the paper only costs 20p, so why would we feature, for example, £1,000 dresses by Victoria Beckham in her new Icon range?

Now, it's unfortunate that it's la Beckham today, because there is a prejudice against her no matter what she does. Imagine that the dresses were YSL or Chanel instead. Of course, the majority cannot afford the dresses themselves, but even in these straitened times, there are those that can. The rest just like looking.

We try to balance aspirational with value for money. Recently, we ran a 10 Best on designer handbags, the cheapest being (from memory) £795. So, yesterday we featured high street bags, starting at £24. Inevitably, some moaned that even some of these cost £100.

The simple answer is that you don't have to buy them. I cannot afford an Aston Martin or a Savile Row suit but I quite like looking at, and reading about, them. For all those who cannot pay £1,000 for a dress, there are as many who would never dream of buying a handbag as cheap as £24. The joy, as ever, is in the eclectic mix.