Top 20 Highlights from Cintra Wilson's 'Critical Shopper' Column


Cintra Wilson penned her last column as the Critical Shopper for the Times this week, delivering her final bow with a barbed assessment of club-like shoe boutique United Nude. Over nearly three years, Wilson has inspired glee and controversy with her refreshingly unrestrained retail reviews. Though she occasionally deigned to make the trek into Brooklyn (one memorable foray into the borough took on Dumbo's stroller-pushing moms: "They all seem jobless, but with limitless discretionary funds and rare bloodline pugs"), the pages were most often devoted to high-end designer boutiques in Soho and along Madison Avenue--those more likely to be coddled by magazines and newspapers than taken to task for their snobby customer service. Her no-holds-barred approach examined the opulent décor, the store clerks, the wincingly high prices, and, of course, the merchandise, from a $30 Armani lipstick ("I looked as if I'd spent the night kissing a freeway cone") to a $65,000 sable coat at Rick Owens ("like youth and sex and butter all at the same time"). Though her sentiments often ricocheted between guilty adoration and biting snarkiness, she was also smart: She often approached the city's luxury brands with a natural curiosity and an almost philosophical mindset. We read over Wilson's formidably funny archive to pick out the Critical Shopper's top 20 edicts.