The fashion industry is obsessed with astrologist-to-the-fashionistas Susan Miller, according to New York Magazine, which calls her an "elite astrologer," and many of my friends, who have been gushing about her star charts for ages. What's it all about?
If you don't know who she is, a brief bio:
Miller is like any niche celebrity, in that if you've heard about her before now, you're probably a fan. She's an astrologer whose website, AstrologyZone, attracts 6 million visitors per month with free horoscopes. She's published nine books, presented at the Apple Store in Soho, and has columns in ten international fashion magazines, including Elle. The fashion world is Miller's specialty. She collaborates with brands (suggesting colors for Calypso St. Barth sweaters, doing in-store classes at Furla) and counts designers, stylists, and editors among her most ardent devotees. An anecdote I heard from Emily Barnes, a stylist, characterizes it well: "I discovered her when I was shooting a campaign for Bloomingdale's in New York. It was the first of the month, when Susan puts her horoscopes up, and the studio literally didn't start shooting until everyone had read their Susan Miller." At parties hosted by publicist Kelly Cutrone, an attendee told me, "the best seat in the house is always the seat closest to Susan." When Cynthia Rowley learned that her friend the fashion designer Chrissie Miller is Susan's daughter, she flipped. "I could have died. It was like hearing ‘Meryl Streep is my mom.' "
People really take her seriously, from Rihanna's stylist to the LA-based culture writer at a fashion website who told us an unbelievable anecdote that highlights how fervent Miller's acolytes are. "When I was offered my current job, Mercury was in retrograde, and I told my potential future bosses that I probably should wait to commit," she recounted. "And they didn't even ask why. One of them said: Susan Miller? And I said: Yep. And she said: Of course."
The writer added that her popularity is no mystery; women have always passed along the names of the best waxer, the best facialist, the best dentist, and so on. "If you're into astrology and someone with taste says, Here is the person I trust, you trust them."
A Manhattan-based fashion editor who says her colleagues are obsessed with Miller had some other ideas. "Most astrologers are terrible writers," she said. "Susan is the most literate, and writes the most, and writes about the things that matter most to working women in New York City: money, love, signing contracts, etc." She also thinks Susan's technical rhetoric appeals to Type-A women. "Reading her stuff and learning how to understand those star charts is a hobby," she explained.
Of course, I couldn't help but check my horoscope after reading this. Virgos: "Turning to your work life, you have quite an exciting month. It appears a very new assignment is coming in, and because it will be brought to you by planets in Aquarius, it seems that this assignment will be a jewel in your crown." OMG, Susan Miller totally knew I was going to write about her.