In the March 17 issue of The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell profiles coolhunters - chatty fashion sleuths who get paid to hang out with teens to find out what's cool.

At the moment, the most financially lethal coolhunter is a 26-year-old woman named DeeDee Gordon. Contradicting both the conspicuous perkiness of her name and a striking resemblance to Kathie Lee Gifford - her eyebrows have the same vacuous parabolic arch - Gordon is the savvy style tout behind a quarterly tip sheet called the L Report that carries a $20,000 per year subscription price.

So what do you get for that kind of money? I can only guess the examples provided in the article are faked to protect the investments of subscribers: would anyone truly pay thousands of dollars to learn that guys in L.A. think sex and drugs are cool and girls in New York like designer clothes?

Given that pretty much the same information is available in Details at one-thousandth the price, maybe Gordon ought to change her title to foolhunter - in deference to her clueless corporate clients.

-- G. Beato

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