“Despite the awkwardness, the cheek, or social, kiss is displacing the handshake, once the customary greeting in American social and business circles. It may be a growing Latin influence, an aping of European manners, the influx of women in the workplace or just a breakdown of formality: no one seems to know. It’s not just celebrities smacking the air or diplomats puckering up with the European style double kiss or Soprano family wannabees mimicking a sign of forced fealty.”
– Better Not Miss the Buss, by Elizabeth Olson, The New York Times, April 6, 2006.
“By the end of Fashion Week yesterday, how many disdainful, insincere and indifferent greetings had been exchanged? Numberless. If the air kiss can be blamed on the hostesses of high society, the adoption of the double-kiss by non-European New Yorkers is fashion’s fault. Some knowledgeable fashion sources trace the spread of the double to the mid-to-late-1980’s and Milan, whose shows became a must for North American buyers and editors enthralled by Italian designers like Armani and Versace. The French do it, too, but perhaps with a Gallic frost that was never quite as contagious as the Mediterranean version.”
– Hug-Hug, Kiss-Kiss: It’s a Jungle Out There, by Rick Marin, The New York Times, September 19, 1999.