have done so much lately had no time to catch up here. So what am doing? Working as a freelance brand manager for two upcoming fashion collections, Mauro Gasperi and Textile Rebels, and having so much fun. I will be posting images and more on this in the next few days… love being back!
Once upon a time in London, there was an Arabian prince that also was a showroom owner. The showroom looked more like a palace than anything else: a huge, white building a few steps away from Oxford street. Working there was really mysterious: you rarely knew what was going on, since the owner’s family – i.e. the management – were always talking in their native language amongst themselves. We, the staff, were left guessing. In such wonderful atmosphere, some of the most famous Italian brands were represented. The showroom had a wonderful restaurant, run by an experienced chef, and when some of the staff had to go somewhere for the company, there was a limo taking them around, with a driver and a body guard and – of course – blacked windows. And as it happens in fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day… you might be out. Sales staff use to literally disappear all of a sudden: for no reason, one might arrive at his desk one morning, and find that all his stuff had disappear. No access to his computer, his documents, nothing: somebody would very politely simply take him to the door. It was really mysterious: one day you might be the management’s best friend, be with them at all parties, in most exclusive clubs, and the following morning, all of a sudden, it could be “good bye”!
So what was happening there? It took me a few months to understand…
Okay, I’ve been in fashion long enough to tell you more about it. Am I about to talk about new trends? No. Am I about to tell you who’s the latest rising star? Neither. I am going to tell you all about what really happens in fashion showrooms: and get ready for fashion thrills. The past ten years have seen the rise and fall of so many brands and showrooms, you would wonder why on earth people are still interested in the business… well from the designer who doesn’t pay his staff to the showroom owner who doesn’t know what the hell is he doing in the business, check this pages to listen to some seriously ridiculous, definitely tragic, absolutely true stories. Enough for teasing… keep reading in the next few days!
If you are planning to mix your holiday in Tuscany with some Vinyasa Flow practice, Poggetto Maremma in Gavorrano (GR) is what you are looking for. If you are driving by and planning just a couple of days here, I can arrange both personal tuitions or group classes. All info and prices on www.poggettomaremma.com. You can also email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yesterday I posted a few pics and described the place… today, I thought you might want to have a look at one of the beaches you can find just minutes from your retreat. This is Baia Mia in Follonica, 15 mins drive in a luxuriously green countryside. The owner, Sabrina, made it one of the loveliest place to chill out, and the
restaurant is … well, in one word: sublime! Fresh fish and gourmet food every day. On Wednesday nights, as of July, chill out drinks on the beach till dusk.
More on our beaches in the next few days!
Summer essential: straw hat, iPhone, glasses and a white, embroidered cotton sundress by Aida. Even a day at the beach can be the occasion to shop and do something good for the planet. Meet Aida: this African Lady has the best sundress selection on Punta Ala beach. Support African Women buying one of them – at incredible prices. I got my babydoll style one at just 15 euro. Don’t forget that women make the world go round.
Then feel free to have fun, sunbathe, swim, and do whatever you want to do with your holiday…
I won’t get tired to suggest you browse around Magazzino Reale, in Castiglione della Pescaia (GR). Vale of DeLuxe store is there, with a unique selection from HTC belts and bags, Appartamento 50, November, plus her picks of young designers from Florence. I loved Moltosilvia silk shorts, made of vintage silk printed fabrics, which make them unique pieces.
Finally, the lovely looking brunette up there, is my sister trying to get around a very difficult choice. Lina Rabiti’s store (always in Castiglione) is simply magic. Find the best linen and cotton home fabrics, bed linens, towels, table cloths. The color palette is amazing and you will find yourself buying more for your home than for your wardrobe.
Tuscan Maremma is amazing. You can spend hours driving in the countryside, or walking by some of the best Italian beaches. Then you find yourself shopping some really cool stuff, in medieval surroundings… More on my daily life in Paradise, tomorrow on these pages.
I am always pleased when I meet somebody that looks really cool in places where you wouldn’t expect it. Okay, the girl actually works for one of the nicest fashion stores in Tuscany – one of my clients as a buyer, I’m proud to add – yet Alice lives in a very small village, by the sea, and I was amazed to find out that great part of what she wears actually is hand-made. Her dream was to attend a Designer School, but since that was not an option, she went on learning how to cut and sew by her grandma, and started working as sales assistant in local fashion stores. She was lucky enough to land on the best boutique in the whole of Maremma (the province of Grosseto), and surrounded by beautiful clothes she is refining her craftsmanship – so that in a hopefully near future, she will create a collection with her own name. Locally cool could turn into globally fashionable. I like the way she put together her outfit, and can’t help myself to wish her all the best!
While working as a blogger I realized that almost all fashion blog are seriously standardized. Everywhere, you see young girls wearing the same brands with the same kind of looks – which is all good, apart from the fact that the web seems to ignore that women who can really afford to buy brands are slightly older and sometimes also have the need to wear something they can actually sport on special occasion. Working around this I have developed http://viaroma1.blogspot.com – a blog entirely dedicated to 35 yrs + ladies and men, looking for suggestions on what to wear at the office meeting, their friends’ wedding, the luxury holiday party, etc., and what’s more showing real people, with real sizes, wearing the looks.
Results are really incredibly interesting. Via Roma 1 has two boutiques (one in San Vincenzo (LI), and the other in Follonica (GR), in Tuscany) that are packed with clients asking for advice. They have a rather unique offer in the area – from Missoni to Armani, Bikkembergs and Cavalli, all the way down to more affordable special occasion wear from Elisabetta Franchi, and up again with an incredible selection of French, UK and US brands – including Paris Hilton’s favourite Claudio Milano.
I started running their blog and developing their social network connections five months ago, and we can now see
people reading us from USA, UK, Russia, etc. – and I am so pleased to have found a way to communicate with this audience! The owner of the two stores, Laura Pucci, is a real business woman with an incredible open mind. We are aiming at reaching more and more foreign customers looking for special occasion wear they can’t find anywhere else, and developing a very specific e-commerce dedicated to this target… I mean, why should mainstream cool be the only cool possible?
One of my favourite places to look for unique things is the local market. It’s enough to walk into one of them to feel alive. The noise, the smell of ripe fruits, the voices coming from the stalls really make you feel into the wheel of life. Whenever I go to Follonica’s market, I always stop by one of these “travelling bars”, a little van selling coffee, cakes, pastries and candies. They put a few plastic tables under a canvas tent, and make great coffee. This is their selection of candies, it always brings up childish memories… well it does the job with me.
I am fascinated by high street brands. I think it’s great that anybody can enter a store and get out with one or more absolutely trendy item. Although none of the shoes in the picture are actually that comfy to wear, they do have a gagaesque something that would definitely make anybody sparkle. And what’s more, they don’t cost a fortune.