Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Italy!

When the concept of Fashion Vacations first reared its beautiful head inside my heart it looked a bit different. The desire to instill an appreciation for the value of beautifully made garments was all I was after, and of course what better place to do it than in Italy. Not only is Italy a country filled with the best art, culinary treats, culture, beautiful vistas and the best clothing this earth has ever known, 

yes I'm partial, but it is a place I know very well, am fluent in its romantic language and a place I have worked in for many years.

So, the Fashion Vacation I envisioned was going to be enjoyed by couples interested in the luxury lifestyle but in particularly that of Italy. Perhaps, I thought, couples or groups of friends, yes more skewed on the female side of the sexes, would be the first to line up for a trip of a lifetime.

To my surprise the payments for the trip weren't as forthcoming as the words of praise were for this sort of adventure by interested parties. My first reaction was that surely I had priced it to high, but then how could it be that people were still traveling around the world, wining and dining if money was an issue? It's all so easy to know what everyone is doing on the social networks today. Had I presented it poorly? So I had several people who's opinion I respected analyze my work and made the necessary corrections...but there weren't many. All of this was happening side by side with the high praises I was receiving from my colleagues in the Fashion Industry. I'm sure you won't find it difficult believing that much Prosecco was consumed trying to wrap my head around this conundrum. Sure, the tendency to exaggerate is not lost on fashionistas, but so does jealousy and cattiness so when no one from the industry had made any disparaging remarks towards this project I knew there had to be more to it.

On a non eventful day about a month ago I received an inquiry by an individual claiming to speak for a group of "industry people" interested in The Fashion Vacation exactly as it had been described. However, and there is always a "however", there were two very important caveats I needed to agree to. 

If you know anything about me it surely must be this: I am extremely curious and extremely passionate. So I was at the edge of my seat to discover what these two caveats might be.

The voice at the other end proceeded to tell me that the original date set by me of December 10, 2011 was a bit early and could I be flexible enough to change it to fit their schedule. But the second request took me aback. "We are a group of executives with a very prominent retailer that are preparing to venture out on our own. As such, we need for you to sign a non-disclosure contract since we can't be seen as doing this before its time." He proceeded to tell me which company they were with and it certainly was a fine pedigree.

What seemed to surprise me almost as much as what I had just been asked, was the realization as to what had really occurred. Those appreciating the Fashion Vacation, were exactly those inside the industry that understood the value in what was being offered. A look behind the scenes that even they, in their current positions, were not at liberty to see. The making of Italian fashion at their very source, get an introduction to the many factories I have built relationships with over the years and of course to do so in the most wonderful surroundings....Italy.

So, a funny thing did indeed happen on the way to Italy,  and tomorrow the journey to Italy will begin filled with non disclosed pure Italian fun.