Thursday, March 26, 2009

the silence is ringing in my ears

the past week has been interesting.

i've found myself completely and utterly unmotivated to even go to school, let alone actually do any schoolwork. it's a good thing that i have groups, otherwise, i would literally be doing nothing right now. it's really depressing to be so uninterested, but mostly i think i'm just really burnt out.

bill's coming in two weeks! i'm actually a little bit nervous. stupid right? it's been a really long time since we've seen each other. of course i'm super excited, but nervous nonetheless.

my class visited the tod's flagship store on via della spiga (super upscale part of milano) yesterday. it was actually really interesting. that seems like a stupid thing to me really because i spent so long working in stores, but mono-brand directly owned stores, are totally different animals that exist for totally different reasons. perhaps the best thing about the visit was that diego della valle, one of the gods of italian entrepreneurship himself, showed up to say hello to us. that was pretty fucking awesome.

i feel like i have other things to say, but am never quite sure how candid blogging can really be. i would love to let it all hang out, but that somehow feels unwise on this platform.

i hope you've been enjoying my written schizophrenia but sorry lovely voyeuristic readers...

guess you'll have to find some other sap from whom to get your information.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

i love i love....reggae music

tonight i finally went to a reggae night that i've know about since i was here in november. i've been meaning to go forever, but haven't for one reason or another. it was fantastic. the music was totally great and i danced my ass off. i met some totally adorable girls who seem like a lot of fun. thank god for a prospect of life outside of mafed!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

tie me off and shoot me up...

i went to micam yesterday, which is one of the biggest shoe trade shows, basically in the world. it was completely amazing. i got a major fix yesterday and today my soul feels nice and full.

when i worked at city soles, all of my favorite companies were those that my boss saw here in milan. i never had any access to them and had no opportunity to understand who the people were behind all of those unbelievable shoes. it was clear to me that these companies, TP and Moma in particular, were the ones that i wanted to get to know the best. yesterday, i finally had that opportunity, and it was utterly amazing.

i was just walking around, checking out booths and taking in the scene, when i was approached by a very tall russian woman, who i had seen earlier modeling some shoes. she asked me where i was from. when i told her that i am american and that i had worked in the industry for a few years, she invited me to come to see her collection. basically she asked to give them some opinions and perhaps some advice about getting into stores in the us. as it turned out, the company was actually a small manufacturer from barcelona, who had some really great ideas, but were scattered all over the place. i told them they needed to tighten up their offering and gave them some tips on which stores to talk to. they were so happy that we had spoken, that they gave me a bottle of spanish wine and invited me to visit them in barcelona. i'm totally going to do that, by the way. it was really really lovely.

the second fantastic thing that happened, was that i ran into a shoe designer from new york, whom i've known for a couple years now...and i completely adore. i sat with her in her booth and talked for about an hour and a half. it was totally great. she's been in the business for such a long time and had so many insightful things to say. she's great! i'm always so happy to see her, but this time in particular.

the third and most amazing, wonderful stupendous event of yesterday was the time i spent talking to the people at TP, which as i mentioned earlier is one of my all time favorite shoe companies in life. it's a factory in marche, that makes most of its money by manufacturing for other companies, but has this totally unbelievable, kind of avant garde line, that's just really amazing. there's a woman working for them, about my age actually, american, who's been living in italy now for the past almost seven years and has been doing all kinds of things in the industry. we sat and talked for like two hours. it was stupendous. i also spoke with a man who is clearly in a managerial position at TP, although what specifically, i don't know. he told me that the company was looking for someone like me who is passionate about the product to represent them in the us. yay! job! i told him that i would be coming to the marche in the next few months and that we would talk more then.

theeeen...i met up with a guy who owns a store in portland, actually who i met through scott starbuck (old city soles boss). nathan and i had a great time, just talking and walking around. we went to a couple really great stores near the duomo in milan. i finally bought some good olive oil to eat raw on salads and things. then we picked up a friend of his and went to aperitivo. it was really great conversation, about all kinds of things. we talked a ton about the future of the industry and retail in general in the us. it really got my blood pumping and my brain racing again.

all in all, a really really fantastic day.