Last night, Ms. Stacie and I made our way to the SFA Café on the eighth floor of Saks Fifth Avenue (think the St. Peter’s Cathedral of shoe shopping) for the launch of Assouline and the CFDA’s “American Fashion Cookbook.”
Our entourage included the dashing Mr. Jay Kos and the sartorially gifted duo Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo of Visual Therapy. We all nibbled on Diane Von Furstenberg’s chicken specialty and Zac Posen’s tasty little cookies whilst rubbing elbows with the likes of Elie Tahari (whose lamb chops were the night’s star), Behnaz Sarafpour and an army of the Assouline clan.
With a forward by domestic queen Martha Stewart, the book is a lime green tome unlocking the lacquered recipe boxes of America’s fashion elite. Isaac Mizrahi shares his mushroom truffle spaghetti. Carolina Herrera divulges her pommes toupinel. Marc Ecko teases with his “Adults Only” chocolate chip cookies—how on brand of him?
Stacie and I also caught up with fashionable man about town, Jim Shi, who is now freelancing for the Financial Times. Shi shed one hundred pounds in the past year through a no carb, no sweets regime of healthy eating and two workouts a day. So very Marc Jacobs. He said he’s thrilled to be participating in fashion rather than just writing about it. We say: Bravo! You look like a fashion fox, Jim!
My agency recently did a presentation for a potential client and it was a new experience for me. Generally, we are in the business of selling. If we aren’t selling ideas to clients we are selling stories to journalists or bloggers. That’s just the deal and if you don’t like it, then you’re definitely in the wrong business. Now understanding how best to sell is an art unto itself. I recently had someone tell me I needed to study up on this, and “they knew what they were talking about because they had been trained by Martha Stewart.” She has been selling her concepts quite successfully for years so they probably do know a thing or two about selling. Guess I’d better brush up.
But that’s what was so interesting about this meeting we recently had. Three of my top VPs were leading the presentation and I have to say, there wasn’t a lot of selling going on. I’d never experienced this before because I tend to be verbose and a bit loud (I’m Italian, though you wouldn’t know it, everyone thinks I’m Swedish). Yet here they were, quietly making a point, a good one, and everyone was really connecting with the presentation. I’m sure this sounds like a “duh” moment. Yes, Val, you don’t have to be loud to make a point. But it was an eye opener. So, I’m going to try it. Speak softly but carry a big stick. Where there’s a “calm” will there’s a way. Ok, enough. But you get the point. Keep it real and keep it relaxed…