If you happen to have read my memoir, Bringing Home the Birkin, you may know that I am a big believer in serendipity. In my experience, when you are on the right path, things just sort of “come together.” Not to say that there can’t be bumps on the way, but overall, you can SEE the way, if you know what I mean. Doors open. People walk in them. Chance meetings, singular phone calls, found connections. This certainly happened in my “past life” as a reseller of all things Hermes, and I am pleased to report that seems to be happening with my newest venture into silk … Respoke espadrilles. Sometimes these clues are subtle…. sometimes, as was the case a few weeks ago at the Polo Bar in NYC, they are about as subtle as a flying sandal.
I was excited about my dinner already … I was meeting with Fern Mallis, the creator of NY Fashion Week, and the newly appointed director of the Fashion Institute of Technology Foundation. Joining us would be Jesse Kornbluth, author and “cultural concierge” (www.headbutler.com) of some renown. I knew both of them from promoting BHTB and couldn’t wait to catch up on everything. I brought Fern a pair of Respoke espadrilles to celebrate her new position, and entered the Polo Bar with high hopes of a fabulous evening ahead. But even my general pie-in-the-sky disposition was barely up to imagining what was about to happen that night.
The first bit of magic was when Ralph Lauren was at the table with Fern and Jesse when I walked up. Talk about butterflies! Thankfully, I managed get through Fern’s introduction and to shake his hand whilst still concealing my fangirl flutters. (All that know me know that my go-to style has long been heavy on the RL. Plus, it was the sale of a Polo scarf that truly started me on my eBay/Hermes/Birkin journey. Looking back now, as far as good omens for an evening go, meeting Ralph Lauren was a pretty heavy-handed one.) Although he didn’t linger long (he was making his rounds through the room) it was still a damn nice kick-off for the evening.
Dinner was delightful and I couldn’t have wished for better company than Fern and Jesse. After a sumptuous meal of veal Milanese paired with a white wine whose name and vintage I now wish I had written down, I presented Fern with her espadrilles, which she loved. Not long after this, she spotted someone she knew across the room. She tugged me out of my seat and I obediently followed. On the way across the dining room, over her shoulder, she told me it was Lizzie Tisch we were going to chat with. Good Lord. Lizzie Tisch was the owner of Suite 1521…. where I had JUST completed a 2 day trunk show for Respoke! Lizzie immediately reacted with excitement when we were introduced, as my event had been quite a success. I was still giddily processing my luck in getting to finally meet her face-to-face when I was quickly introduced to the OTHER two people at the table… Linda Fargo (the senior VP of Bergdorf’s) and Jim Gold (the president of Neiman Marcus.) What WAS this place? The fashion world equivalent of a character breakfast at Disney? Apparently so..….I just fervently hoped I wasn’t Goofy!
I quickly stepped away for a moment and then returned carrying the espadrilles. Both Jim and Linda reacted with enthusiasm that seemed unfeigned, and Linda immediately asked how long I would be in town. She took a business card and assured me she would be in touch. Right as we were making our goodbyes, up walks…you guessed it….Ralph Lauren. His warm greeting to me by name (no one but Fern and I knew we were newly acquainted that night) probably didn’t hurt my chances with getting that meeting. Then again, to these sort of people, it probably wasn’t even surprising. Except to me, obviously. No end to the surprise level on my end.
So, as you may have guessed, Linda emailed. And I am excited and proud to announce that Bergdorf’s will be carrying Respoke very soon. It’s a monumental step for us, and one I am hugely excited about.
Yours in serendipity,