Leggings and lemmings

“You’ve had a fantastic year with those stretch leggings, didn’t you!”

I’m eavesdropping on the high speed train from Paris to Amsterdam. Seated across from me is an elderly woman. She is meticulously dressed in a glitter top, glitter legging and gold colored shoes. On the table in front of her is a matching golden handbag. She chews gum and winks at me every time I look up from my book. Seated next to her is her son who digs a nonchalant, effortless style and sports Birkenstocks, a tribal tattoo and bleached hair. Mother and son both wear a red string Kabbalah bracelet like Madonna and Paris Hilton have. When a couple walks by, the sparkling lady addresses them. They evidently know each other from the fashion business.

“Did you stock up today? Is the leather branch doing well? I find customers ever so leather minded. There’s a lot of washed leather this year, from Dolce for example. But we dropped Burberry. That year when they had the pilot jackets, Burberry was top. Top! But now… it’s nothing.

When you see something nice, do you buy a sample to take it apart? No, I thought so, that kind of leather is too expensive for your customers anyway. You sell to the middle incomes don’t you?”

The couple frowns. The sparkling lady continues.

“Hmm, yes, maybe to the middle incomes and some of the rich. Well we still have a styling team and an office team. And Mario does personal styling. At least for leather.

There’s a lot of lemming fur for the winter again. A lot of fur in general. Fur sales are fantastic. Fur has ponem [slang for face]. It gives such a luxurious charisma. But it has to be reasonably priced. Like fur from a longhaired rabbit. We don’t need red foxes and Canadian foxes anymore. Customers don’t know what they’re buying anyway.

Did you see the new Tom Ford collection? Don’t make the effort. It’s a load of crap. Well we’ll see you around. Bye!”

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