Ciao, Italia!

January 25, 2016

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I landed from Panama where my family and I had an amazing vacation, disconnected from our time and life, enjoying being together in a beautiful place. I came home, unpacked…only to repack…and leave again.

First stop, Paris. A quick visit for a meeting with a PR firm to represent Mackage in France… with just a few minutes to kill between appointments, I had just enough time to stop at Saint Laurent and Celine and take advantage of the sales. With this poor, low Canadian dollar, nothing feels like hitting the sales, these days!

Next day, Eran and I  were off to Florence, which I think my favorite city in Italy. We got there and went straight to Luisa via Roma the best store in Florence, and because of the Pitti tradeshow that week, it was packed with fashion people all over, and it was way to busy to see anything at all…it was a real scene!

Then we walked around and went to see the Duomo, the beautiful Gothic cathedral, which is stunning from the outside… I actually never had time to visit inside! We always *promise* we’ll do it next time, and never find the right moment to do it!  Next time, next time… There’s always “next time”!

For dinner, our agent in Italy invited us to la Giostra, a great restaurant  owned by the Hapsburg Lorena princes. The prince himself comes to each table to make sure you’re loving your experience, and needless to say, it was fabulous. Most of the recipes are the princes and his dad’s (the king?!) We had a lovely time, and I loved meeting this eclectic gyspsy hearted prince, in his refined and tasteful restaurant!

Lagiostra

The next day,  we were off to Pitti for the first tradeshow of the year, the kick of the Selling FW16. The fashion schedule is always a year ( and some) in advance, so while we are here and now, we are always thinking of tomorrow. This show is  a menswear show which Eran and I have been postponing visiting  for years.

Pitti is HUGE! I takes place both indoors and outdoors, and it was rainy and damp, and I had forgotten to wear my hat… #soaked

Pitti

After the show, our eyes still filled with beauty and inspiration, we went to Eran’s fave restaurant in Florence; Fuor D’aqua with some clients… big tables, a million course, litres of wine… perfect lovely dinner in great company.

Wake up, and off again! We rushed to the train to Brendola where our new Mackage Showroom is located. it is so important for Eran and I to see where Mackage is housed and how it is housed all over the world and take the time with our agents to  give them a real feel of the soul of the brand and what it means to us.

The showroom is in a villa with so much history and breathtaking views.

Brendola

We stayed at this Bed and Breakfast called La Quiete and it was definitely quiet! My room was completely Blue and Eran’s completely pink…So  charming! It’s one of those places where the same person checks you in, cooks your breakfast and cleans your room. Quaint, intimate and homy.

The breakfast was on the top floor  right next door to Eran’s room and the view from the balcony at breakfast was unbelievably scenic – a real postcard. So we had a great coffee and we were off…again!

laquiete

Before heading to Milan, we stopped in  Padova to see some of the finest leather in the world. It’s important for us to test out different qualities and innovations to make sure that we always keep our Mackage jackets at the forefront of the industry.

Leather

And….back on the train again! En route to Milan to go to the white Tradeshow were we were showing our Mackage FW16 collection. We got there and re-arranged and organized the booth completely…I can’t help it. Merchandizing is one of my passions. It is the art of presenting products in a way that brings them to life, like silent story telling.

white

We were so tired that night that we could not even think of where to go for dinner…we ended up having Chinese… in Milan! It was actually very good but I would have prefered it if it was 4am and I was drunk, a long lasting tradition of mine!

Our last day was also spent at White, and then we had a very fun night over dinner with our whole Italian team. We ate a lot, drank a lot and laughed a lot…we were the last ones at the restaurant, the owner let us pick the music and smoke inside…royal treatment. We danced and laughed some more before saying goodbye to our amazing team. We cannot wait to see the development of Mackage in Italy- this country is a lot like our brand; classic, fun, elegant and loves to party!

One thing though… Being a Canadian, I think I under-estimated how cold Italian winters are! I didn’t take my down coat, and I was chilly most of the time… Which is good news for business, because obvioulsy the Italian people need a good down!

dinner

Still, in the middle of all this craziness, my favorite moments are when I facetime with my kids…the joy I feel when I see their sweet faces on that screen is what keeps me going.

best part

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