• Michelle Fix

Chapter 3 - Si, si, si

Roberta had really pulled some strings to get a lease on an Upper East Side Townhouse, and have it renovated - all within a month of partnering with Alba Bianchi on her first U.S. location. And what better place than the capitol of American fashion - New York City. It was a huge move for Alba’s brand. Paola had barely recalled seeing it in Florence when she lived there years ago. She knew Carla Putano’s acrylic jewelry collection as every fashionable woman who visited from the States seemed to fall in love with her large, graphic designs. It was a really fun collection. Maybe they should partner with her here in New York too so that Alba could get some of Carla’s clients to buy clothing. Paola added this to her list of “strategy and collaboration ideas”. She could tell that some type of partnerships were going to be needed as it was surprising the Alba Bianchi Alta Mood was being elevated like this. It really belonged in a dress-maker world. But, it was lucky for her that this came around or she’d still be working at Andrea Lee. They may have had alterations under control, but if Paola had to sell one more puffy-sleeved blouse, she would’ve killed herself.

In the meantime, on to the calendar. There was a full week of appointments with existing clients to have fittings and make changes to their orders. Two mother-of-the-bride orders that needed to get finished stat!

Paola was very quickly discovering that Alba was a piece of work. She’d impose a rule that as really more of a “do as I say, and not as I do” directive. Or, even more troublesome, she’d say one thing and do another. It was always "si, si, si" but that "yes, yes, yes" never seemed to end up being a real "yes". If a client asked to have a white silk shantung lining changed to red…..Alba still used the white because she thought it looked better and it was her original design. Really? Well, if you don’t want to change the clothes to the client’s requirements, why are you calling yourself a custom and made-to-measure designer? Already, Paola could tell this was going to be challenging. Probably should start looking for another job in the next couple of months as this wasn’t going to last.

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