• Michelle Fix

Chapter 6 - Alba's office

Caterina was shocked earlier in the week when she waltzed into Abbracci Tessuti and ordered first run silk prints by the bolt. She had roll after roll of current season fabrics arriving to the atelier every day and her imagination was operating on overdrive.

Her clients would be astonished at the new level of sophistication. Alba was confident she’d soon be carried at Bergdorf Goodman, the flagship luxury jewel of a retail store within the Neiman Marcus Group. Bergdorf represented the highest standards in the world and was a scion of retail perfection. For years, she felt her designs should be hanging in the same stores with the Valentinos and Dolce & Gabbanas of the world. She always had the talent. Now she had the money. What was still missing? The connections. But that would be soon solved.

Though Roberta liked Paola, Alba felt she was not right. Both Clara and Chiara complained about her incessantly. Sales were okay - maybe a slight increase - but they were not getting along as a team. Where was that team spirit? They had it at the atelier in Florence and worked like well-oiled machine. It just had to be Paola. She was the problem. Plus she had no wholesale or PR background - two missing parts of the equation. Paola had to go or Alba would never be able to fulfill her destiny atop the luxury pyramid.

Alba was ensconced in her office, which was designed to inspire. Her favorite chandelier of Venetian glass and porcelain roses hung above the marble desk. Two Vico Magistretti chairs added a modern severity to the space. Mirrors reflected all back to Alba along with several versions of her own profile. Alba rose and went to one of the mirrors to check her outfit and hair. “Giulia!,” she called from her office as she primped herself.

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