Salesman’s Journal

Fashion Designer

Entry 1

The fashion designer lives lavishly in Philippines’ financial district. I felt like the notion of living normally is not possible for him. They had privilege of the rich who got money to burn but this one had their wealth from various businesses which grew from decades of hard work; an old rich so it’s unwise for them to burn money.

One day, fashion designer and I were walking endlessly and he saw a paper article with photo of one of his former model turned antiques and art dealer. The article caught our attention as the model we can call Ana was photographed with the perfume flask which once belong to him. The writer tackled issues of why she shifted suddenly at the height of her career. Ana would say a lot of models do that, citing her model friends who became an actress and a lot others went to pursue singing career and other arts.

The article featured her vast collections of arts and antiques which the writer elaborately discussed with Ana but nothing mentioned of the aged perfume filled flask. I found out it was stolen from the fashion designer.

We were so focused on the flask we didn’t notice other newspapers and magazines featuring the model. She’s really big that he call her queen. We picked other magazines which had her as a cover but then it said nothing about the flask. The writer described the magnitude of her presence in the fashion industry as phenomenal; and that her leaving it behind puzzles everyone.

We assumed that even if we buy the whole stand, it seemed there would be no significant mention of the flask so we decided to buy only one.

We read the magazine cover to cover  while watching TV. We’ve done reading but all they got were juicy gossip on model’s past life. He switched to a real estate channel and it featured Ana’s rented villa and we both jumped from our seats. The program showcased the entire model’s villa but since it’s a real estate program; no flask. But then we headed to south of Manila as the program listed villa’s address.

Ana’s villa was located amidst the bushy orchard. The peaceful place somehow balanced the model’s chaotic world. Driving the long countryside road, we passed farmers picking fruits and collected it on a basket. We drive slowly with convertible top open making way for country fresh air and we seemed to be the only car passing. Silence reigned with the gentle humming of carburetor and the swooshing of air on our ear.

“I know life seems to crush us most of the time but it only brings out the best in us. Just like those fruits, they need to be crush because it’s the only way to extract their essence, they’d be sour as they’re stored and stood by the test of fermentation time until they become sweet and pleasant to the taste.” He said not cutting his sight on the road.

“Yes , we have to undergo unpleasant processes before we could fully understand the essence of our very existence” I said but in the back of my mind I was curious what it is about the flask that he wanted it back so bad. I know he’s a collector but there’s something more he’s not telling me. “The question is how far can we go to have it and so I can fully know what I’m here for.”  I said prompting him to tell me my involvement here aside from being an errand.

“If grapes survived crushing and fermenting before it become a fine tasting wine then we can, just don’t let them spoil the sparkle in your wine so you’ll not end up firing the wood instead and be wasted.” He said wanting me to just shut up.

“Then we’ll keep ourselves guarded as wines are bottled and corked sealed for freshness and kept chilled so to be served best. “ I said with my nerve-racking smile.

From afar, we could see the lone villa amidst tall trees; in front yard we could make out a lake. Getting closer to villa, it appeared unkempt and there were several truck movers in front. We wanted our presence be unknown so we halt behind trees far enough, alighting from car undetected we ran to the vineyard for cover and stealthily clambered to it.

Running to villa’s open gate, it was clear to me it was indeed vacant as garden grew wild; crawling vines everywhere growing in lush as they do in forest. He was not surprise and told me to cower and pointed to a shack nearby. I knew in an instant we are not alone, we assumed truck movers’ employees were having a break with villa’s caretaker.

Vast collections of arts and antiques we saw on magazines and real estate channel were in the living room but not as neat and properly placed as they were on TV but neatly pack in bubble wrap and boxes. Everything was dusty including the imperial Chinese chair which Ana sat on during interview. She is like a princess with arts and antiques surrounding her and we remember her ushering cameras around like a true royal would. Magazine editors dubbed her as Haute Couture Highness.

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Grand Imperial Court Mother of Pearl Chair

We started looking for flask and his gaze train knowingly to a place like he was here several times. I suspect from the start they had an intimate relationship, not just on professional level but she is no muse for him, because he has a model BF; it’s confusing really. He headed straight to stairs covered in pergola where assorted hung ornaments including but not limited to butterflies and other flying birds charmingly ushers anyone passing it along the velvety magenta carpet sprawling down the foot where a bust of Nefertiti sat on a marble table. He said the perfume filled flask sat on the same marble table but it wasn’t there and it’s the only marble table; the rest were wooden furniture.

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Queen Nefertiti Bust

We carefully checked to the left where a huge sun disks crucifix of gold house in Lucite. The crucifix glistened from the subtle light passing through a Tiffany window panel.
Next to the sun disk crucifix was a set of string musical instrument; a violin, viola and a cello. (I’m not sure if Ana can play any of these). Beside it was a wooden Chinese cabinet showcasing huge collections of Faberge eggs and brooches on top shelf. Walls were bare as paintings were supposedly removed. I was upstairs and summoned him to go up as the way is clear to  a wide open door leading to a huge room. The center piece was a life size Virgin Mary in her brocaded golden cape and golden halo and overhead were two angels mounted on walls holding the crown in mid air. A coronation of the Virgin Mary. On foot of the Virgin were wooden chest filled with aromatic potpourris; bronze vessel with scented oil. No flask.

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Tiffany window panel

We headed toward the end of hallway where an Italian marble table edges the wall and there sat a vase filled with flowers; amaranth not withering as he put it. Adjacent to the table was an open door to the bathroom. The white Corinthian bath tub was oddly placed in the middle of the fully wooden planked floor like those of steam houses. Beside it was big mirror mounted on wall and below it were racks for toiletries. Beyond the tied shower curtain was an empty glass portable shower. No flask. We were both disappointed and went out rather sad.

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1912 Tsarevich Faberge Egg
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vintage rose flower brooch

He pointed to another room we hadn’t check but he was sighing heavily as this is one of the many rooms which undoubtedly bear no flask. As i got in, i was surprise to see this room so intact as if you can still feel the warmth of someone there. He was surprise too…….
Follow story on Salesman’s Journal……
As a salesman of various fine department stores in Makati, Philippines, i was properly acquainted with finest luxury brands; and properly acquainted with finest people working in the industry. I was a fragrance consultant at that time when they introduced me to a frequent shopper and an avid limited edition perfume and art collector; who is also a fashion designer and so many other career involving fine arts and luxury. We and all other fashion and fragrance consultants became friends with this gay fashion designer but i was reluctant at first to be around with them because i was too young or should i say naive. I was 20, but then i can’t refuse invites to parties and other events frequented by media personalities until i realized i was deeply involved in their lives. This was the time when Philippines first joined the World Trade Organization; it means Philippine market was flooded with luxury goods and we salesman had busy days launching these products to market.

This journal will chronicle how i got involved on and off salesman’s duty. Please note that i did use aliases to protect person’s identity.

Rustan’s Marketing Corp.
LuxAsia Fragrance Advisor

 

 

Disclosure :

This post may contain sponsored links to which i may earn commissions upon your purchase using my links. It will cost you nothing extra but it will help my blog keep going.

 

 

 

 

The Fashion Designer

Entry 2

Still inside Ana’s villa, the fashion designer unabated, endlessly rummaging  through every cabinet in every room i surveyed to be safe. His head buried deep among clothes and lost among layers of plastic cover. “Could she be more specific?” he was interrupted by my resigned voice.

He led me to a closed door and gesture to back him up as he reached for door knob and forcibly pushing it to reveal an empty center but walls were packed. To the left were stilettos of various colors properly placed on shelves; sparkling bejeweled ones were occupying two upper shelves; high heeled shoes adorned with ruffles, ribbons and bows were charmingly displayed as they would in store counters. Simple red, blue and translucent glass stilettos ( or so i thought it was glass) sat at an interval with basic black.

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Manolo Blahnik Hangisi 70mm Pump
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GIORGIO ARMANI Women’s Black Suede Leather Decollete Crystal Strass Heels Shoes
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Salvatore Ferragamo Women’s “Philippa” High Heel Pumps Shoes
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Just Cavalli Women’s Heel with Ankle-Strap Fringe Dress Sandal

Below them were boxes labeled Blahnik, Ferragamo and Cavalli among others. Ana the model didn’t know clogs, sneakers and flats do exists altogether. I laughed imagining what she’s wearing in her backyard or in kitchen. Designer hushed me and assured me she will never betray him. To the right wall were couture hats, each hung on hook with different plumage and fur you won’t see in zoo. An extinct animal fur defined the exotic look known only among fine millinery shop owners. Again, i didn’t see any caps. The designer equated extinct equals exotic equals expensive. ( images of ivory tusk displayed prominently in fashion designer’s living room flashes in my memory).

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Marchesa Notte Women’s Sleeveless 3D Embroidered Evening Gown

 

 

“She’s really a princess” said the designer while walking across the room examining every couture piece he could muster. From voluminous fur with petticoat hung a label Alexander McQueen to metallic techno Badgley Mischka; beaded Cavalli gowns, brocaded Balenciaga. I spotted collections which were casual or less expensive ones. I recall from our product knowledge training that some Fashion Houses categorized their collections into different tiers -high end, mid range, low  end like Polo Ralph Lauren Purple Label for its ultra high end; Black Labels for high end; Lauren Ralph Lauren for mid high; Chaps for low end.

High End           Secondary Line

Giorgio Armani             A/X

Calvin Klein                   cK

Kenneth Cole                Reaction

Roberto Cavalli            Just Cavalli

Dolce & Gabanna          D & G

Balmain                         Pierre Balmain

Alexander McQueen      McQ

Karl Lagerfeld                Karl

Marc Jacobs                   Marc by Marc Jacobs

Chloé                              See by Chloé

Valentino                        RED Valentino

Zac Posen                       Z Spoke

Versace                           Versace for H&M

Secondary Lines were created aiming for younger demographics at a less expensive price ranges……..

Amazon introduces its Basic Fashion Line

Amazon Essentials with Basics Made Better.

 

 

“Her life revolve around parties and masquerade balls and she quit” said the designer.

“All these worth a fortune” i said as a salesman of various fine dept store would know. Rummaging on every piece and reaching for gothic gown which fell off from the rack and secluded from the other. A Jean Paul Gaultier. I pulled the leather material and the whole thing dove forward with a dull thud. I ran but stopped shortly after seeing the designer so calm. His face lit up and thrust his club hard on the side of the be gothic cadaver. It was a taxidermy; that Ana dressed up as Halloween prank that according to him was a hit the whole night of the said party.

I didn’t find it amusing, i mean why would someone dress a dead animal such an expensive gown, it’s Jean Paul Gaultier!!! I walked toward a huge Victorian circular mirror with drawers filled with cosmetics and perfumes. Guerlain Kohl, Yves Saint Laurent’s dark eye shadows, Nina Ricci’s serum, Annick Goutal’s scent, a Japanese Kabuki powder. No flask.

The designer opened a Louis Vuitton luggage with Kansa Wand, travel guide books and fashion magazines and stopped short as we heard pounding down the hall. It was the curtain blown violently smashing the glass bead tassel onto the fireplace. Designer realized it was where Ana would always bury something. Rendered useless for it’s only during winter that side of South gets really cold. He dug to ashes and voila it was the flask but without the essence, then he remember the scent wafting through the hallway leading to the room where the Virgin was and that room forever smells the peppermint. Then he picked up Hallmark card with a smiley bundled to a Coco Lee CD like he already know what it was………next thing i know we were driving back to Manila……….

Follow story on Salesman’s next blog
  As a salesman of various fine department stores in Makati, Philippines, i was properly acquainted with finest luxury brands; and properly acquainted with finest people working in the industry. I was a fragrance consultant at that time when they introduced me to a frequent shopper and an avid limited edition perfume and art collector; who is also a fashion designer and so many other career involving fine arts and luxury. We and all other fashion and fragrance consultants became friends with this gay fashion designer but i was reluctant at first to be around with them because i was too young or should i say naive. I was 20, but then i can’t refuse invites to parties and other events frequented by media personalities until i realized i was deeply involved in their lives. This was the time when Philippines first joined the World Trade Organization; it means Philippine market was flooded with luxury goods and we salesmen had busy days launching these products to market.

 

Disclaimer: This journal chronicle events from my past career describing activities on and off salesman’s duties. All events described herein actually happened irrespective of the order the blog was posted. Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be plainly apparent to them and those who know them and that the author is not responsible for any assumptions that may arise; to construe from the fact presented is discouraged as the author is still trying to make sense of it

 

Disclosure :
This post may contain sponsored links to which i may earn commissions upon your purchase using my links. It will cost you nothing extra but it will help my blog keep going.

 

 

 

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