Resortwear designer Marie France Van Damme, Day 2
A meeting with a Harrods buyer and plans for a weekend trunk show in New York fill the designer’s London diary.
What a luxury to wake up and just lie in bed for a while, knowing that I don’t have to travel anywhere this morning. Where am I? Ah yes, London… yesterday was Paris… and a few days ago I was waking up on a beautiful yacht with my family in Santorini, where we were for a wedding.
I thought the Greek islands were amazing and although the country is in deep financial trouble, I only saw smiling faces, open arms and lots of tourists. It felt like there are as many Chinese people in Santorini as there are in Wan Chai – it was like being back home in Hong Kong.
But back to today. As usual I wake up to tons of emails. Hong Kong is seven hours ahead and so has had almost a full day of work. The States has gone to sleep but not without sending news of sell-throughs, requests and – what we like most – online orders. Europe will wake up soon… It takes me a good hour before breakfast to read all my emails, from production issues to daily sales reports and PR and store requests.
I can now do what I really love: preparing breakfast and laying a pretty table with all the beautiful cheeses, salmon and figs I bought last night from La Fromagerie. I never have time to do this in Hong Kong – although I do try to have friends over for dinner on weekends. That reminds me – I really have to get to work on my second book with Herbert Ypma (founder of Hip Hotels). We said we’d do something that mixed fashion and l’art de vivre. So little time and so much to do.
I settle down to work on the plans for our first Singapore store, which opens in a few months. We have to submit everything this week. Landlords in Asia are king and unless you are one of the big players like LVMH, Kering or Richemont, you can be on a waiting list for years.
I also have a meeting with the buyer for Harrods’ airport stores, who arrives at my apartment to review the collection. It’s amazing exposure for the brand and we sell very well there. She tells me that they are going to re-do the entire Terminal 5 space and turn it into a version of the Knightsbridge store, and they will only stock their three bestselling resort lines: Pucci, Missoni and Marie France Van Damme. I am thrilled.
Next I call my friend Elad Yifrach, founder of L’Objet in New York. He has opened a little summer boutique called L’Objet à la Plage in Southampton (New York) and invited me to host a trunk show this Saturday. He also designs beautiful tableware and although I already have a big collection of his pieces, he has just launched new platinum-coloured dishes that I just must have.
There is a lot more to do before the end of the day, so I look back at my checklist – I can’t live without a piece of paper and pencil by my side. Dinner tonight? Let’s enjoy the apartment. I will be on the road again too soon and I love cooking!