I wasn't nervous this morning about meeting designer Valentino. I had my questions written down with stars beside the most important ones. I had rehearsed them several times so I would remember them. I had new batteries in my tape recorder and an extra tape in case the first one ran out. I even had my outfit picked out. On my way to the lounge 99 Sudbury St. aka the Green Room, where the interview was going to take place, I even fell asleep on the bus; that's how relaxed I was.
And then I got to the lounge, saw Giancarlo first and then there he was. Valentino. I took a deep breath and went inside where I was instructed to sit in a booth and wait for him. I got a bottle of water which I gulped down and then texted three friends asking them to help me relax. The friend who gave me the interview said "Don't be nervous. Look at his skin!" That made me laugh because Valentino does have very orange skin. I waited for about 45 minutes and then Giancarlo came to talk to me. He was very pleasant, wearing a nice suit, perfectly combed hair and he had big brown eyes. He was obviously very intelligent as we talked about the business of fashion but he got a bit annoyed at my questioning as I wanted to talk about fashion whereas he wanted to talk about the movie. I don't want to reveal too much about the interview, since that will be in the article I'm writing about, but I will tell you that he is not very pleased about large businesses buying up luxury labels, as was done with Valentino.
Not wanting to displease Valentino's partner, I talked to him about the movie and it all went well.
About 10 minutes later, He arrived. I had to share the interview with another reporter since Valentino had to leave precisely seven minutes later, so we were a bit rushed. I have to say it was the most amazing experience. He was very kind and polite, touching me on my arm and looking me in the eye, saying how pleased he was to meet me. He was very charming; of course he's been charming journalists for decades so the man has practice. He was dressed impeccably. Not a strand of hair on his head was out of place (and he had a full head of hair. Quite a feat for a 70-year-old) and he wore tan leather shoes and a beautiful suit. He also wore jeweled bracelets on his left wrist which he says were a gift and beneath them, a watch. He was soft-spoken but well-spoken. The man knows how to give a good sound bite. He talked about how he still wakes up with design ideas in his head, how he has witnessed the change in fashion and how he is keeping busy. He is working on a retrospective of his work and he says he will be designing costumes for the opera and ballet. It is obvious that he loves his work and is very passionate.
Today is a day I will not forget.
Once the article is published I will post the link here so stay tuned!