421. It takes time to build everything, even respect!
In March ’97 Eva and I decided to present our winter collection in Paris. Paris had given me so much and had made me famous. I loved Paris and it loved me back!
In the corridors of the Ritz I met journalists of the most important fashion publications in the world.
I dared not stop anybody. I was not on their lists and maybe my style did not match the taste of the moment. That was the time of Galliano, Lagerfeld, McQueen, Gaultier, Hermes…
I don’t know to this day how and with what courage one morning I approached the Chief Editor “Vogue Italia”, Franca Sozzani. She was both loved and feared. She was a very busy lady who did not strike me as inviting approaches. Still, I took courage and stopped her!
I introduced myself, and she replied coolly and politely that she already knew me but she gave me no time to explain. She looked at me and, with a half smile as she moved slowly away from me, said that unfortunately she did not even have a minute to spare because she was running to a Fashion show and she was late.
But, as always happened to me, at the very last moment when I was about to yield to despair, luck came to my rescue once again. I saw Franca Sozzani as she was walking alone towards the elevator in the hallway of the Ritz. I approached her once again. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I prayed so earnestly that eventually she came to see my collection.
Eva and I were anxious. She went slowly and thoroughly through all the clothes and then looking us in the eyes she quietly and naturally said “It is not presently in the style of Vogue”, I don’t think I can do much…”.
Some years later, when I was at the height of success, Franca Sozzani gave an interview to a foreign newspaper on which she told how we met.
Her honesty in admitting that in the beginning she had not liked my work has always made me smile… it takes time to build everything, even respect.
I LOVE YOU