Today is my day off. Not really. I am running all the time. 5 days a week I am in my space at Icono Multiespacio (Honduras 4925) selling my designs. On Monday and Tuesday I have to catch up with the rest of my life, plus go to Once to buy more fabrics, elastic, thread, and labels. It is a never ending quest.
I dream of designs. I draw them in the best way I can. Last week I made this bizarre cutout and stapled it together. When I showed the ladies they thought it was funny. I am hoping the concept gets through. I am lucky. We have great communication. They are able to understand me on the first pass.
Yesterday I got the prototype of one of my dresses. It was perfect. Even more than I hoped for. It was a larger size. I told them how to adjust it for the smaller size. I think I am going to be the only designer in Buenos Aires who will have nice clothes for "gorditas." Here if you need a size 12 you have to dress like an Italian grandmother going to a funeral. I plan to change that.
On Sunday, when I was in my space, I told two Argentine women that, who stopped by to look at my designs. They were surprised that several of my pieces would fit them. I told them how I am going to be designing for all women. We had a nice conversation about clothes and sizes. It ended up with them hugging me and buying one of my wrap skirts. "Tienes la derecha." I told them,"to look nice, to look sexy."
I love working in my space. It has been years since I have had a routine. I have to be at my space at 2:30 to open and I stay until close. Well more or less. I mean this is Argentina. There are 12 of us designers who show in the same place. Now everyone designs. Some are resellers. Everyone is great. It is amazing how open and how much fun everyone is. There are people who have been working the ferias for 5 - 10 years and they are very generous with their knowledge with me.
I have clothing experience. Before I was a computer geek I spent years in retail and the wholesale business of clothing. I can draw on some of this experience to help me. I look at my space. I have my clothing by style and color. It is easy for the women to find what they are looking for. I look at the other spaces. They mix it all together. That is typical of retail here, except for places like Zara. (The Spanish retail chain.) The concept here is that the woman will go through everything to find what she is looking for. Most time no. In my opinion.
I do a lot of watching this week. It does not bother me that business has been slow. I am looking at it as a learning experience. Everyday I learn new things to help me clarify my direction. While there is much fanfare about how Argentine women love clothes and love to dress, the majority of them do not know how. They dress poorly. Mainly because after age 35 there is nothing for them to wear. They do not want to look like a grandmother, so they choose the clothes that are made for young girls.
I have looked at lots of clothes here in lots of price ranges. The majority are not well made and/or not made for the bodies of the women who live here. Argentine women are so used to having clothes that do not fit them properly, they just accept it. The foreign women who either come here or live here know that the clothes here are for the most part poorly made and do not fit well. Price is not an indication of quality.
You almost have to wonder. I watch women in their late 60s with chicken skin try on sun dresses meant for gorgeous young women. What are they thinking? For the beach? Sure, but they will wear them on the street. Argentina used to be known for its elegance. Sometimes it is hard to believe it. I hope to help change it back. Just a little.
You can find me at ICONO Multiespacio Honduras 4925 (Between Gurruchaga and Armenia) Wednesday - Sunday 14:30 - 20:00, Saturdays - 12:30 - 8:30.