Chatter over tea with my grandmother,
“It was the camel hair poncho with lynx fur trim – her favorite piece in her wardrobe. Something I have seen her wear more than a hundred times, whether it is with a cream tweed jacket or cardinal red dress.
Having worked in the fashion industry since she was 32 years old, she’s become a retail expert. Currently holding a part time position at a women’s wear boutique.
We are talking about my grandma, who turns 85 at the beginning of December. Do the math, that comes to 53 years in fashion retail, and still going. When asked “How long have you worked in retail?” she answered immediately “Oh gosh Joey, feels like 100 years.”
At 82 she was on the search for a new job, and with some help, was applying online. However worried that she would not be hired because of her age, grandma told the manager she was but a young 75, anything above 80 seemed a bit unrealistic. This year her coworkers are looking forward to celebrating her 80th birthday, which brings great laughter to our dinner table.
My entire life my grandma is always, no matter the occasion, the best dressed in the room. Growing up with a couture seamstress as a mother, it was easy for her to become obsessed with the art of fashion from a young age. Her luxurious look takes time to create, and always includes a pair of statement earrings. In our phone interview she explained that she gets her style ideas from working in the store, reading magazines and on television. We were sad to hear the news of the loss of Oscar de la Renta in 2014, as his elegant designs have always been Grandma’s favorite.
As a single mother of 3 boys, she was very happy to welcome 6 granddaughters to the family. However I ended up being the one who’s fallen into her fashion footsteps, therefore whenever we are together there is always a discussion about my current projects or latest purchases. She doesn’t seem to mind when I refer to myself as the favorite grandchild.
The beautiful world of fashion has helped us develop a special connection. When I get to 85 I just hope I can rock a cheetah print blouse as good as grandma does.”