My baby has arrived. The photo is the new “Francie” bag–it’s the first in a series of five bags designed by Amour De Ma Vie for Phoenix Drum Company. It is a compilation of design discussions, tears, imagination and more tears. The joy at my baby’s arrival is palpable. Birthing a bag is similar to the human variety. I looked her over. I checked her details. I smelled her. I adjusted her straps and examined her hardware. I checked her interior pockets and zippers. I cried when I saw Amour De Ma Vie etched in her interior leather. Swoon.
Francie is an interesting broad. My company existed on a very small scale when The Norwegian was alive. As you know, he tolerated my ideas, put up financial backing and needed encouragement but it wasn’t really his gig. Jack Spade he was not. Bags and shoes did not make his heart race. The closest I got to dragging him into the fashion world was Armani suits, which as any fella knows–once you go Armani you never go back. When he died, I pondered what to do with the little company. I had to get serious, earn a living and stop playing fashion games.
While on a business trip with the job that pays the bills, I decided to file papers to dissolve the company when I returned on Monday. On Thursday evening, I got a call from our dear friend Philip who asked if I was still making bags. He has a to-die-for drum company and he wants to create a brand. He thinks bags would be a good start. Would I design them for him? The Twilight Zone theme went off in my head. Signal loud and clear-don’t shut the doors just yet. That was just over a year ago. Drawing, designing, finding someone to interpret my obsessive compulsive brain and produce bags in exactly the way we wanted was a year long trek. The vision is a throwback to the forties and fifties when fashion was intricately hand-stitched, when cars and planes and life were refined and elegant and romance ruled the world. Basically, the epitome of pearls darling.
The company needs a new name, I thought. So much in my life is starting over. Most of all I need some way to honor The Norwegian and all our marriage and romance meant. The biggest fear of those that lose a loved one is that others will forget. If I could grow a company that embodies the very essence of him, of our life, success will be mine. It came to me, as with most things, through tears and wine. Our favorite place, our romantic place, was Paris. We loved and laughed and carried secrets, and wine, from Paris for 27 years. The name had to be French. And then it came to me, Amour De Ma Vie, “Love of my Life.” And so now my little company reminds of the precious love that was the gift of my life. And everything that comes from it will honor the love and family we created. Amour… could any of us be more blessed?
Francie still needs the PDC logo midway between her two detail straps on the front and she also gets a set of trademarked charms; which aren’t ready yet. But she’s here and we’re happy and proud. A big shout out to Phil who resurrected a company and pointed a sad heart in a forward direction. And by the way dolls, he is single, successful and adorable. The girl who let him go is a fool of the highest order. Call me–I’ll give you his digits.
As with any baby, she needed a name. Through twists and turns, an amazing family came into my life in the past couple of years. The mom is, of course, a fashionista. She sports a bright red Coach Madison in an exotic skin. This girl has got it going on. Purse shy she is not. And she wears killer shoes. Her daughter, one of my favorites on earth, could step into design circles tomorrow if she would only believe. You go Miss T. Turns out, Dad has a fashionista Grandmother who is a bag maven. If they invested, could the bag be named after their beloved grandmother? I can only hope my grandchildren love me and my fashion sense so very much. The new Amour De Ma Vie bag is the namesake of Grandma Francie. As soon as Francie is adorned with her logo and charms, her first trip will be to meet that namesake rocking the fashion scene at 92. I bet she wears pearls.