In day four of Lulu’s diary Lulu chats GCSE results and Notting Hill Carnival.
The early hours of this morning are spent on the phone trying to get through to Maddy’s school to get her GCSE results, and panicking over getting her to Paddington Station on time – and with an enormous tent – for the Reading Festival. I wave her off at 11am and settle down to talk to everyone in the office.
After a day like yesterday, when I met with three different collaborators and brainstormed hundreds of ideas, I now have to follow through and edit out the ones that, for one reason or another, don’t seem quite right. I have long talks with Ruthie from the design team, which help me gain some clarity. We discuss everything that needs to go up on pin boards and, as usual, we run out of space, so I suggest we start covering all the cupboards in my office. Ruthie also tells me that they have been moving desks around elsewhere, as we’re merging the design team with the product-development team.
I started my business in the basement of my house and now it has 35 people working on it flat out. We already have three shops in London, but I am particularly excited about our new concept store in Covent Garden, which opens next week. It will feature live social-media feeds – a first for us. I enjoy the fast pace that technology creates, and social media is a great way for our customers to preview the new season’s products before they even hit the high street. Communicating with my customers is very important to me, and having appeared on QVC for the past five years I have learnt so much more about how people shop – it has changed more in this time than ever before. Luckily, I seem to be able to talk for up to two hours on live television without a script!
Looking forward, I take a moment to scan through my diary dates in September and I realise that I must sort out what to wear for the Cordwainers 125th anniversary dinner. I am passionate about design education, and I have worked with this college for the past few years – they kindly gave me an honorary doctorate. Nearly all of my design team trained there.
Glancing out of the window I notice that there are yellow signs everywhere. I must remember to move my car in time for the Notting Hill Carnival, as I am one street away from the route. Unlike anyone else my age who lives around here (well, that I know of), I love the carnival. The floats are amazing and Children’s Day on Sunday is my favourite. Much to my daughter Tara’s annoyance, I intend to stay around. Lots of people come to the house, which is great, but I’m less anxious if I’m here to keep an eye on the proceedings.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow when I’ll be meeting one of my oldest friends, Melanie Clore, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, who shares my passion for fashion. We’re going to Dover Street Market and its surrounding shops to take a look at what’s out there for autumn/winter. That way I can plan what to wear with my new favourite bag of the season. We’ll also pop in to my Burlington Arcade store to make sure everything is looking great.