Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Back to Etro

A corner of the store. Pictures taken with my phone, quite impressive, no?

A couple of weeks ago, the boss where I used to work part time called me asking if I would be able to stand in for some days since all of her girls will be on Chinese New Year leave. My reply was affirmative partly because I could see how in need she was and another reason must be, ehem, for the extra cash I could use.

I never had anything bad to say about this job. Working in Etro was perhaps one of the best things ever. My boss was nice, the job was easy and most importantly, I got to appreciate the craftsmanship and quality of the goods.

Stepping into Etro again after more than a year (for work, of course), was a little emotional for me. There were no longer the usual faces which I became acquainted and befriended since all of them had left for good reasons. Art, the bitchy one left for a better job in Gardens Mid Valley while Eyrja, the one who got me the job and taught me everything, had left for Australia after marrying her fiance, an Australian hunk whom I had forgotten the name.

Still, the place was still the same. The same display shelves, the same small office and the same fabulous goods. Every corner of the store has something for me to remember - it's not just a working place, it's a training ground for me and the place where I garnered lots of experience.

The best thing about Etro is, we don't have many different customers. Our customers are either foreign tourists or the same local people, and each one of them has different tastes. For example, Datin Noriani will come in with her oversized metallic Louis Vuitton purse (she has them in pink, silver, gold and plum - which costs about RM9000 each) and she will buy all of the ladies' shirt in size 50.

Dato' Flora Ong likes bright colors. You just have to shove every single bright-colored tops, accessories, scarf or clutches to her and she will gladly buy it without asking for the price. Datin Yoshiko Kato, the wife of the Japanese ambassador to Malaysia likes Etro's cashmere scarf and will usually buy 2 to 3 pieces at one go. Datuk Faisal SM Nasimuddin loves Etro's signature hand-painted men's shirts and he is one of the nicest customers around. Datin Yazreen loves discount - even when we don't have any sale, she will ask for it through Puan Sri (my boss).

Scandinavian tourists loves Etro so much that they don't usually leave the store with purchases below RM4000. Another group that will go ga-ga over Etro are Koreans and Japanese as they really love the paisley design on its handbags and scarves. No wonder there are about 40 Etro stores in Korea alone. Arabs on the other hand will come in, ask for the price and leave. True story.

It was very interesting to work here and at the same time analyzing each characteristics. Indirectly, I learned to improve my social skills and know a thing or two about how these rich people behave (and spend).

During my recent three-day stint, I got the chance to work with a newbie and as devout Etro-rian, I taught him everything that he needed to know. I thought him how to hang the clothes, how to fold them and for women's shirts you need to lift the collars, the different ways of folding the scarves according to its respective sizes, how to display the bags with its handle clasped nicely in opposite directions and many others.

I still remembered my first day in Etro back in 2008 with Eyrja explaining to me about all of these and while doing so, I could see the passion in her eyes and how she really loved this fashion house. I tried to share with the newbie the same passion I have but he was indifferent. Totally not into this at all, I believe. He was only there to work. Sigh.

And he was chewing gums while attending to customers - how highly inappropriate that was! I mean, you don't chew gum here in Etro - at least while attending them. In fact, you don't chew gum at all anywhere while attending them - no matter where you work. Boy, this lost soul has a long, long way to go.

Etro's dressing room. circa 2008

Same spot, in February 2010

I have my eyes on this weekender bag for men. RM6950 (before 50% discount)

From an unknown label for me, I've learned a lot about it. Now I do know that Agyness Deyn and Jessica Stam used to walk Etro's runway and Beyonce and Marisa Tomei once wore Etro's dress to their functions.

If I have the capacity, I would surely return here again to lend a hand because I love this label.

Etro is located on the Third Floor, Parkson Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

No comments: