Interesting celebrities in the streets of Milan!

What to expect when you go to Milan with Polimoda students of Luxury Management on Milan’s fashion week?

I have never really been a big fashion fan, the ultra expensive clothes and the glamor of brands has always been beyond my comprehension and interest. My relation with fashion has merely been built through my father’s own boutique and the bold and the beautiful! Recently I got to get closer to this world through my friendship with Haitham (a Jordanian fashion designer, he participated in LBC’s mission fashion, and now studying Luxury Management at Polimoda Florence).

The Milan trip was arranged by Polimoda for its students as a field trip to check out the city in its fashion week. Ofcourse, the day plan was to visit the boutiques of the most luxurious brands shops in Milan (prices are insane!). There were many fashion shows taking place in the city and thus a lot of fashion icons were roaming the streets of Milan! I wouldn’t have recognized any myself, but Haitham was all alerted! “This is one of the Fendi sisters!” He whispered to me. “Really?” I said. The next minute I saw him talking to her. Apparently she turned out to be Silvia Fendi! Then while we were walking, I heard him saying “OMG Francois Pinault!“. I was like “Who the hell is Francois Pinault?”, but he sure didn’t hear me as he was walking fast to catch up with Francois and talk to him! I later found out that Francois is the owner of PPR group which owns Gucci, Givency, Balenciaga, YSL and other luxury brands! He is also the husband of Salma Hayek! He obviously was on his way to attend the Gucci show in Milan! (According to Forbes List of billionaires (2008) he is ranked 39th in the world, with an estimated fortune of US$16.9 billion.)

Haitham rushed to tell his friends at Polimoda about his encounter with Francois Pinault while they were checking Alexander McQueen’s store in Via Monte Naploeone. While in store, I saw a tall man coming down the stairs, and I heard Haitham saying “Mr. Mario?”. Mr. Mario said “Yes”. So Haitham introduced himself to be a student at Polimoda from Jordan, and Mario stated that he visited Jordan many times. Haitham then asked to have a picture with him, and I took it myself. I didn’t realize then how big that Mario is. He turned out to be Mario Testino, one of the most important photographers in the world. He has done photo shoots to many important celebrities including a lot of VOGUE covers and editorials. He sure visited Jordan many times as he photo shot Queen Rania on different occasions!

Lama Hourani, a Jordanian Jewelry designer, has also been showing her new collection in Milan. I made sure to go and check it out as well. I love her work. She is really talented. We were good friends at school. She has always been talented and ambitious herself. I remember her room filled with celebrity pictures where we were teenager. I have been following her news in the media from time to time. It is good to see her coming this far. Check out her website here

Coca Cola has also contributed to the city of fashion with huge fashionable Coca Cola bottles in different areas of the city. It was nice checking out each bottle different design while walking the streets of Milan.

It was a nice experience for me getting to know more about the fashion world. I know that Dubai has been taking some good steps to be one of the major fashion capitals of the world. I wonder if Amman can make it one day. There is a huge amount of money in this industry. Queen Rania is much respected as a fashion icon herself, maybe one day she will end up having Jordan on the world’s fashion map.

I am enjoying my stay in Florence

It has been 4 days since I arrived to Florence to visit my friend who is studying at Polimoda – a Fashion Design and Marketing School -. From first sight, one would realize that it is hard to compare Florence to Amman. Florence is a very old City with a river crossing it and small roads that connects big buildings who are aligned next to each other with no space at all and are roofed with red bricks. It is hard for people to ride their cars in the city and thus a lot either uses bicycle, motorcycle, small cars, or walk. I have seen really weird small cars around with some moving on 3 wheels instead of 4! I wonder how brilliant/efficient of an idea this is!

As a tourist – not having either bicycle, motorcycle, or car – I have to walk all the way in the city to reach the places I am heading to. Thank God my friend is an expert in the city as he has been living here for few months now. He keeps on directing me around, and I keep on wondering if there are any shortcuts that he is missing and would spare us some of that long walk! To be honest with you, I am not used at walking like this at all, in Amman I barely walk! I think that I can safely say that I have walked here in the past 4 days more than I walked in Amman for my entire life! The first 2 days I couldn’t really sleep well because my legs were hurting from walking! I don’t want to bitch about it, as it is a nice experience that let me know the city better.

One of the things that I find interesting in the city is the naming of places. The city is know for its history and importance in the middle ages and the renaissance especially for its arts and architecture. Most of the names of places and monuments are derived from Christianity, and thus you walk from “Piazza de Saint Spirito” (the Holy Spirit square) to the “Piazza Della Signora” (Virgin Mary’s square) to the Trinito bridge (the trinity) to many other Christian named places where at some point you feel like in a Christian heaven. As a Christian myself, although not religious at all, it still gives me a feeling of home/belonging especially with all those churches bells ringing from time to time during the day.

As for the people of Florence, I see it for myself now, I can tell you guys/girls that yes that Italian people are – indeed – good looking :). You hardly see anyone with overweight, maybe it is due to their life style, they are also fashionably and colorfully dressed with beautiful women in the street who are not worried of hiding their body parts from men who can’t control their sexual appetite. You can see love spread up all along the river borders and bridges, with young couples embracing and kissing each other, showing a beautiful display of affection that we miss, sometimes, even inside our homes.

Two trends of dressing that caught my attention here where I think they are weird and of poor taste are: 1. Red and pink trousers for men! Even old men wear them! 2. Women wearing boots in the summer!

What I like the most in Florence is the amount of people in the streets. People are just out, chilling and having fun in a city that is pedestrian friendly. I just wish we have more public areas in Amman where people can just go out and enjoy their time.