I knew exactly what I was going to wear. After all, it was my first MSGM fashion show. I wanted to go for Dolce & Gabbana meets Wednesday Adams. I had this whole Euro princess - Victoria Beckham attitude and look in my head. Little did I know this was a total American ideology, but I will get to that later. As I said, I had my whole OOTD entirely planned out. I even made a trip to Sephora to find the perfect Wednesday Adams Chanel lip color. If you Google ‘Dolce & Gabbana 2016’ you see the Marina Forsetti headbands with the shade of Chanel lipstick I purchased. I just added a cute white collar dress to marry the two and ta-da! I was ready to hit the runway.

I ordered an Uber. A black Mercedes van pulled up to the curb and a gorgeous handsome looking driver got down to get the doors for us. Mama mia! *was I in love. I expected nothing less at this point. *La Milanese way of life was completely my thing.

We are at the MSGM fashion show. Holy moly, was I underdressed! I thought I was looking a little extra and fly, but no. Was I wrong. I had forgotten we were in the fashion capital of the world where the futuristic trend was ‘in.’ I was not dressed up to par at all. There was nothing I could do at this point but own it. This was a once in a lifetime kind of thing and there was nothing I could do but live and enjoy the moment. We were standing outside the show and it was completely packed. Paparazzi all over the place. Fashion icons, bloggers, journalists, models, fashionistas, buyers, owners, and even famous Instagram dogs. All fashion people UNITE. Everyone was so extra. I love it. Neon, print on print, gender-neutral, everyone’s outfits were on point – Milan was the fashion world.

Marilyn started pressuring me to go inside and take our seats. We were registered buyers. Keyword: buyers. That means we had first priority. Wait, we are actually US buyers, that means even more VIP. Dang Marilyn. You go Glen Coco! I am not going to lie and act like I always have my act together or that I am as confident as I appear to be. The truth is that at the end of the day, I am human. I have the insecurities of a rookie even with 11 years of hard work and experience under my belt. . The room was dark and comfortably crowded with all sorts of media and journalists. Over 1000 chairs filled the pink carpet floor. We were immediately greeted with warmth and importance as they asked us who we were. I was living in the moment. I had been to tons and tons of fashion shows, as well as having hosted my own, but this was a whole different league. Nothing I had ever experienced before was anything like this. This was the real deal. We were seated in the front row among celebrities, famous bloggers, and influencers. It was awesome. However, I seem to know none of them. Oops! Thank God I have Marilyn for that. She is a genius, my right arm, and the brains of GAL. She whispers, “omg, the twins.” Of course, I am oblivious and have absolutely no freaking idea who they were. Apparently, they are the most famous fashion runway show attendees of our generation. You learn something new everyday.

All the chairs are full and the room is packed with beautiful people. All of a sudden we hear a loud ‘SHH!’ and the lights are off. BAM! The DJ hits off beats to the rhythm of flashing lights. Creepy music remixed with soft rock begins to play. Like everything, it was quite bizarre and futuristic but kind of cool. It’s unexplainable.

Less than 10 minutes later the lights were back on. People start clapping, the show was over. What, that was it? The runway show was less than 10 minutes long! It all happened way too fast. I didn’t even get to focus on the looks and the designs that much because it was like super-fast. There were 10 to 15 models tops wearing bright oversized clothes down the runway. Everything happened so fast. All of this hype and adrenaline for only 10 minutes? I don’t know what the point of a show is if it is going to be that fast, but OK. Again, this was a once in a lifetime kind of deal so I was determined to enjoy every single second of it.

The designer was super young. He was probably around his early 40’s. He walked around the room after the show wearing sneakers, a sweater, and jeans. He was super chill and ready for the press. I took a picture on the red carpet and we were on our way out. It was barely 12:30 PM and there was nothing else on the schedule for the rest of the day. I guess It was time for an Aperitivo.

We had a whole day ahead of ourselves and our trip was soon coming to an end. Thus, we decided to spend the rest of the day sightseeing and enjoying Milan. I wanted to see what this city was all about, other than the amazing fashion and its beautiful people. I wanted to visit Arco Della Pace, the city gate of Milan and a quite famous Instagram worthy location. To do so, I needed to change my outfit. We quickly headed to the apartment and slipped into a cocktail pale-pink glitter dress by RTA that I had purchased in NYC the week before Valentine’s Day. The dress was cute and a bit futuristic, as it seems to be the trend of this year. We headed to the arc and took some Instagram worthy photos. As we were strolling the streets of Milan, a waiter said, ‘Hey Bella, why don’t you come inside for an aperitivo’. Wait, what is he talking about and why is everyone around us having an orange drink? It was then that I came to discover the famous Aperol Spritz among the beautiful people of Milan. Whoah. Were my taste buds in for a refreshing ride! If you have never had one before, Aperol is an Italian liquor made out of rhubarb and oranges. When mixed with Italian Prosecco, soda and orange slices, you get the famous aperitivo Aperol Spritz.

If you have been following me or visited GAL after my trip, you know that the famous Aperol Spritz is what we serve at GAL Fashion. I have now hooked a lot of people on this cocktail. You are welcome.

After the most enjoyable evening and a couple of rounds of refreshing and delicious Aperol Spritz, we were ready for dinner. How does lobster sound? Yum! As we were walking down Via Gesu, I told Marilyn that I had been doing a little research of my own and saw that anything that is made in Italy is a lot cheaper than what you pay for in the US. This could only mean one thing: danger.

To be continued…

- Logo purple

The White Show - All work and all play

Finally, the day was here. It was time for The White Show – the event, the holy grail of markets and the whole purpose of my trip to Italy. I had a million butterflies in my stomach and the adrenaline that was rushing through my veins kept me sleepless throughout the night. As always, I had to look flawless. However, after owning a blow-dry bar and being the glam girl that I am, doing my own hair and makeup for a special occasion is not something that I am quite used to. After a couple of hours and some hairspray, I managed to figure it out all on my own. Big hair and great brows. I was ready to roll.

It was day 3 of the Italian Fashion Market. Now, initially, I thought Micam and Mipel were the Disneyland of the fashion industry. Boy, was I wrong! The White Show was Disneyland on steroids. Imagine an entire street devoted to very elaborate and over the top showrooms. Hundreds, if not thousands, of different markets all in one place. An impeccable white carpet covered the cement road and stunning models and security guards greeted you at every entrance. I felt trapped in a maze. An insane and over-the-top maze that took you from one extravagant showroom to another one. Feeling overwhelmed, my blood pressure began to rise.

You know that moment when you feel the adrenaline starts rushing through your body and you get butterflies in your stomach because you have a strong sensation of happiness, euphoria, and curiosity all at once? Some may feel this when they fall in love, others may feel it on the dance floor. For me, it was walking into the White Show. People may not necessarily understand my passion and infatuation for fashion. I realize that and that is ok. However, no matter what, I hope that one day everyone experiences something that makes their heart skip a beat just like mine did at the White Show.

The very first brand that I see out of about roughly 10,000 brands was a vintage, Navajo inspired, luxury sleepwear brand. Think tribal fashion meets vintage velvet luxury. Luxury robes and sleepwear that you would possibly buy at a Taos ski resort to wear at Burning Man. Bizarre. Weird yet alluring. The pieces and the designs were so up-and-coming, again almost futuristic. They were so strange yet the coolest thing I have ever seen. It was way out of this world. I fail to find words that properly describe the experience because it just wouldn’t make sense. It was finding unique beauty in something that seemed so bizarre and eccentric. I was loving it.

Immediately, I started taking pictures and videos of absolutely everything because I wanted to document every instance of this experience. “Stop!” I was told. What I learned a few minutes later was that you are not allowed to take photos of anything. It’s highly understandable. They despise people knocking off original designs and get very ‘cray cray’ when they see you taking pictures. Unfortunately, a lot of the immaculate beauty and stunning pieces I was exposed to on this day will only remain a photographic memory in my head never to be shared with anyone. It’s quite sad but at the same time kind of amazing. It is like my very own little secret that I honestly wish I could share with you. ( Top secret: I may have secret video footage of everything.)

Italians are heavy advocates and true believers of ‘unisex’ pieces. I found this interesting and quite cool, to be honest. It’s a thing. Every single piece of clothing was unisex. What was even more interesting was that the unisex pieces were so gender-neutral. I can honestly say that it was not ‘too feminine’ or ‘too masculine’ either. It was perfectly balanced on a 50/50 scale. I loved it. How fabulous to have an item for him that also works perfectly for her! Isn’t that just brilliant? At this point, I was barely at my second booth. I started to feel anxiety again. I needed to get myself together, put my feet on the ground and continue to the game plan. I had absolutely no time to waste.

Aisle after aisle. Showroom after showroom. The day was passing by. Everything I saw and touched was special and original. Nothing like you have ever seen before I can promise you that. Tribal pieces seemed like a repeated trend. Fur, crocodile boots, avant-garde graphics, and prints. Everything was insane. Mink, cashmere, leather, fine merino wool, silk, and gold. Is this real life? I kept asking vendors if they sold to the US, but they didn’t. At least not yet.

Honestly, I was experiencing the best products with the highest quality. A lot of what I saw were pieces that are manufactured and produced in the very same places where designer Italian Brands like Gucci and Prada are produced, using the very same quality and materials only with a different price tag. I had found my pot of gold. I don’t want to follow trends. I want to set them.

I continued to walk the streets from building to building. It was just too much and my mind can only take so much in one day. I have probably seen over 300 vendors by now. It just kept getting better and better, vendor after vendor. I needed my break. I felt exhausted. I still have 4 days left in Milan, I could always come back. As Marylin and I started to walk home you would not guess who we saw. Spotted, Gigi Hadid leaving the Fendi showroom. Yep, it was definitely her.

Once we were home, I started to go through my photos. I felt like my Duomo pictures were just not good enough. If it is not perfect, then it is not worth it. So Marylin and I made a pit stop at the Duomo once again before we headed to dinner for some spaghetti.

I was dressed head to toe in a rose-colored L’agence python slip dress with a brocade blazer in the same print. I was 100% glam because If I was going to retake a photo at the Duomo it had to be on point. No exceptions. When we arrive, as we are getting dropped off by another handsome Uber driver, the sun begins to set and the lighting couldn’t be more perfect. In the car, I had said a little prayer asking God to help me get the perfect shot. Well, my prayers got answered as things got insane real fast. A video producer from NYC immediately approached me and asked if I was a blogger. He wanted to take a video of me. At first, I thought it was a scam. A video producer from NYC wanted to do a fancy video of my walking through the streets of Milan striking poses. Can you believe this? I said YOLO. This doesn’t happen every day. So I went for it. If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw the videos. Pretty cool, right? Everyone that saw me strutting through the streets probably thought I was someone famous as I had lighting and videographers following me around the streets. It felt pretty cool. As an ordinary girl who lives and breathes for fashion, this moment was surreal. On top of that, I managed to get the perfect magical shot. I felt special. I felt empowered.

As the day came to an end and we headed to dinner to have some delicious spaghetti, I started to contemplate what an amazing day it had been. I had heard from one of my clients that Como,Italy was only a train ride away (yes, you Norma Barrio). We decided to take the next day off. I needed to recharge and loved the idea of spending the day in Como, Italy. However, I would first need to buy a silk scarf. You can’t go to Como without a scarf.

- Logo purple

Day two

The jet lag was real. Being on the other side of the world with a completely different time zone meant no sleep. Honestly, I didn’t care much about sleep since they have siesta in Italy. Everything closes and taxis even take a break. Talk about culture shock. Whenever we did have time to eat or take a breather it coincided with the siesta. Bummer.

I started the day off with a fresh americano and I was ready to hit the streets. I requested an Uber and to my surprise, I got picked up by another well dressed and very handsome Italian driver in a fancy Mercedes SUV. At this point, I was definitely head over heels. What’s not to love about Italy?

We decided to head to Duomo the Milano, Milan’s very famous cathedral and architectural landmark which took almost 600 years to be completed, and Piazza Duomo. We had an appointment to visit one of the vendors later during the day on “Via Gesu,” the Rodeo Drive of Milan, so we had to make the most out of our time. The streets were overflowing with fashionistas and trendy fashion boutiques. Trust me when I tell you fashion is part of the culture in Milan. People live and breathe fashion. Everyone was so nice, fit, happy and not to mention well dressed. After interviewing several individuals I found out why, but we’ll get to that later.

Back to the Duomo of Milano, a huge cathedral right in the middle of fashion square taken straight out of a fairy tale. I was completely in love with what I saw. People sipping on espressos, aperols, and walking around in the crisp daylight enjoying life. You could see numerous famous bloggers taking photos in literally every corner. Well, of course! It was Fashion Week in Milan. Why wouldn’t Ricky Thompson, Ayaxxamiya (the twins) and Brittany Xavier all be making tik toks at the most epic Instagramable site worthy fashion utopia? To be honest, I didn’t even recognize any of the bloggers I saw taking photos all over Italy. Luckily I had Marilyn to fill me in. You would think I follow all of the bloggers, right? Well, I don’t.

For fun, I fed the pigeons kettle corn. They felt like hard little hands on my soft skin. I laughed and smiled as I was so present at that moment, a memorable candid moment that I will always remember.

As we entered Piazza Duomo, I felt like I was walking into heaven. Fashion heaven that is. Everything was golden under the warm sun light, so surreal. It almost looked like a church. An elegant, celestial church that is home to every European designer that has walked on this earth. Louis Vuitton, Prada, Versace, you name it. We walked inside and made our way to “Via Gesu”. Yes, “Gesu” is part of my name which means Jesus in Italian. My name is the feminine version of Jesus. My staff actually calls me “Gesu” as a nickname. Ironically, in Milan, there is a well-recognized street called “Via Gesu” and it is home to the most high-end stores in Milan. Kind of a strange coincidence yet an interesting and precise comparison.

We get there and make it to Marina Forsetti. Now, Marina is a brand that I picked up from my previous blog at the Dallas Market. Do the Italian headbands that sold out in one day ring a bell? Well, here I was at the showroom. The only store where I could see them all in person. We walked in and all-around admiring beautiful headpieces with quite a resemblance to the headbands from the Dolce and Gabanna show. I was amazed by the fashion jewelry, large costume pieces, hairpins, unique and gorgeous one of kind pieces that were on display.

Pulling, picking and trying on piece by piece, I decided to get everything I liked and just take it with me to bring back to the store ASAP. Who knows when I’ll be back?

We hopped into an Uber and off we went to visit another showroom. Gosh, what is it with the handsome Uber drivers and fancy luxury cars? I am not complaining. On the contrary, I am enjoying it. Please, keep them coming! The designer we were visiting we had previously met at Mipel market the day before. Her studio was full of rooms and rooms of beads and wires, gold and silver, among other tools. Boxes on top of boxes and drawers full of beads and glass, some dating all the way back to the 1900s. Others, from several parts around the world. Indeed, it was a collection of time and culture. She was a multi-generational jewelry maker dating back to her grandmother. She said her grandmother was a genius who specialized her skill in artisan and ancient jewelry, which she later continued. She even creates special custom made pieces for other European designers such as Dolce and Gabanna. We looked at everything and to a point, it felt a bit overwhelming. I was just so amazed at how long it takes to construct some of the pieces we admired. Sometimes, it may even take up to several months just to make one piece. The level of detailing is so impeccable that it takes so much time, dedication and energy. Sometimes when we see an item and think it is overpriced or expensive, we don’t often realize the level of work and effort that actually goes into creating each piece. We are so accustomed to everything being fast and easily accessible that we tend to forget that, luckily, there are still things that are made with such love and care that take time to produce. I will never look at one of a kind jewelry the same way again. Think of all the royalty that wore custom-made fabulous jewelry. Imagine how long that took to design and create. I am not a designer, so I began to feel flustered and pressured. I didn’t know what I wanted, less to pick, choose and design. I had anxiety. The jewelry was amazing, but the process of buying custom-made jewelry was nuts. “Marilyn we have to go, Get us a hot uber and we are out.” The thought of it all was just too much. We hopped into our Uber and went straight to dinner.

By this time it was now 7:00pm. Siesta is over and everyone comes out of the woodworks by 8:00 PM. We arrive to the pizzeria at 7:00 PM and it is dead. Crickets, not even a sound. To my luck, even the waiters are gorgeous. I am starting to think it’s a qualification to be Milanese; Must be beautiful to live in Milan. Just kidding, but I’m not. At 8:00 pm a flood of people swarmed the place. I was so intrigued. I ordered the BEST pizza I have ever tasted to this day, Sardinian pizza, that’s where my family is from. Made with artichoke cream, sun-dried tomato, pesto, and fresh parmesan cheese. Mmm bellissimo! The day is finally over. Time to sleep but I can’t sleep. I’m too happy to sleep… Day 3..

- Logo purple

From NYC to Malpensa, we boarded a 10-hour flight that would forever change my life. Europe, I was so ready for you. To my surprise, Italy and Rome are the only cities in Italy that allow Uber with the exclusive use of Uber X. This probably explains why every time I requested a ride, a gorgeous fine-looking man would pick me up. Think George Clooney meets Alessio Boni, fully dressed in 90’s style driving Italian Luxury wheels. Oh ragazzo, was I in for a treat!

Sleepless and exhausted, Marilyn and I went straight from the airport to our little picturesque Airbnb apartment situated right in the heart of the Milan Fashion District. Funny story; the apartment was on the sixth floor with no elevator. Just six flights of stairs. Now, can you picture me carrying up 14 days’ worth of outfits? And let me tell you, I do not pack light. I was so eager and ready to dive into my European adventure that I may just have lost a bit of my glamour. I quickly changed and got ready. No makeup. No glam. Just me, myself, a pair of sneakers and my longing desire to explore.

I could not contain the amount of excitement and adrenaline in my body. There was absolutely no time to waste. We had 7 days to work and I wanted to make sure we made the best out of them.

Absolutely everything I saw and everything I experienced was bigger and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I was amazed by all the buildings that surrounded me. The architecture was quintessential - ancient yet very elegant. There were many trees with no leaves and fern absolutely everywhere. The weather was perfect to say the least. Crisp and cool. Not humid, not hot. It was 8:00 AM and nothing was open for business. I was ready to indulge in an Italian breakfast but I would have to wait as I came to learn that all businesses open at 10:00 AM. Scusa?

2 hours later and a hole in my stomach, I walked into a small café and put my amateur Italian skills to the test! I desperately needed my daily dose of caffeine so I tried to order a regular coffee. “Un café per favore,” I said to the old gentleman behind the counter. I guess he did not understand me as he responded with a fairly puzzled look and said “Que cosa”?? An espresso?” I said no. I actually hate espresso. I wanted a regular coffee. “Americano?” he asked. Si, Si. I responded. My first interaction with a local and even with a language barrier the whole experience was total bliss.

Hands down, this was the best mini americano I have ever had in my entire life. I am not even joking. I will never forget the rich taste of Italian coffee in my tastebuds. No need for cream, less for sugar. It was perfect just as is. 1 Euro and a couple of minutes later we were ready to go. Off to the first market!

Design and Style Out of This World We got picked up in a black Mercedes by Manuel, another hot Uber driver. I was totally digging this. Mipel was the first market we went to. Words can not fully describe this experience. I was completely speechless. The market was the size of Disneyland, only better. Now, Milan is part of the “Big Five” in the fashion industry, meaning it is one of the top 5 most influential capitals of the fashion industry. In an instant, you see all sorts of people walking effortlessly chic without even trying. It seemed like it was a requisite to go around life looking chic and dressing fabulously from head to toes. Later, I came to find this was the “Milanese” way of life, and I was fitting right in.

Imagine this, different generations of designers, sewers, sketching artists, pattern-makers, and artists, who were far advanced in the skill. It completely blew my mind. All in an outdoor venue where you had to go within each specific section to discover something new, just like Disneyland. There were hundreds of booths. So many I just didn’t know where to begin. I could feel the adrenaline rushing through my veins and the Americano starting to kick in. First stop, shoes!

The thing that strikes me the most about shoes, is that they are so far ahead in style. Almost futuristic. So much different than everything we see from designers in the US. The designs are original and innovative. Not to mention the lower prices, MAMMA MIA! Every shoe designer I met, every shoe I touched, every piece I tried on, I was completely fascinated by the innovative and different style I was experiencing. Nothing like American fashion I will tell you that. I was so lost in the midst of so many options from men’s and women’s, to the people and the vendors. I was loving every single second of it. As I walked down aisle per aisle, I questioned myself, why had no one been brave enough to travel outside the country and bring back a world full of treasures and unique merchandise. For sure, there was a missing piece from Italy to the US. Was this my calling?

As we explored Micam and other markets, I fell in love with skull Swarovski umbrellas, unique high-quality leather mini handbags, cowhide leather handbags, silk scarves, men’s jewelry, and women’s fashion jewelry. In other words, I loved it all. I felt an overwhelming sensation where I almost couldn’t breathe. It was all so overwhelming but in a good way. So much excitement for one day. How could this even be real?

Unfortunately, as we explored the Micam market, the jewelry vendors were beginning to pack up. It was their last day. I began to feel anxiety as I should have seen all of the jewelry before anything else. How could this slip by me? Had I known, I wish I would have started there instead of the other places. There was just so much to see and so little time. I took a moment to meditate. “Gesuina”, I said to myself. “It is only the first day - chill out! It’s not even the “White Show” and the impulsiveness of your Sagittarius is starting to come out. Pace yourself.”

Ok. Time for a new game plan. I would need to go through as many aisles as I possibly could and exchange cards with all of the vendors. After all, I still had 7 days to make appointments or touch base with them. I still had time to make it work. I was going to make this work.

I was physically exhausted from a 10-hour flight with absolutely no sleep and I had immediately jumped into the game. This was the opportunity of a lifetime, I simply could not let time pass me by. I had to bring my A-game. Mind over matter, Let’s go!

Day 2… to be continued!

- Logo purple

Living The World of Fashion Buying In The Fashion Markets

As you may already know, I possess a deep passion for fashion buying. I consider it more than a hobby. I see it as an opportunity to innovate and bring something different to El Paso and my beloved clients. Fashion Markets are huge trade shows that showcase emerging trends and styles of upcoming spring/fall collections each season. The U.S Fashion Market is hosted annually in notorious cities like Atlanta, Las Vegas, New York, and Dallas. I usually attend the markets in NYC, which is part of the “Big Five” fashion capitals in the world, and the Fashion Market in Dallas, as it allows me to be back in El Paso by the end of the day. The world of fashion buying is a world of its own. It’s exciting, inspiring and exhilarating, to say the least. For the past 11 years, I have attended the U.S Fashion Markets for just about every season. This year, however, my heart felt the need to try something different. So we spiced things up.

A Not So Merry Christmas

Every year around the holiday season, things usually move at a faster pace up as clients are actively shopping for glam party outfits and searching for unique gifts for their loved ones. To my surprise and disappointment, the Holiday Season of 2019 was quite different. Silence and solitude filled the walls of GAL. We were experiencing something we had luckily never experienced before, a major decrease in sales and traffic in what was supposed to be our busiest season yet.

If you know me, I could not sit still and let this go by. So I took charge, dug in, and decided it was time for a change. Little did I know that change would mean having to go overseas.

Fashion Market Take 1

Upon one of my trips to the Dallas Market, I was lucky enough to meet an interesting, powerful woman who would change my life forever. This woman had a unique showroom inhabited by amazing international brands and products. From jaw-dropping handbags made in Brazil and Italian headbands, to one of a kind jewelry made in Venezuela, you name it. This woman had it all. Every single piece I touched, every single piece I loved. (TIP: Whenever you come across a one of a kind piece that you won’t find anywhere else, make it yours. It is one of those things that you fall in love with and it eventually transcends into your life and your story.) This is also how I select pieces for GAL. I buy one of a kind pieces that make my heart skip a beat. Also, you won’t find them anywhere else ;)

As I shared my fashion obsessions and life values with this woman, she in return shared her story and her years of experience as a showroom owner specializing in unique and exclusive international brands. In addition, I ended up purchasing exclusive items from every single line in her showroom! And for the first time in a long time, I felt excited. A feeling that I had been missing without knowing.

The unique products I purchased from her completely sold out in less than two weeks. I was humbled by the amazing response the international products were receiving. My clients seem to love and responded well to the exclusivity and uniqueness of the products. And let me tell you, they were not something you could easily find online, which made them a total hit!

We chatted for hours. Among her valuable advice was to attend the “ White Show,” the one of a kind Milan Market, to explore and discover a new world in the fashion industry. To be completely honest, I don’t know why I had not thought about buying products abroad before. I guess I figured the only “way” was to buy from US vendors . However, this woman inspired me and opened a door with many new roads. I did my research, took a leap of faith, and before you knew it I was on a plane along with my assistant, Marilyn, to Milan for an unforgettable European Fashion Week! An adventure I will for sure never forget.

Last New York Fashion Week

Before traveling across the globe, I made a pit stop in NYC for Fashion Week. As usual, I made appointments with all the vendors I have closely worked with for the past five years. However, this time it was very different. I didn’t feel the thrill and excitement when exposed to the new merchandise as I usually do. I did not know why. What I did know for sure is that whatever I was experiencing at that moment, did not match up to the vision I had for the future of GAL. I had to make a change.

I then decided to drop five of the top-selling brands. Why may you ask? Because when you own five tracksuits you have them all. When you have 4 blouses in different prints and colors from the same brand and style you have it all. Been there. Done that. Why keep selling what is working as a stylist who is constantly looking to evolve and offer the next big thing to my clients? We need to evolve to new trends and not keep offering the same items and styles year after year only because it sells. As a stylist, boutique owner, and fashion aficionado, it is my duty and responsibility to find the best, up and coming exclusive trends and styles. I may have lost myself in offering commercial items, and along with it, lost inspiration and motivation. I experienced buying what was selling versus buying what I loved. I missed out on taking risks and innovating without fear.

It’s hard to take a step back and realize that you need change. My heart was screaming for me to stop and take a bold risk. “ Drop the lines and trust yourself,” I repeatedly told myself while holding on to a bit of doubt. I was not confident that I was taking a step forward in the right direction, but instead a few steps back. I had to believe and trust myself. Then I realized, if we can easily buy these items online, why do I even want to carry them? Why would I be like everyone else? What is it that makes GAL Fashion unique and makes it stand out from the crowd?

So I dropped the lines. I had awkward conversations with my vendors and decided it was time for a new era for GAL Fashion. There it was. The end of something great, and the beginning of a new era.

Next stop, Milan, Italy.

- Logo purple