Italy – The Low Down Adventure
Hello, Italia! But wait… why doesn’t every dude look like he belongs on the Italian World Cup Football team? Totally disappointed… I’m crushed. I crossed my fingers and toes that this sad discovery wasn’t a bad omen for our sourcing trip.
We chose Milan. Why Milan? Helloooooo… Inter Milan! Milan is about new-school aesthetics. It’s about high fashion – it’s slicked back and flossin’. People struttin’ the streets like they be workin’ the catwalk for Prada or Gucci. They know how to work it – I mean they WORK it!
But wait. Why doesn’t every stationary shop have aisles and aisles of notebooks made of thick cotton-rag sheets, with covers rockin’ patterns made of feathers, flowers, trumpets, and gold? I mean TONS of gold. Where are all the Missoni-ish notebooks? Why aren’t students blinged out with gold-leaf-dusted notebooks? Why?? All the fancy handmade Italian paper I spy all over the States… turns out it’s NOT a part of the Italian’s daily-diet office supplies.
What I DID discover? The current trend in notebooks is a glossy cover in one color – super simple. No fancy graphics or a D&G sized logo covering the front.
After hunting high and low, we scored – what a 60’s x 80’s love child would look like as a notebook. The bold and graphic patterns, the bright colors, the slick glossy cover that could pass for plastic… I knew they were perfect for our Italy Kit. I love how the notebooks are so 80’s yet you can totally see the 60’s Italian mod fashion influence.
Turned the corner and WHAM! Spied blue pens that matched the notebooks! And even better, learned that they’re an award-winning Italian design icon that EVERYONE in Italy uses. BOOM! Instant hi-fivin’. But still had one item to score. We needed a Mystery Item – and the shop owner hooked it up! He said he had an antique. Intrigued… we waited as he pulled drawer after drawer until he burst out with a yell and a clap. He pulled out a stash of vintage vinyl letter transfer sheets. LOVE ‘em. I pick them up whenever I can, but we’ve never found a big enough stash for a kit.
Milan threw us for a bit of a loop – but we knew that wow-in-yo-face moment would come (I mean, come on, the Milanese are so design and fashion conscious!). And we did! The Plastic Fantastic love we discovered in Milan? Get ready to WORK it.