Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

This past Friday (10/23) I went to an open call for designers at NYC's legendary Henri Bendel. It was quite an experience to say the least.

The open call was scheduled to open at 9 am, but based on the photos that I saw on the Henri Bendel website, I thought it best to get there early:

This photo was taken at a previous open call, not the one I attended, but I can attest that the line was VERY LONG. The line started on 55th St. in the middle of the block between 5th and 6th aves., wrapped all the way around on 5th, and went around the corner onto 56th and ultimately went in the employee entrance in the middle of the block on 56th.

Yes, it could have been worse. It could have been raining or snowing or been kiln-like in temperature. Friday's temperature was cool but when the wind kicked up, and boy did it, the temperature really took a nose dive!

We were all cold but all were troopers. I and the rest around me waited 3.5 or MORE hours to get our chance to meet with the buyers of Henri Bendel.

My experience with one of HB's buyers took around 2 minutes. I started off by showing my barbed wire jewelry. She (the buyer) held my High Voltage Earrings and contemplated them briefly, asking me what they were made of and what the retail price of them was. She said that my items were too edgy for Henri Bendel. Next.

I knew when I set out to go on this open call that it was a long shot at best. I went because you never know what will happen. While my jewelry did not fit with Henri Bendel's aesthetic, I was inspired by the tenacity of the people around me, all with hope in their hearts and their products ready to show. I met many nice tourists who all seemed to gravitate towards me to ask why we were all standing on this very long line. I gave out a lot of business cards to those around me. I got to see the inner sanctum. I set out to do something and I did it.