The CoatCheck Tales

stories about stuff, but mostly fashion

Fashion is for chuckles


So I worked in the hospitality business for sometime as I was trying to settle in the fashion industry. I was a cater waiter for a catering company.

Sometimes I felt very frustrated for not being able to work full time in my field. Since I got to this country/New-York I’ve been freelancing in fashion and catering at the same time. Hard times I must say, because when you don’t have a secure job, you tend to take anything that comes and end up overworked and hopeless.

I can’t believe it’s over now. It seamed forever, but finally I’m on track. You just can’t stop trying if you wanna make it somehow.

What the hospitality business gave me is a worth of experience, fun and good friends. We worked all kinds of events: weddings, fund raisings, concerts, cocktail parties and even a sex party once! I don’t think anyone knew what was going on until the end of the party. We all left puzzled, a little bit giggly and with the need of a good shower.

A lot of people in the catering business is not a-professional-cater-waiter  by choice. Most of them are actors and artists of some sort. So there I was, a fashion designer waiting tables and offering canapès at a corporate NBC convention at the New York Public Library, at a hipster wedding in Brooklyn, in a Barmitzvah at Gotham Hall, a big wedding in the Hampton’s, a doctor’s convention in Connecticut, in a holiday party at a Themed Mansion on 5Th Avenue, ah! and once we worked on a mansion somewhere upstate New York next to a cemetery, that was a little eerie, it felt like an Eyes-Wide-Shot-movie party.

I didn’t hate the job but I dragged the hours. The only occasion in which I wasn’t very bored was when I had to work on the coatcheck room, it felt like a game, when you are a kid and play with the grown up’s clothes. And ironically, when I’d have small talk with co-workers and they’d ask: so what do you do? I’d reply: I work in fashion.

Haven’t you gotten it yet?  where my blog and clothing brand’s name come from? Voilà!

I worked once in a wedding blah blah blah and one of the guests was Ralph Lauren. Ironically again, I was assigned to his table, meaning: I was to serve them food, drinks, tidy up the table and so.

He seemed nice and polite.

Well-0-well… that was a long introduction for what’s coming.

This Ralph Lauren’s event happened a few years ago. I haven’t worked in catering for a while now, but I wanted to write this story and didn’t find the context until this morning at around 8:30am….

Now coffee break….

I love waking up early on weekends. It’s quiet, peaceful and I have the whole day ahead to relax. So I wake up and start looking on the web, once site leads to another and I find myself reading a story that was originally published at The Daily Lobotomy. It is the story of Mr. Ralph Lauren project to launch a senior-wear line. It is a hilarious piece and you should read it (below)


I don’t see what the big deal is,” said fashion mogul Ralph Lauren. “I’ve always designed with a certain customer in mind. Just because she’s incontinent and using a walker doesn’t mean she doesn’t appreciate fine craftsmanship.”

“Is that why you’ve stepped down as CEO?” asked This Reporter.

“Stepped down? Is that what those mumzers are saying?” said Lauren. “The board members lit my pants on fire and kicked me down the stairs just because I’m 108.”

“One hundred and eight? The papers say you’re eighty-six,” said This Reporter.

“Eighty? One hundred? I’m still breathing. I still have ideas. And these women who love me, they’re not going anywhere, except to Boca or Sarasota. They can’t run around naked. Someone’s got to dress them. Why not me?” said Lauren.

“Will your wife Rickey be part of your design team, Mr. Lauren?” asked This Reporter.

“I guess I can say this now. Rickey was never really my wife. She was a concept created by my marketing department,” said Lauren. “Just like my name. Who’s going to buy a two-thousand-dollar dress from a guy with a Bronx accent named Lifshitz? So they concocted this to-the-manner-born, goyish family for me with the horses, dogs, and a blonde shiksa wife who has orgasms over hand-stitched Italian leather bags.”

“So, you aren’t married, Mr. Lauren?” asked This Reporter.

“Of course, I’m married. Sheila and I celebrated our 70th wedding anniversary at the Cheesecake Factory. But, please, enough with the Mr. Lauren. My real name is Ralph Lifshitz,” he said. “That name they can’t take from me.”

“What about those ads with you playing polo?” asked This Reporter.

“PhotoShop. Jews don’t ride horses. They buy them. They sell them. They bet on them. But that’s as far as it goes,” said Lauren.

“Getting back to your new line, better department stores don’t have a special section for senior women. How do you plan to convince them to carry your line?” asked This Reporter.

“The department stores can go screw themselves,” said Lauren. “They sided with the goniffs who threw me to the wolves. My new collection, Final Wishes, will only be available online and in nursing home gift shops.”

“Aren’t you concerned about limiting your collection to the geriatric set?” asked This Reporter.

“Limiting?” gasped Lauren. “The rich are living longer and they have all the money. I’m giving them class and security. All of my designs will have secret compartments to hide money from their caretakers and hidden video cameras in case their children try to make them change their will.”

“This sounds like a radical departure from the Ralph Lauren label,” said This Reporter. “Do you really think the market will support your concept?”

“I know it will,” said Lauren, breaking open an amyl nitrate vial. “I’ve already got licensing deals for monogrammed plastic sheets, a fringed leather walker with authentic Navaho beading and a perfume called Lifshitz that smells like freshly minted money.”

“You’ve always been a trail blazer. Do you anticipate any of your competitors coming out with their own senior women line?” asked This Reporter.

“I’m flattered by their desperate attempts to imitate my genius,” said Lauren. “Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Birch, Burberry have been chasing my tail for decades and they’ll never catch up because they don’t understand my secret.”

“What is that?”

“I don’t design a damn thing. I’m a knock-off artist. I copy clothes worn at anti-Semite golf clubs, polo matches and fox hunts. It’s a world I could never enter. Now those sonovabitches are putting my name on their tuchis. Gotta love it.”

The author is Stacia Friedman,  founding editor of 




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