The Icicle Meeting


One of the longest and most satisfying professional collaborations of my career was the one with Princess Yachts: for them, I furnished some of the most beautiful boats in the world and I set up prestigious events in the most exclusive Yacht Clubs, yet my most memorable alive is tied… to an icicle.

I explain you. I had finally managed to get the desired appointment with Dr. Gerli, President of Ginautica-Princess Italia, but just that day the air conditioning in my home laboratory had decided that it was not the case to work. That man had the reputation of being a very strict businessman, with an extremely formal attitude, attentive to every detail and extremely demanding: for details and extreme demands, no problem, I said to myself, after all, that’s how I do my job. I noticed immediately that he was very formal: while he handed me his business card, his tailored suit and his beautiful tie remained rigorously tied despite the fact that the heat of that afternoon had already created a climate that would have favored the cultivation of orchids. Despite this I found myself exclaiming: “Excuse me, but it’s very hot in here!”.

Impassive, Dr. Gerli introduced me to his companies with various specifications that I struggled to understand but that my salesman listened to with great interest. I imagined having to present my company too, but not being a business woman, I didn’t know the appropriate terms: in front of her great personality I felt a little embarrassed, to dissolve this moment, I presented her with two ice lollies on a saucer of silver, to ease the heat. He flatly refused: “I’ve never eaten a popsicle in my life and I don’t intend to today!”

Impassively despiting the heat, he took a quick tour of my workshop home, observing every detail, while I refreshed myself with those delicious pieces of ice… Despite my inexperience in the business world, and despite the popsicle. Dr. Gerli was struck by my handwriting, by my writings, by the works he had seen and by the atmosphere (increasingly warmer, by the way, but he continued to wear a suit and tie) of my creative refuge.

So it was that he proposed that I set up all the yachts in the marina and those on the land stand at the international fair in Genoa, where my company also exhibited. Faced with this unexpected proposal, the emotion increased my body temperature, already high, and without an air conditioner the meeting was seriously tiring. It was my secret dream to exhibit my collections on the boats! We were both elegant: he in a jacket and tie and I in a suit and high heels: not satisfied with the reaction I had gotten by offering him the ice lolly, I asked him to be able to take off my shoes. “My brain always thinks better when I’m barefoot,” I told him.

He smiled, so without shoes, but composed, I continued the conversation: “Locatelli, I would like to draw up a collaboration contract” and added in an ironic tone “but I don’t want to marry her, how could we do it?”. I promptly replied, “Dr. Gerli, I don’t even want to get engaged to you, I will work giving the best of my abilities, I will be inspired by Princess yachts, creating exclusive lines, and only if you are satisfied will you pay for my work, otherwise I won’t ask for a penny”. We parted with a handshake. Thanks to her trust, I had the opportunity to express myself artistically, designing refined and personalized environments for each individual yacht, a touch of originality and innovation that gave life to a new mood, signed by Giovanna Locatelli.

I worked hard also having to follow the preparation of my stand: due to the fatigue, I lost 5 kilos, I jumped from one catwalk to another, each yacht had its colour, its flower, its detail and all my love! I absorbed energy from everything around me: from beauty in all its forms, from the sea, from the sun, even from the smiles of the sailors. Unfortunately, the boat show was no longer what it used to be, I missed my dear director so much… Astrid Muckerman.

Communicating with the new managers was seriously difficult, Each time, I left their offices with a despondency that was all too evident to those who knew me well. Precisely in one of those moments of desolation, with my eyes still swollen with tears, I collided with Dr. Gerli, who was looking for me to convince me to definitively abandon my stand which was inadequate and move me to their Marina with my own personal office. As if that weren’t enough, he reappointed me as interior designer for all Princess yachts, added the furniture for the offices on land and in the marina, events, flowers and gifts and much more! His words were oxygen for my creativity at that time a honor and a great success! Soon i created a fashion collection, and a defilèe in villa Spinola, called SIMPLY BLUE IN THE DEEP STRICTNESS OF THE NAVY: 10 evening dresses in blue silk, weared by models who crossed the spaces of the villa, strictly barefoot. It was a real honor, and a great success.

I also followed their events in Cannes and Montecarlo, but the presence of Doctor Gerli, with whom I had the privilege of establishing a relationship of trust, mentor excellent and still a dear friend, He was able to recognize and enhance my talent with the drafting of writings that tell of my person.
These writings constitute and remain the highest compensation I have received.
The story with Princess, which now continues in Montecarlo, was born from that very hot afternoon on Lake Como, the first of many wonderful days of work together, full of mutual satisfaction during which, day after day, even that businessman began to melt, as you can see from the photo illustrating this story. And all for an icicle.