In Paris, almost everybody (especially if you are married with kids) gets invited to or throws dinner parties in their apartments on Saturday evenings. It’s customary to bring the hostess a gift (in addition to an excellent bottle of Saint Emilion or Champagne). Usually flowers or candles do the trick.
Last night, we attended a dinner party of American & English playgroup parents. The parents all had classic expat professions: lawyers, IT execs, diplomats. Then there was the couple who I’ll just call the Fords. Mr. Ford works in fashion.
Everyone wants to be friends with the Fords. The moms really, really do. The Fords must have a packed social calendar – with invitations here, there, and everywhere. Especially since word on the street is that Madame Ford gives the best hostess gifts ever! She takes things one step beyond the traditional gift of flowers and showers her hostesses in leather.
As in designer leather.
As in designer leather bags from Tod’s.
OK, so they are the low-end bags, but who cares? Better than rien, right?
Apparently Mrs. Ford’s second cousin’s wife’s brother’s boyfriend’s roomate’s sister is one of the designers (and friends with Gwyneth Paltrow who’s the new spokesperson for Tod’s) and her husband is a VP of one their biggest resellers in Europe. Looks like they have more connections than I do and a very deep discount on bags to be able to offer them to all the moms who invite them over for dinner!
The Fords just moved here 8 months ago and they have quickly become THE couple to have at your dinner parties and their kids are the most sought after for playdates. Their nanny is the best-accessorized nanny at school. She’s got a Tod’s chocolate brown leather custom-made diaper bag in addition to her seven other bags that she matches to her Tod’s shoes. One for everyday of the week!
Every cute little fashionista (and hip mom) on the streets of Paris carries a Gerard Darel bag, but you always know who’s had the Fords over for dinner on a Saturday night because at the Park Monceau on Monday afternoon you’ll see a mommy friend with a brand new Tod’s bag hanging on her stroller. Now that’s what I call a Dinner Party Return-On-Investment, n’est –ce pas?!!