We felt like we knew a secret. Decoding DKNY. Donna Karan New York. She was one of the first designers displayed as you entered City Center in downtown Minneapolis. My mom and I thought it was like entering the magic kingdom. The greatest part was that we shared the key.
We spent most of our time in the designer sections. We couldn’t afford to buy it. We couldn’t afford to miss it. We tried on everything. And the matching shoes. It was never about having, it was about seeing. Experiencing. Adoring, not only the clothes, but this time together.
Yesterday, walking in Aix en provence, I was listening to a podcast. It was the designer that first helped Donna Karan launch her brand. They were both just starting out. Both New Yorkers, with all the love that entails. The designer listened as Karan expressed her love for New York, as they sat under the Brooklyn Bridge. It reminded him of the story of why he was in love with this city. As a young boy, his grandfather — a fishmonger — would bring him to this bridge in the middle of the night. They set up for the early morning sales. His grandfather gave him this bridge. Gave him this dream. With this beating inside of him, it was so natural, so easy for him to create the branding for Donna Karan. He included the image of the bridge. The words New York. And gave birth to both of their careers.
I imagine my mother, sitting in my grandfather’s pickup. Sweaty legs against the vinyl seat, at the last stoplight before turning into town. Waiting anxiously for him to put the truck into gear, place his foot on the gas, and take her across the “Brooklyn Bridge” of her heart and into the city of Alexandria.
He took her to Alex. She took me to Minneapolis. I eventually took her to New York. Love always leads us. Helps us cross over, to the beauty that lies ahead.
No dream left unspent.