I do not like to shop! ! I really do not like to shop! My Teenage Daughter loves to shop! My Teenage Daughter really loves to shop!
The first lines of my teenage Dr. Suess book called ‘Great Mother – Daughter Retail Dissonance’.
Last week the book’s theme slowly changed as my MN Teenager Daughter and I spent seven days bonding and shopping – it was an exciting adventure and a great learning experience. A week with no teenage friends, no texting and very little internet, thus very little Face Book and Instagram. I had proudly reclaimed my daughter from the cyber-world – this alone was exhilarating!
Sales in Italy brought out the crowds! The stores were packed. We were joined in our retail adventure by many Muslim women covered and with headdress.
As a mother-daughter team, we were curious to learn what these women looked like under their covers, interested to check out what they were buying and debating if they were happy with their ‘modest’-life style.
No matter our physical differences, these women also loved good sales!
MN Teenage Daughter realized early on that her shopping was not going to be about expensive designer brands. Even with the amazing sales – 50% off – designer bags and shoes were too expensive. She did try to win me over by telling me, “All my friends back home have Jeffrey Campbell high heeled shoes.” (retail $250) “A lot of the high school girls have these designer purses” ($1000) and “So n so has Miu Miu shoes.” ($500) At one point – half in jest – she shared that she was ready to marry an Arab prince for the title and apparently for the credit card.
Back down on planet earth, I reminded her that she did indeed have money from working that she could use, but interestingly when it came to spending her own money, she was not that interested in expensive designers.
She quickly discovered the art of fantasy shopping at Maria Luisa Via Roma in Florence. Before our travels, a friend told us that she went online to the Maria Luisa Via Roma website for Fantasy Retail Therapy: She could discover the most beautiful designer shoes, clothing and accessories, but never finalize the transaction. After our visit to the store in Florence, my teen quickly signed up for the same Fantasy Shopping Program! Walking through this store was like a trip through Fashion Land. I was so happy that I started snapping photos of the displays, until I was chastised by the mean salesgirl.
One night while riding our bikes in the small town of Lido Di Jesolo at 11pm, we passed a Brandy Melville Store and in an exciting panic, MN Teen nearly drove her bike into the store! I stood there clueless, but she explained (Duh!) that most of the fashion at Coachella originated at this store.
In Milano, MN Teen asked the hotel concierge where the SOHO district was; fifteen minutes later we strolled the dingy streets checking out the small trendy stores that were definitely in her price and style range. I appreciated her persistence and dedication to her art, but it was the graffiti art that I most enjoyed.
We even found decent shopping on the Lido Di Jesolo Beach!
In the end, there were three winners: Zara, while the fashion is probably the same in America, in Italy it is definitely more exciting and Americans do not have to pay sales tax! MN Teen, who left with great new clothes! Ninja Mom, who had an inspiring and delightful week with her daughter!
The Dr. Suess book would end with the following lines: We shopped til we dropped. We really shopped til we dropped! We love to shop. We really love to shop together!
Second Entry in Summer Travel Series.