“Speaking and writing have always been hard for me,” she said as her colleagues looked on fondly and encouragingly, as if at a relative with an endearing quirk.
She apologized for the lunch that clearly needed no apology.
She does not look like a woman who is uninterested in her appearance. And she came to the interview protected, by two executives in her company: Hilary Old, the vice-president for communications, and Monica Rowe, the director of public relations.
A lunch of choice dishes—crab cakes, rice salad, a salad of winter squash and goat cheese—had been laid out on a long table.
Eileen (as I will call her, as one calls Hillary Hillary) presented herself as someone who is still trying to overcome an innate awkwardness and shyness and verbal tentativeness.
Over the years, the clothes have become less plain and more like the clothes in fashion.
Some of the older Eileen Fisher customers grouse about these changes.
“It was three weeks before the show, and I had no clothes. I ended up hiring someone to sew for me and make the first patterns.”“You drew the designs? ”“Yes, and I said to Gail, the woman who was making the patterns, it’s kind of like this, but the neck is more like that, and it’s a little longer, or it’s a little shorter, it’s a little wider, it’s got a long sleeve or a shorter sleeve or something like that. Gail sewed the clothes—there were four garments made of linen—and I took them to the boutique show and hung them up.