In a life as long and as fruitful as mine has been, people and places continually flit across my memory and I re-read about them in my autobiography Fulfilment & Betrayal. I thought it might be worthwhile sharing some anecdotes, and here’s the first.
Meanwhile, at my Regent Street office, a new light appeared in the form of Jess Collett, a young, attractive blonde who could have dazzled the socks off any red-blooded youthful male, let alone a man of my age. Her presence enlivened the atmosphere, and in her own words she sums up that time with a stylish cheekiness.
Getting Away with Murder by Jess Collett
When I walked into the marketing department of Mappin & Webb in 1995 as office skivvy, the only thing I knew about Naim was that he and my dad used the same hairdresser – and still do, what class! I was surrounded by nubile young ladies accredited with brains, looks and charm. The only man to be seen in the office, apart from Naim himself, was the postman!
I seemed to fall into position of youngest (who gets away with murder) with extreme ease, and was soon known affectionately as ‘Blondie’. On Naim’s bad days I hopped on to his knee to cheer him up, and on his good days I did the same. After a month, I was presented with a beautiful watch for my services. I might have left at this point, pawned the watch and got the money I needed for going to Mexico. But I didn’t. Instead I had the most exciting, amusing and of course instructive six months. I met some lovely people, posed in a very short pvc skirt, modelled thousands of pounds’ worth of jewellery and watches up my arm, sat at the wheel of a couple of Ferraris in Bond Street, drank fine champagne in Winston Churchill’s underground cabinet war rooms and stuffed a lot of envelopes. So, as my only experience of working in an office (I am now a milliner), I would say it was a very good advertisement.
Naim now says:
Ladies, if you are looking for a cool and elegant hat designed by the delectable Blondie, then address yourself to http://www.jesscollettmilliner.com – you will certainly be enthralled.