Sam’s job at Amsale is manyfold. She is officially the Operations Manager, but that title encompasses many things which are not traditionally a part of operations. She is a pinch hitter for bridal appointments on busy days or when there are unexpected walk-ins, and is fitting manager and merchandise manager as well. I have a particular appreciation for her other role–as drinks coordinator for the Amsale Girls, as her taste in the finer things is unparalleled. She always seems to know where the best happy hour is to be had, and who has the best wine selection. With an uncanny knack for finding deals and always having a coupon on hand to take advantage of those deals, Sam is a mixed bag of extravagance and practicality. She is often the voice of reason when things get stirred up at the salon, and is the steadfast Sancho Panza to Debbye’s whimsical Don Quixote. When Debbye volunteers Kori to work at 39th Street for market on an especially busy weekend at the salon, guess who is the one that picks up the slack? Debbye herself gets to leave the salon that weekend and watch the shows as a “buyer” of the new collection. Sam will have to be the concierge that weekend and deal with whatever else comes up. There is no other backup.

Luckily there’s a lot of love between them, and Debbye will always be forgiven for putting more on Sam’s capable shoulders. Hopefully Debbye knows what she has in Sam, and while she is off getting the glory, she is thanking Sam for taking care of the guts of the business. A “thank you” is always appreciated…


As the concierge of a high end salon in NY, Kori gets many requests/demands for water. We want nothing more than to give stellar service, but as we all know, there are times when the way it’s asked for makes us cringe. Kori took a step down from where she was sitting pretty in her previous career so that she could get her foot in the door to her new career in bridal. Nowhere is this point driven home more than when she is made to “fetch” water for clients. Not as bad as being an intern, but–you get the point. She really is more than a receptionist…. She’s about to make a much bigger mark on the company this week, though. Thanks to Debbye, Kori’s services have been volunteered to Amsale and the design team to help them get the new collection ready for Bridal Market. This opportunity would definitely fall into the double-edged sword category. It offers Kori the chance to get face time with Amsale and make a name for herself within the company, but the close proximity also makes it easier for the powers-that-be to notice when you screw-up…

It’s a way to move up, but it’s a trial by fire.

As she embarked upon her worthy campaign, Kori was given some advice: Don’t offer too much commentary.

Panties, She Said

Among the first things that Kori gets to witness are the model castings for the runway show. It’s very important to Amsale and most other designers that the model exude the right spirit for the garment she is wearing, and that she show it off to optimal effect. It’s an interesting lesson watching the castings because it’s so much more than just making sure a dress fits and that the model be able to walk in it. Some dresses simply work better with certain faces than others, and some models know how to “sell it” more than others.

Kori was in awe when she got the equivalent of a backstage pass to the show. She could barely contain herself with her softly uttered oohs and ahs. All was well as Amsale and Debi Jones, her right hand designer, concentrated on finding the models that would breathe life into their inspirations… until the P-word came up.

At some point, one of the models was walking in a gown that was inadvertently much too sheer…Sheer enough to completely see the model’s underwear. Once Kori got on that track she kept whispering about it to the design intern until she realized that Amsale overheard her. And then the room became eerily silent. Kori immediately went into turtle mode, shrinking inward and clamping her mouth shut as if to stop the word panties from leaking out again. More silence. Relief finally came when Amsale looked closely at the model and noticed the same thing. Once Amsale herself said it, everyone relaxed and talked about how they noticed it as well. It’s good to be queen, I guess. And methinks Kori learned how to rein in the comments.