Thursday, November 8, 2007

Is this just a symptom of social anxiety?



**IMPORTAND UPDATE** - I do believe this post received my first ever Best Comment Award, awarded to Forever Chic. Please click on the comments section to read her snarky and brilliant response, which features, among other beautiful things, deft use of my favorite phrase "Batshit Crazy."

This woman (center in photo) gets paid about $5k a month to tell people (mostly men) what to wear, where to get their hair cut, what gifts to give, where to live, and who they should become friends with.

Social director. Personal manager. Call it what you will.

I am oddly facinated by this. Very interesting. Also very, very weird.

One of the pleasures in my life is that I always totally think I know the best places and I like to discover new things on my own and I am just soooo (annoyingly, I am sure) certain of my big fat opinions that I can't imagine being the person who hires Julie the Cruise Director to fashion my life.

What does everyone think?



From the article:

On a warm autumn afternoon, Allison Storr was giving Brad Peik, a San Francisco real estate investor, a crash course on the Chelsea art world. “The gallery scene can be a little intimidating,” Ms. Storr said as she took him on a tour of galleries that was intended as a primer for cocktail party chatter, not collecting.

Later that night, Ms. Storr planned to give a dinner party at her downtown penthouse to introduce Mr. Peik, 39, and his girlfriend, Sarah Kehoe, to New Yorkers they might want to socialize with while they figure out whether to make the city a part-time home.

A week earlier, the couple had moved into a TriBeCa rental that Ms. Storr had found and temporarily furnished, filling it with flowers and groceries. She wrote up a city guide, a combination of her favorite spots and trendy places she thought they should know about, like the Waverly Inn.

“Allison is covering all the bases for me,” said Mr. Peik, who spends winters in Lake Tahoe in California and feels more comfortable navigating ski slopes than society. “I didn’t want to waste my short time here setting up an apartment and figuring out what we would do here.”

His girlfriend, a photographer, was grateful that she didn’t have to deal with the move. “If I had no job and nothing going on, it would seem reasonable for me to do these things,” said Ms. Kehoe, who was wearing a boho pink dress from Matta, a downtown boutique, that Ms. Storr’s staff stylist, ChloĆ© Garcia Ponce, had helped choose.

Looking for someone to curate your life? Need a personal concierge whose expertise is not picking up dry-cleaning but helping chose your wardrobe, your tastes, your friends? Ms. Storr calls herself a personal manager, but her duties go far beyond that. Her clients, all of them men, pay monthly fees of $4,000 to $10,000 to have her be their personal decider in nearly all things lifestyle-related.

Calling on assistants including a stylist and a caterer, Ms. Storr helps people figure out their tastes. If they are single, she enhances their social profile (though she insists she is not a matchmaker). She currently works with eight men, she says. (She has had only one female client, who needed help relocating after a divorce.)

Most of Ms. Storr’s clients are single and too preoccupied with work to organize their personal lives, she says. They are either moving to Manhattan or live in the city part-time and covet her contacts, which she uses to link them with interior designers, contractors, art dealers or potential social acquaintances....

11 comments:

Forever Chic said...

I love the NYT Style section because it teaches people like us about all these batshit insane cottage industries that don't exist anywhere but NYC. This one was a total doozy.

I think anyone with any emotional intelligence would never ever need a "manager" like this. So the article reveals that all these obscenely rich types are totally socially and emotionally stunted, and need a combination wife/mommy to make them appear to be a real, functioning human.

Personally, I prefer to buy my friends by giving them beer and baking them cookies. It works pretty well.

So, to respond to your title - no, it's not social anxiety. It's a combination of arrested emotional development and fucked-up priorities (i.e. working 1200 hours a week).

Anonymous said...

She's got that Anne Heche/lightbulb-turned-up-too-high look.

Habitually Chic said...

Christ! I do all of that for everyone I know for free! I think I may have to start charging from now on. No more free reservations to the Waverly Inn from me!

Richie Designs said...

Yah, I've totally been doing this job for years and not pulling in 5-10k a month, that is for sure.

I need to explore making this a career.

SGM said...

It's a symptom of too much money. This is My Super Sweet Sixteen all grown up: "I want everything to be perfect! Everyone's going to be sooooo jealous!"

shelley said...

Ewe is all I can muster....and forever chic rocks with her comment!

fashiongirl said...

Forever Chic is a superstar commenter. Did you know that this thing has made it to chick lit already? It's called, "The Little Lady Agency" and is about a Brit girl who organizes the lives of pathetically sad (yet rich) young men. How do I get that job?!

Forever Chic said...

Oh, you guys flatter me.

Personally, I would never want this job. Because as other people have pointed out, these people are SAD - and socially retarded, and probably pretentious jerkoffs. Who would want such miserable clients?

Anonymous said...

His girlfriend needs to go, and that pink "boho" dress isn't helping any.

Me, Myself, & I said...

Heck, I need to start charging my friends & family.

Great site.

beachbungalow8 said...

oh no. please, don't tell me the world has come to this. people will pay for anything.