When I worked in the fashion industry back in Montreal, one of my favourite models to work with was a young, beautiful, tall blonde from Czechoslovakia. Before moving to Canada, in 1975, she was an extremely talented skier. So good, in fact, she was selected as an alternate on the 1972 Czech Olympic Ski Team.
In all honesty, she was every designer’s favourite model. She was beautiful, everything looked fabulous on her, she had a great personality on and off the runway, she was very bright and extremely professional. She was always on time, always prepared, always at her best. If she partied, and I have no idea whether or not she did, she didn’t the night before a job, that’s for damn sure. That was very evident.
Her name, when I first met her, was Ivana Winklmayr. The name you would know her by, though, is Ivana Trump.
Yes, I worked with The Donald’s first wife. Very, very often, too. I even met him.
Back then he was a lovely guy. Also tall, very lean, natural dirty blonde hair. A headful, by the way. So the comb over was not even a figment of our imaginations. We never saw that coming.
They made a gorgeous couple, and seemed to be truly in love. But who knows? Ivana had married her first husband so she could get a foreign passport, which meant that Communist leaders wouldn’t consider her a defector, when she left the country. So I suppose it’s fair to assume that the fact that, even in those early days, Donald was a wealthy young man didn’t hurt. But, like I said, they did seem to be besotted with each other.
Everyone liked him. He was laid back, charming, well-spoken, quiet, respectful, solicitous. He had impeccable manners. He insisted that, even though Ivana was living in New York, she maintain all her friendships with the models she worked with in Montreal. Which she did. They visited the two of them in New York often; and were always welcomed in the various Trump residences.
When Leo Chevalier, the fashion designer I worked with, launched his fur collection in New York, Ivana and Donald were in attendance. He wanted to meet everyone, was extremely complimentary about the show and the collection, and they stayed for the post-show reception. In fact, they stayed almost to the bitter end. He couldn’t have been nicer, more likeable, more sincere or more charming. He was, in a word, a total mensch.
So what the hell happened?
When did Donald Trump become the boastful buffoon he now is? The blowhard. The egomaniac. The rude, obnoxious man, whose often insane and irrational behaviour has turned him into a joke. And more to the point, why? Why’d he think he needed to change?
I cringe when I see him. No, not because of the hair. It’s bizarre, but who cares. I cringe, because of the absolute nonsense that comes out of the man’s mouth. And the sense of entitlement he has. Like his latest ploy, for instance. Offering $5 million if President Obama releases his college and passport records. When is he going to let this paranoid craziness about the President’s heritage go, for God sake? I cringe when I think of what his children must think of him. Aren’t they embarrassed? I mean, really.
We need to stop listening to him. The media have to stop giving him a platform. No more interviews. No more guest appearances on TV shows. If he won’t silence himself, then we have to do it. Please.
Sometimes I wonder if he even remembers The Donald he used to be. The nice guy everybody liked, trusted and respected. And still managed to make a fortune. I wonder if he’s still in there, somewhere.
Donald, Donald, come out, come out, wherever you are ……….