My call to room service at the New York Times International Luxury Conference


The New York Times International Luxury Conference will be held for the first time in the United States December 1-3. Join Deborah Needleman, Editor in Chief, T Magazine, and Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Director, The New York Times, to explore how the fields of art, fashion and technology can be utilized and maximized to enhance the unique value of luxury companies and products.

Hello, this is Mr. Malley in room 1304. Well, not so good actually. That’s why I’m calling. What? No, I will not hol–

(luxury hold music)

Yes, I’m still here, just barely. Why, I’ve never been so—Sorry, what did you say? That was Miss Furstenberg? She had a poodle emergency? Well, then I suppose it’s all right.

Yes, the reason I’m calling, let’s do get to that. Yes, well, I had a frightful night, and with today being the first day of the conferénce—Hmm, excuse me? The conferénce! The conferénce! Well, sorry, I use the French pronunciation. You should get used to that. Conferénce. It is the more luxurious pronunciation, after all.

So, as I was saying, I had a frightful night, and with today being the first day of the… of the festivities, I’m afraid I’ll just look like hell in front of Ms. Needlemen, Ms. Friendman, Ms. Furstenburg, and all the rest of the luxury-istas.

Well, certainly I will tell you why I had a frightful night. Are we on a time limit here? Because I thought one of the perquisites of luxury is that I get to take as long as I damn well please to dress down those in service to me. What’s that? Apology accepted.

Now, as I was saying, it came time for me to retire last night and what should I find on my pillow? No, don’t try to answer. It’s a rhetorical question. What I should happen to find on my pillow is a Perugina chocolate truffle.

What’s that? Why, no, as a matter of fact, there wasn’t a problem with the Perugina chocolate truffle. No, you see the Perugina chocolate truffle was the problem.

Because unless I’m hallucinating—and that’s a distinct possibility after the nine hours of poor quality sleep I got—this is a luxury conferénce. And, I’m sorry, but this is 2014, and in this day and age, Perugina can’t be seen as anything but entry-level luxury. I expected and feel like I am paying mid-grade luxury prices and should receive that level of consideration at the very least.

Well, since you asked, I should think a local artisanal brand comprised of a minimum of 70% pure Eritrean cacao would be the minimum barrier to entry when it comes to the chocolate left on my pillow.

Very well. Now, about the pillow the chocolate truffle was resting upon. Excuse me if I’m wrong, but I distinctly remember reading on the hotel website that I would be sleeping on 1200 thread count bed linens. Was I wrong about that? No, I didn’t think so.

Well, let me tell you my good man… What? Sorry, my good woman, let me tell you that try as I might I could not count higher than 950 threads. That’s 250 threads shy! What? Yes, I did count it more than once. Several times as a matter of fact.

What? No, no, no, do not put me on hold agai—

(luxury hold music, line disconnects)