Daniele and Ed Pollitz think today's woman needs a good bargain on more than things labeled Kraft, Pillsbury and Swanson.
They think she also needs a good bargain on things labeled Dior, Givenchy and St. Laurent. Their Daniele Fashiontours, Ltd., could become to haute couture . . . well, almost . . . what double-coupon days are to the supermarket.
The Pollitzes are a well-connected and well-heeled New York couple who have teamed up for what they're sure is a well-considered venture. They realized that with more women taking better jobs, more women need better clothes. The more these women work, the less time they have to shop. And if they're in the market for Paris fashion--and spend considerable sums on what they wear anywhere--they could get a better deal abroad.
The Pollitzes' reasoning goes like this: A woman takes $5,000 to New York and returns home with $5,000 worth of designer clothes. Instead, she could invest half of that $5,000 in an eight-day Fashiontour, take the other half to Paris and return home with the same $5,000 worth of designer clothes--and, in effect, get the trip, the personal assistance and assorted extras for free.
"You don't have to be rich to go on a Daniele Fashiontour," claims Ed Pollitz. "You just have to want to look good and have a good time."
The trip, however, is luxurious, he concedes. "It's designed to be luxurious. But it is within the reach of most middle-class women."
While there is a possibility of a maiden voyage in late spring, the first tour is set for Saturday, Oct. 1 through Oct. 8. The group, limited to 24, will fly nonstop from New York to Paris on Air France, and stay at the plush Hotel Meurice. The week's activities include fashion shows, seminars and daily shopping expeditions, assisted by Paris-born Daniele and two other bilingual guides.
Among designer boutiques to be visited: Dior, Lanvin, Herme s, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Nina Ricci and Tan Giudicelli. There also will be visits to the shops of such avant-garde designers as Sonia Rykiel, Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler, and a stop at Au Printemps, the French department store. Each guest will be treated to a shampoo, cut and set at the salon of stylist Claude Maxime Mondial and to a Bourjois makeup session.
Cost of the tour is just under $2,400, which includes--in addition to the above--airfare, scheduled ground transportation, hotel accommodations, entrance fees, daily continental breakfast, three group lunches and one group dinner. Participants should, however, count on spending at least a few hundred dollars more, on such things as extra meals, sightseeing trips, tips and gifts--plus whatever figure they allot to clothing and accessories.
"What we have here," says Pollitz, "is an opportunity for women who are upwardly mobile and who are fashion-conscious to be personally outfitted by someone with taste and fashion expertise.
"There have been people who do personal shopping, who bring ladies from Amarillo, Tex., to Chicago to show them the big stores. But the concept of individual design is not something we've seen before, certainly on an international basis."
Daniele Pollitz, 39, who visits France frequently, has worked as a personal shopper for two New York department stores and often serves as a consultant among friends. She has, in her husband's words, "not inconsiderable connections in the Paris fashion world."
Ed Pollitz, 45, describes himself as "a 240-pound man with a mean face." His primary career has been in investment banking and corporate management, but he is perhaps better known as the author of the best-selling The Forty-First Thief and The Scorpion's Sting. He also has written several detective novels under the pseudonym Nick Christian.
The couple lives in an elegantly appointed six-story town house in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan. They spend Julys in Deauville, Augusts in St. Tropez and several more summer weeks traveling in Europe.
The idea for the Fashiontours was Daniele's. "I was doing my shopping in Paris and my husband was suffering through it." If she could advise her friends on fashion, she could do the same for other people, she decided, so that other husbands "won't have to suffer like mine did."
"Some people may ask," she predicts, " 'Why is she doing this? She doesn't have to.' Well, I'm doing it because I like it, and because I think every woman should get involved in a business venture."
"She's my best friend," says Ed. "I'm doing this because it's something we can do together and because, if it works out, it's something we can share for the rest of our lives."
Eventually they hope to schedule flights from such cities as Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit and Houston. And they also may add such destinations as Rome, London, Florence, Milan.
"You have to think of these tours," insists Daniele, "as a way of having a good time while getting an education about yourself. Just think of that word 'education.' It makes you feel less guilty."For more information: Daniele Fashiontours, 136 E. 38th St., New York 10016, 212-686-5718.