I recently met a man while I was sitting at the airport waiting to board my flight. I had arrived only forty-minutes in advance, so I decided to bypass the airport lounge and head straight to my gate. During which time, I encountered Ludwig, a German Native, on a quest throughout the US to scale his button distribution business. In his early-50s, Ludwig was a well-dressed man with small round tortoise glasses by Persol, a three-piece maroon suit by Ralph Lauren Purple Label, a vintage Calatrava by Patek Philippe and dressed particularly well or I probably would not have given him the time of day. The first thing that came to mind when he introduced himself was that he shared the same first name with Ludwig Beethoven, so I knew that if he was anything like the emotional composer, I was in for an interesting conversation. I started poking around the bushes of the intriguing mans life in an attempt to get a read on his character and I found him entirely entertaining. The German town in which Ludwig was from was nice and quaint, a true posh community redolent of writers and haberdashers. Ludwig was a traveling business owner that sells hand-crafted buttons to luxury fashion brands; the kind of buttons you would generally find on a mans waistcoat by Brioni or Kiton. The town that he is from managed to grow with style without losing its family-owned affairs and Ludwig explained how he came to the US to find more potential clients to expand their operations.
Ludwig is tantamount to royalty in his town, being one of the oldest family businesses having been around for the past sixty or so years. Perhaps the most interesting thing that rumbled out of his mouth was the time that he took acid. I'm not entirely sure how we got to this topic; maybe it was him commenting on my Pucci dress that reminded him of his girlfriend in the 70s that he was "mad for carrots" for or maybe it was him over-hearing a brief phone conversation about Burning Man that I was having with my friend Bobo. Either way, he had explained to me that before the moment in which he had consumed acid, he had been searching for an experience that would open his eyes and show him the moon and apparently this was it. He had grown up in the family business, making and selling buttons, and had felt that his life was flat. Growing up in the family business means that there is a past to honor and traditions to carry on and when your families business was started when Germany was in turmoil, you definitely wanted to make your family proud. He went on and on for the next six or so minutes and concluded our conversation with, "Dear girl, I do hope that you take my story and follow your happiness wherever it takes you, even if it's on an acid trip". Ludwig then boarded the airplane and disappeared in the crowd of airplane madness, never to be seen again.
What a totally bonkers thing to say to a stranger. I stood there a bit confused, a bit excited and a bit happier. I couldn't entirely comprehend what inspired him to tell me such detail about his life, as I was a complete stranger. I had pondered for a moment whether it was true and he really did sell buttons and his name was really Ludwig and he really did take acid that then had such a transformational and profound experience on his life or whether or not he was one of those people that travels and tells strangers a completely fabricated and invented story, because they can. Either way, I didn't care. Ludwig was fantastic and I left thinking I had just experienced one of the most random encounters of my life. When I went back to the airport a few days later, I couldn't help but secretly hope that I would run into my odd friend again.
Coco wears a Etro Acid Trip Top, Vintage Airplane Skirt, Miu Miu Sneakers, and my Celine Bag.