When I saw Rita Moreno and her daughter Fernanda, walking the Red Carpet at the 2021 Oscar ceremony it reminded me last year when they walked Recycled Carpet at Mannequin Madness in 2020.

Mother-daughter splendor: Rita Moreno looked spectacular on Sunday evening, when she attended the 93rd Academy Awards with her daughter Fernando Luisa Gordon

Both of them came to our warehouse because Rita had seen a decoupaged mannequin I was selling on Etsy that at a member of my design team, Kyana Holzman, that I was selling on Etsy. When she found out that we were local (she lives in Berkeley, we are in Oakland) she wanted to come and pick up the mannequin in person.

Now we have had all kinds of creative people come to our warehouse or make an online purchase. But never an EGOT winner (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). Given the Rita could have easily sent someone over to pick up the mannequin or asked that we ship it I was blown away that she wanted to come in person. She wanted to meet the artist who designed it.

Bear in mind, this was July 2020 when we were in the midst of COVID19. The fact that she wanted to come in person to meet the artist was extra special given the potential health risks. But needless to say, Rita is a “just a girl who decided to go for it” (the title of the documentary about her life) so she is a risk taker.

When she arrived we (my staff) Rita and her daughter were are all bundled up under protective gear. In fact I didn’t even recognize her when she came in since all I could see were her eyes. That is why I didn’t take a photo of her in our actual warehouse although I desperately wanted to. Rita, promised to take a photo of her mannequin once she got it home. And true to her word she did.

Speaking of home, I could see why Rita was attracted to the decoupage mannequin as a feature on abode in People magazine showcased her eclectic tastes and love of texture.

Anyway when Rita and Fernanda arrived at our warehouse they didn’t just pick up the mannequin and go. They took the time to tour the warehouse, engage in conversation and were genuinely interested in all the creative projects we have here. So nice to be appreciated by other artists.

They had arrived a littler earlier than expected and Kyana the designer on my team who created the decoupage mannequin wasn’t here yet but was on her way. Rita said she would sit down and wait because she wanted to meet Kyana and thank her personally. What a kind and gracious thing to do! No DIVA attitude. As I said, she is as kind and gracious as she is talented.

I downloaded Rita’s autobiography on Audible and I have even more admiration for her, because of WHO she is, not just her endless talent. But can you believe she is in her 80’s and still getting roles on tv?? And she is a small role in the upcoming West Side story remake.

I don’t know what the point is of remaking such a classic like West Side story, since they are not doing any modern updates (outside of casting more people of Latin descent in key roles). But I might go see it just because I love Rita Moreno so much.


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Alfredo Mathew
4 months ago

Beautifully written and what an incredible experience for artists to be supported by other artists.

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