Catching Up and Looking Ahead.

Dear Tango Lover

It’s hard to imagine that seven months ago, we were ready to start the new year with dancing plans and resolutions!

Here I was in January, fully booked, ready to bring Collections to two US Tango Championships, four US festivals and a fabulous tour abroad.  I was immensely excited to introduce our brand, greet clients, meet new faces, dance into the dawn…

Just a few weeks earlier, we had shot our Winter Collection featuring Tango dancers Romina Rodriguez-Crosta and Oscar Mansilla from Buenos Aires and beautiful Sandra Martinez who is the staple model of our photo shoots. Things were groovy!

Then everything changed with the new arrival of COVID19.

Lighting A Fire in the Dark

The impact on our dance industry became clear once our organizers made the painful decision to postpone or cancel their events.  It was mid-February; We had just gotten back from the fabulous Queen City Tango Marathon and had over 300 dresses ready for SCTC and ATUSA Tango Championships.  Yet, things got worse by the end of March and Los Angeles mandated shutdowns.  As a result, orders were halted, as we closed shop for a week.  At the same time, City officials recommended the use of face masks and since we were one of the few manufacturers who had available supplies, we dived headfirst into mass production.

We did this for two months straight.

It was by far the most stressful time I’ve ever experienced in 30 years of apparel manufacturing. I’m grateful to have been part of an amazing group of crafters that helped produce something so desperately needed in a time of chaos and panic.

Our dance industry struggles to survive by inspiring social dancers to stay connected thru online workshops, virtual Milongas, Festivals and even Championships all over the world.  This is so inspiring to watch!  It’s even more inspiring how our Tango community has extended a hand by donating to dance studios, instructors and organizers who have reached out with fundraisers to keep them financially afloat.

Meanwhile, as a clothing vendor, I have my own struggles to combat.   We weren’t able to recover the costs of travel, some of the vendor fees and of course all the inventoried dresses that we had worked so hard to complete. The impact of event closures caused direct losses which we’ll never recover from fully.  While my vendor gigs came to a halt, online sales business dropped 80% within a week and my “Locals By Appt” sales dropped off completely since our Studio had to close due to shutdowns.  As of yet, I’m sad there won’t be plans to re-open the Studio to client appointments for the remainder of the year.

Creativity is Born of Chaos

Because I’m in the business to make dancers happy, I went back to the drawing board and re-designed our Fall Collections to include different and unique options for the dancer at home or in the studio.  So, in the next few weeks, I’ll be debuting our new game changers that are meant to inspire and fuel up our Tango spirit.  You’ll love this!

Our current collections will continue to be available while they last and our popular Mid-Year Summer Sale will go on as planned and a few Secret Sales are in the works.

I’ll anxiously wait for the joy of dancing again in a close embrace, smiling and laughing with friends, sharing a bottle of wine, good music and conversation – This is what makes Social Dancing an amazing experience to many of us.  Stay healthy, stay safe.

Keep dancing!

Fioretta Mino
Designer / Founder
Tango With Love Apparel

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