The man in the chocolate suit

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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Some travel retail executives really live their job. But not many actually wear it.

A notable exception is David Spillane, ebullient Irishman, confectionery specialist and part-time rock ‘n roller in the industry’s Billy Norman Band. David runs GTR Sales and arrived in Delhi this week to attend the Incredible India conference and to moderate a session on his specialist subject – confectionery not rock and roll.

Alas while David arrived in Delhi out of Dublin via London his bags, courtesy of BA’s wonderful transfer system at Heathrow Airport, did not.

With the conference only being two days in duration and Delhi a long way from Dublin, there was only one thing for it – a visit to an Indian suit shop. Now India is rightly famed for the quality of its textiles and its tailors. David must have discovered the only suit store run by a foreigner…

What a suit it was. Despite sweltering high 30s temperatures David arrived at the conference wearing an appropriately chocolate-coloured number made out of the sort of material normally reserved for wire brushes or ceiling insulation. Roughly the weight of a suit of armour it had other delegates sweating just looking at it.

And the colour….

This was dark bitter chocolate with a tonne or two of extra cocoa added into the mix. Not only that but this latent sartorial legend even chose a matching tie – not the fibre, which was high-class polyester, but the pattern which resembled a tray of white and dark chocolates in a subtle pick ‘n mix sort of manner.

But there’s more to this beguiling tale of our fashion aficionado. At the outdoor Bollywood theme party on the middle night of the conference David revealed that he had bought not just one but two new suits. And while other delegates mingled in their polo shirts and cotton dresses (only the women), the man from the Emerald Isles duly turned up in his other one – a delicate gothic purple black suit that had the sort of textural consistency usually associated with a ten-year old pub carpet.

Having lost an estimated 30 pounds in weight during the evening, David returned to his beloved chocolate choice the next day, while doing an outstanding job of moderating his conference session. Well perhaps we better find a new word for ‘moderating’ – it may not exsit in the Spillane vocabulary, let alone his wardrobe.

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