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Perhaps no other industry is more obsessed with the future than fashion. Designers and brands predict style trends six months in advance, but when it comes to their personal fates, many industry insiders seek out tarot card reader Dante Sabatino.
“He’s unbelievably accurate,” says jewelry designer Mark Spirito, who has been seeing Sabatino for nearly 10 years. “He just comes out with things, I don’t even have to ask any questions.”
This story first appeared in the August 4, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Lincoln Moore, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of Saks Fifth Avenue, testifies to the Chelsea-based psychic’s ability to foresee future events. “He has you log the discussion, and it all comes true when you look back at it,” he says. “He does have a following in fashion just from being near the business for so many years.”
A Philadelphia native, Sabatino got his first taste of the industry working the register at Laura Ashley Home in Ardmore, Pa. He moved to New York in 1995 to manage the company’s Madison Avenue store, and did tarot readings on the side to supplement his income (he learned the skill from his mother, a piano teacher and astrologist). Sabatino later moved on to public relations firm Laforce & Stevens as an account manager. But still he moonlighted, doing readings for guests at a Save Venice gala and at interior decorator Thomas O’Brien’s 50th birthday party.
Sabatino, 40, left Laforce & Stevens in 2001, and while he still continues to do account management for several companies, his tarot card clientele has been growing, particularly among fashion folks at companies like Victoria’s Secret and Nicole Miller.
Sabatino takes what he calls a therapeutic and holistic approach to readings. “I help prioritize people’s goals and choices, and the cards are really good at that,” he explains. “The tarot helps distinguish between fate and destiny. Destiny happens no matter what, but fate happens with your choices. I help understand people’s destiny, and help create choices to improve their fate.”
Private sessions cost $150 and typically last from one hour to 90 minutes. He keeps a pen and pad ready for clients to jot down notes during readings.
And should there be any skeptics, Sabatino has plenty of anecdotes. For instance, he told a single client that she would meet three eligible men, one of whom she would become serious with. “Besides his physical attributes, one of the clues was that she would be with him and that there would be a blanket knitted by his grandmother,” Sabatino recalls. “She told me that on her second date, after dinner, they went from a restaurant to his house. She felt cold and asked him for a sweater, and he pulled out a knitted blanket and said, ‘This is all I have. My grandmother made it.’”