March 30

A day in the life of Moi…

9:00 Having spent an hour dealing with my mail, now dashing for Starbucks en-route to my first meeting. Hail a black cab and arrive with seconds to spare. A new client in banking, and a full image consultation begins. We talk about lifestyle and I get to know a little more about how he spends his time and whether his wardrobe reflects this. He has just been promoted and his new position will thrust him even further into the public eye. As I learn more he seems to visibly relax as he realises that I am not here to critique, only to find ways to enhance who he is and his roles in life… that of business leader, husband, father…

We start with the physical and I measure up… we discuss body proportions, scale, colours and grooming and how to create optical illusions that are best suited to his shape. The great thing about clothes is that we can hide imperfections and enhance the good bits and for a man who claims to have no idea, I can see that he gets it.

With analysis under the belt and the solution defined, we go shopping. I can tell that he is not keen. He gets into the swing of things once he realises that we can ignore rail after rail… wrong colour, wrong shape, wrong style – and head directly for what we need. Successful purchases in hand, he declares that he enjoyed shopping for the first time ever. And I am happy.

We agree to meet again to discuss his communication skills. He needs a refresher on the media-training front and his public speaking skills need a re-vamp. I have also noticed that his body language is a little awkward, but feel that this may change after all of the above. We decide to evaluate again in a month’s time.

12:30 Hail a cab and head for a meeting with leading communications and branding specialists. We are collaborating as companies invest vast amounts on their brands – personality, values, equity… but often forget about the people who represent them. We buy a brand because of what it represents and how it makes us feel, and if we are then faced with an individual, whether it’s the CEO or a sales person, who doesn’t personify the brand, it creates what I have coined the ‘brand lie’. We talk about how this works across cultures and markets and how to assist companies to create ‘brand congruency’. The next step is to identify those brands in their portfolio who could benefit from Image Consulting…

1:30 In another cab on my way to my next meeting with a builder to discuss floors… I style both people and interiors and am revamping an apartment for a client in Knightsbridge. I receive a call from a client who has recently had a baby and we set a date for a full make-over. I arrange for a haircut, facial, massage, mani & pedi and a make-up artist. I block out time in my diary for shopping and wardrobe management and call her back with the details.

2:15 A thankfully short meeting with the builder and really hungry so up to the 5th Floor in Harvey Nichols for a quick salad. I pick up two dresses that I have in mind for my next client and head on to my meeting with her on location, which is in a luxury retailer around the corner. She is presenting a new series and we are short of a couple of dresses for the next two day’s filming. She thankfully loves both of them and we agree on which dress is suitable for each day. I help her with shoes, accessories and overall styling for both and leave her in the capable hands of the make-up artist as filming starts.

4:00 Running short of time and I head back to my desk to prepare for this evening’s presentation. I am talking to a business group about men & women’s business styling and cross-cultural business etiquette. First impressions really do count when language and familiarity with cultural norms are thin on the ground. I focus on finding an acceptable middle ground, whilst maintaining the authenticity that makes us each individual. It’s a subject that I enjoy and with the final touches to my presentation complete, change into a suitable suit and on the run for a cab once again.

5:30 Arrive at the venue and make sure that technology will deliver. I mingle with the organisers and guests and it’s an hour later when we start. A good Q&A to end with and I spend time chatting to some really interesting business minds… we swap cards and agree to explore further. Another cab and I ask the driver to wait outside my apartment for a quick change, then on to dinner with a few friends at Zuma. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to their soft-shell crab…


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