For most techies in Silicon Valley, if your laptop computers and mobile devices are as badly synched as your clothing is with your lifestyle, you’re in big trouble!
After attending the Annual Fashion Conference in New York City this past weekend, for the second consecutive year, I am convinced that people are more confused than ever by the differences between clothes, fashion, and personal style. As an image consultant, my role is to be a personal gatekeeper who controls the access you have to clothes, fashion, and the information about them so that you develop a taste level, and ultimately personal style.
As much as that’s a lot of responsibility, I’m just the man to fulfill that role in your life.
Attending the conference reminded me that there are significant differences between clothes and fashion. Even though the conference theme was about the color red, which I will write about and share in depth and detail next week, the topmost thing that struck me is how, back at home in Silicon Valley, there is an information vacuum about style.
For example, just how do you take in say, a magazine spread in Gentry? Do you view it so that it informs you as to what the hot color of the month is? Are you supposed to look at photos of Silicon Valley tech titans to see what zippered hoodie to wear to the office to look like a twentysomething billionaire?
When browsing through a store in search of YOURSELF, what exactly are you looking for and at? You may be looking at clothes or at fashion while in stores, in magazines, catalogues, or online. But the two are not the same. Clothes serve a practical function, whereas fashion feeds and fulfills an emotional desire to look current. Clothes chosen with intention convey a personal style. Clothes chosen without intention only convey negative messages because it shows that you don’t care about how something looks, fits, or even if it is in fashion. To dress in a way that is considered fashionable means to wear styles that are presently popular.
Locally, our fashion system is out of whack because people think they should emulate how other sloppy, rich, young people dress. This is plain wrong and lazy. Even sloppy, rich, young people will also have to look like they left their college years behind and grow up, too. Moreover, looking good and taking care of yourself has absolutely nothing to do with being listed in the Forbes 400.
Who declares what is popular? Fashion designers have the responsibility of cultivating a sense of what is and will be popular. But in an area of the country where many people don’t focus on fashion [we’re not like New York, and we are a far cry from France that truly created and lives by a true fashion system], people still seek direction. This is also why it is so intimidating to go into stores and to look for fashionable clothes that are a reflection of your personality.
This is why a pretty discerning group of people decides to work with me. One common point they all realize is that if they can’t see the difference between clothes, fashion, and personal style, I will show, teach, and help them develop their own aesthetic judgment.
As was relayed at the conference over the weekend, Diana Vreeland [pictured, at right], former Vogue editor-in-chief, a lover of all things red, and a true gatekeeper of clothes, fashion, and personal style, was quoted as having once said, “It’s not about the dress you wear. It’s about the life you lead in the dress.” When you have carefully, intentionally selected something fashionable to wear that works for the life you are living, you now have an item worthy of personal style. And if you need a gatekeeper to help you see your way through it all, I’m here to help get you there.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps high-profile individuals revitalize, manage, and be secure in their personal visual brand. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.