A new client hired me especially because hers is a very sensitive style strategy project. The whole thing is so sensitive that I am not at liberty to discuss specific details about her. Even without revealing details that could tip off who she is, it is still an interesting story to tell. As the project unfolds, its challenges are revealing themselves unlike others I have faced before.
The first issue that makes this a very sensitive style strategy project is that other stylists have failed the client. So, even though the client still desires this level of help, she arrives with a lot of fear and apprehension. While the poor experiences she has had in the past put a certain extra pressure upon me, I remain steadfast. It’s important that I not take on the responsibility for the past negative experiences. But, I must be sensitive about it, because it affects how and why she has come to work with me. I have the opportunity to help her to trust once again.
The client comes into contact with top-tier political leaders and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. and top corporate leaders. This is another reason why this is a very sensitive style strategy project. She is an influencer at the highest level, at the intersection where politics, business, and humanitarianism intersect. Her look must prepare her for taking a seat at a table with politicians and business leaders without mimicking either. She doesn’t want to look like a congresswoman, and she doesn’t want to look like a tech CEO. And yet, she has to appear to both audiences like she is at their levels. After all, she is at their levels.
Showing up in a newly designed signature style that I am developing will help her in two ways. First, she will show up with a strong visual authority. The very sensitive issues that she needs to get into with her audience are daunting. As I get to know my client more and more, she is clearly the person to have these high-level conversations. The look I am developing strengthens how she talks about some of the most serious topics affecting our country. Serious issues that she can speak to, directly and yet gently. Her new signature look provides both direct and gentle visual messages that match her verbal messages. So, one of my goals is to offer her audience confidence to take measures that transform our society.
The second way in which I aim to help her is by reclaiming her self-confidence. As the cornerstone of the entire project, this is especially why it is a very sensitive style strategy project. For my client, taking on such a significant endeavor has resulted in a stress-induced health issue. Her former athleticism has helped her to stay strong, but she doesn’t look like she used to. And it affects her confidence. She came to me as a tough-minded yet vulnerable person searching for a solution to help her reclaim her self-confidence. And so, by reclaiming that lost confidence, she may stimulate her stamina and reclaim her health, beyond medical treatments.
Her journey with me is just beginning. We had a very challenging start where nothing I had prepared to show her actually worked. But, this turned out to be a great gift because it offered me the opportunity to learn more about her. I knew what her style needs to look like, but I failed to find a signature look.
After another day on my own searching all over Manhattan and the internet, I turned up many individual great pieces. But designers only offered them in one color apiece. I couldn’t successfully land on a signature piece, much less to create an outfit out of any of them. After hours of sitting in front of my computer, searching for ideas on Friday night, I quit for the night. Curled up in bed, I kept thinking about how I am going to develop her signature style. I woke up in the middle of the night, opting not to pray for an answer, but to dream it. I felt that praying was about survival but that dreaming would lead me to something amazing.
On Saturday morning, I woke up, went through my morning routine, and headed out to solve this puzzle. Like a magnet, I walked into a rarified boutique, instantly knowing that my dreams delivered me there. Sometimes, a very sensitive style strategy project takes absolutely every ounce of focus and concentration. But, with my client’s well-being and her chance to improve society on the line, she came to the right person.
I can’t wait to see what she does next. One thing is for sure; she will always arrive in impeccable style.