If you wanted to drastically upgrade your image, where would you start? Your haircut? Your wardrobe? Your job?
San Francisco image consultant Joui Turandot, of FashionEyeForMen.com, looks beyond the obvious questions and talks to her clients about everything from relationships to meditation to develop a new look for them.
But getting to that point wasn’t that easy. Here’s how she elevated her career from fashion design to image consulting.
ISBB: You began your career in fashion design. How did your image consulting business evolve from it?
Turandot: One thing that has always distinguished myself from other fashion designers is that I love to create fashion because I want to wear it. Most designers like to design for someone else, while I love to experiment with how clothing changes people’s reactions and perceptions of me. Once I knew how to harness that, clothing became my life’s joy.
Also, many years ago, I was in a dead-end relationship, without any sense of where my career was going. During this time, I dressed “not like me:” Boring and uninteresting. A high school friend visited me and said that she barely recognized me, that I wasn’t the fun and radiant person she remembered. That is when I started to express myself more deeply and directly with my clothing. Since then, everything in my life changed for the better.
Your website mentions a “curriculum” for clothing. Can you explain that?
As far as my curriculum for my coaching, the initial consultation is where I get to expose clients to things they never knew about fashion. I want them to think like a designer and start to see things in terms of color, cut, and silhouette that make a huge difference to how they feel and how others perceive them.
Also, being a designer comes in handy when we are out shopping because I can tell a client when an item is worth paying good money for, I can educate them on quality construction and fabrics… and when they are just paying the high prices based on brand recognition and not quality.
Are you still juggling the two businesses?
Actually, I had an epiphany during a sleepless night about both of them this week. I suddenly realized how much I loved image consulting vs. clothing design and manufacturing. I also realized that as an artist, expression can come in many forms, and now, each client gets to experience themselves as a piece of art, and that is a beautiful and meaningful thing to witness.
The newer career has now overshadowed the first and evolved into the best of both worlds.
How do you determine your clients’ needs and clothing budgets?
If a client has a limited budget, we focus on finding the areas of the wardrobe that are in most “need” and what the client needs his/her clothing to do for them. For instance, is the client looking to grow their business, or get a date? This will determine where we focus.
Then, once we see the client’s current wardrobe, we try to optimize what they already have and then find the key clothing pieces that will make the most impact for the least amount of money.
What’s your best “dress for success” story?
I had a client who came to me because he wanted to take his real estate business to the next level. He already dressed well, but to be a top real estate broker in San Francisco, he needed to refine his image. So that is what we did. We focused on the details of his look and brought a level of sophistication that was missing from his personal style.
Since then, his sales have more than doubled, and he got a girlfriend right away who is half his age. Needless, to say, he is one happy client!
For more image consulting advice or to speak with Joui Turandot, visit FashionEyeForMen.com.