Friday, June 5, 2009

Charlotte’s about image, not style

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 11:20 AM

I’m sure you have heard the same incorrect assessment about Charlotte as I have. That Charlotte is years behind in fashion. That’s not totally true. Maybe Charlotte is not known for being on the cusp of fashion, nor is it leading the way for changes in the industry, but Charlotte has its own style, based on the image it wishes to be identified with. That is very different than being fashion-challenged.

I have lived in various major cities throughout my military career. In each of them I heard the same statement: _______ is months/ years behind New York in fashion.

Understand something: New York isn’t about fashion. Manhattan is about fashion, namely Madison Avenue. That lovely stretch of road, in which advertisers try to convince us that a 5’10, 98lb female who looks like a clean, well-dressed, malnourished refugee from a destitute 3rd world country is what we should consider sexy. Thanks but no thanks.

Charlotte isn’t about fashion — it’s about image. It is about business, family. Charlotte is about corporate empowerment, and the financial sector. It wants to be seen as clean and friendly, yet financially powerful. The residents of Charlotte have their own style.

I’m a private custom clothier. I assist gentlemen with the design of their wardrobes. My clients come from all over the country, and their styles match their careers and personalities. They are aware of the trends, but they just don’t care. They have their own swagger, and it’s not dictated by Project Runway or BET. That, my friend, is image.

When establishing your image, you have to set and maintain a standard. You are creating brand equity. That can only be done by maintaining an established, consistent image. Once your image has been established, you can always enhance. But if your image fluctuates too often, you can lose credibility. Credibility is the foundation of survival in the corporate jungle. So changing your look every season has no real value. That is why the residents of the great city of Charlotte don’t look like the residents of SOHO. If they wanted to stay with the trends, they are more than capable of doing so. They just don’t want to.

Until next time…

God Bless and dress well

William Wilson is a nationally respected men’s clothier and image consultant. His clients include professional athletes, CEOs, and corporations. His homepage is www.WilliamtheClothier.com. Follow William on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/theclothier.

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