“I'm an Image Consultant”, I would say. What does that mean exactly?
What do stylists and style consultants really do?
I ventured to understand this very question when I embarked on my journey to discover style in 2010. Specifically, I wanted to understand style as it relates to social interactions and more specifically, sexual attraction.
The question that most people never get around to asking is, “Who am I?” We spend a lot of time seeing things through our own set of lens. We assume that others have the same problems as we do, and oftentimes we assume that strangers know our friends like we do. Have you ever had a drink with buddies at the bar, and then they had an interaction with another person that changed your view of their identity? A girl starts talking to your buddy, and suddenly he seems cooler, and more awesome, than you “know” him to be?
As I teach more and more guys how to stand out, I see patterns in their development and “levels” of style intuition. Allow me to me give you a glimpse into my thought process. (The pictures below are for educational purposes only)
Here's a picture of guys at the bar. Notice anything special? Not really, because that's how most average guys look at the bar. The guy in the green shirt stands out a bit with his color, as does the guy in the pink shirt. Besides the shirt's design and humour being of acclaim, there's not much else here. A hot girl walking by this group will probably glance at their “cheers” gestures and continue walking as if it didn't even register in her memory bank.
Here's another picture of younger college kids at the bar.
First of all, the guys that are closer to the girls seem to get more visual attention. Second, the guy in the yellow shirt seems to have some semblance of an identity. Red seems to capture your attention a little bit more. Nothing else really stands out. Notice how the gestures, and facial expressions of the guys help draw your attention to them and their thought process in that moment. Your facial expressions are another “draw” in a picture frame.
Now, take a look at my friends James and Eric at a house party honoring the season premiere of their show:
What is different about these guys? You may first notice their overall look. It is well put together. Sleek. Designed. You'll then notice their body language. They seem to be glued to something or someone talking. Their body language is strong, their facial expressions show intent. They stand for and mean something. You can tell right away that these guys are not your “average joe”. They have a strong identity.
Let's take the NJ guidos and cast of Jersey Shore. Most guys hate them. But think about it for a second. Their look is an image as well. You can tell within the first 5 seconds of seeing them that they represent the American Italian juice heads. And that image alone is a marketing message – it will attract those that secretly like that brand, and repel those that do not. Do you speak my language? The answer is a resounding yes or no.
The rebel look has changed over the last 25-30 years. Starting with James Dean and his white T-shirt and jeans to now, a musician/alternative look of the rockstar. Even the well known orchestration of Korean boy bands have started using “image consultants”. Here's a photo of a member of Korean band 2pm:
Again, right away. Rockstar. The pose of a performer. The bracelet accentuates masculinity, the leather jacket and necklace strength, and the hair hints at his organized rebelliousness. He seems to be having fun.
A classic example of how your image affects business is Criss Angel. When he first started out, many of his fans were hardcore and it was cult like. Criss often dressed in very dark clothes, and he was considered a good but weird celebrity icon.
In the 90s, with the help of celebrity image consultatns, he started to change up his look. Suddenly, he was hanging out with Tommy Lee and Mark McGrath. His style become rockstar-ish. He was no long that “Weird Magician guy”. He became an international sex icon. Pay attention to his title change too: Dark Magician vs. Rocker Illusionist. His subsequent change in his image was followed by very successful runs of his show Mindfreak on A&E.
So the next time sometimes asks you, 'what do you do?' think about who you are. What you represent. The character you wish to play in this game called life. Who knows, you might just start to enjoy it a little bit more.