Friday: Refined

FRCH FridayRefinedThey say you can’t escape your past, so it’s no surprise that whenever the topic turns to fashion I’m usually asked to comment. You see, prior to joining the FRCH team I had a long career in fashion retail. It started casually of course, when a college-aged me realized the only way I could afford Lucky jeans and Dr. Marten’s was to land a healthy employee discount at Buckle. After stints with Von Maur (where I met my first suit) and Banana Republic, I began what became a 10 year relationship with Nordstrom. So my “fashion authority” (an old Nordstromism) is legit and with that comes a tie that binds (you’ll still see me in a tie at least twice a week). I came to Cincinnati from Chicago where “How are you doing?” was less common than “Who are you wearing?’ and while that may seem superficial (it is) it’s a powerful thing. The designer Kenneth Cole once told me that the one thing you have absolute control of every day is the way you present yourself to the world, and that’s impacted me to this day. So at the risk of sounding shallow, I’ll share with you my fashion manifesto and hope you’ll forgive me by the time you finish these prose on clothes.

It’s not about common snobbery, it’s about common good. Looking good predisposes you to feeling good and feeling good puts you one step closer to doing good. If you doubt me, give someone a compliment, watch them smile and note how you feel too. It’s not to say that what’s worthy of a nod is only skin-deep, it’s about bringing your best to the surface. Think of it as an extra layer, or a value add. Presentation matters. In our business it’s who we are, what we do and why we do it.

Fashion, design and architecture are all related fields of the creative arts and sciences so enhancing our sensitivity in one area will undoubtedly support our mastery of the other. As I pursued a design degree navigating the technical aspects of AutoCAD and 3DStudioMax I honed my eye for color, balance and texture by pairing shirts with ties and heels with handbags. The drape of a blouse, the crisp lines of a well-tailored suit, or the shimmering facets of some curious bauble have certainly inspired a fixture, feature or façade in our portfolio. We look to the world around us for inspiration, so why not return the favor?

Last Friday FRCH chose to celebrate fashion as a form of creative expression. Our team stepped up their individual styles and the result was no casual Friday, but a day of top notch fashion and refined design.  We called it Friday:Refined, and it was not about dressing up for pictures, popping tags or loving labels; it was about opening our eyes and seeing things a different way. A lot of us put in a little extra effort that day and coincidentally there was a noticeable spring in our steps and some people even seemed a bit taller..! I’d venture a guess that these good vibrations will cause a ripple effect throughout our work with a touch more expression in our next creative effort and a little more confidence on the next call. So there it is; I’ve laid it all out like tomorrow’s ensemble.

It’s not who you’re wearing, it’s how you put it all together.

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