Attire Accessories - Sep/Oct 2018 (Issue 72)

130 DOES BUSINESS HAVE TO MEAN BORING? In her new regular column, Attire Accessories editor Louise Prance discusses industry issues, with her inaugural offering looking at the evolution of the business world from boardroom boring to fun and fabulous We’ve come a long way since the days when business meant formalwear, staid boardroom meetings and tight top knots – although I do still wear one of those. While there are some industries that still stand true to the above, it feels utterly joyous to work in a market that embraces flair, diversity and fun. And I feel that while social media channels often get a bad rep, the uprising of more down-to-earth, low-key business forums have shed any need within our vibrant world of fashion accessories to conform to archaic ideals that business has to be boring. Let’s take Instagram, for example. The social media site that began as a simple picture-sharing tool has now become a hotbed for SME business launches and is the hub of the fashion world. Those little squares can showcase a stunning scarf, beautiful necklace and wow- factor shoe like no other. It’s here that many an interaction is first made in what can evolve into a successful business relationship. And do you know what? It’s a fun place to be. Comments, double taps, light-hearted banter – these all combine to make the process of creating, buying and developing within the industry so much more enjoyable. And let’s just talk about influencers for a second. Women and men who are making their living through Instagram, YouTube and blogs are becoming an advertising option for many of the big brands. If an influencer, dressed in her modern-day uniform of floral midi skirt, tee and pointed mules, can handle marketing collaborations with the head honchos of multinational companies and negotiate the big bucks for promoting their wares on her vlogs, blogs and feeds, it’s a definite indication that the world is moving forward in a new, relaxed working direction. But it’s not just in the online world that we’re shedding the straitjacket when it comes to developing our businesses. Victoria Beckham is known for her fun and friendly approach to her staff, while Charlotte Tilbury of the beauty world recently stopped a board meeting mid-flow to send her assistant out for ice cream. And it’s not just those with huge corporations, either. In a recent interview with Attire Accessories, Cindi Barnstaple from Owen Barry spoke of the lure of the brand’s hometown – because of the delectable cider no less. Relaxed, real and, what it really comes down to, relatable. Being your true self, jokes, interests et al., will encourage buyers to associate with you on a personal level and will no doubt resonate with you and put your business, and your quality product, above others. I’m not suggesting turning the office into a comedy club; businesses obviously still need discipline and order. But thanks to social media and the way in which it allows people to conduct business, it’s undeniable there’s a perceptible shift from the corporate culture of old to a more human, authentic touch. Throw out the suits, I say! Unless they’re Hugo Boss of course… If you have a pressing issue you’d like Louise to discuss, get in contact at