Women in the Fashion Business
Being in the Modeling and Fashion Industry can be difficult. A business woman requires thick skin, fabulous style, and the ability to work with any designer and every other rival model within the industry. As an aspiring business woman and model, you want other women in the business to take you seriously and respect your hustle. Getting that respect however, is easier said than done.
As the new girl, you have a lot of stripes to earn and must go through the necessary motions in order to move ahead in the industry. While men can seem demanding, meeting the requirements of a business woman can be overwhelming.
5 Tips to Wow a Business Woman
You don’t want to say the wrong thing, wear the wrong attire, or leave the conversation on a sour note. Before heading into your next meeting with an intimidating, yet fashionable, woman of business try a few of these tips to help you succeed.
1. Dress Code Matters
With the fashion world this goes without saying: your style sets the tone. With business in general, 50% of communication is non-verbal. What you do, how you present yourself, and your timing all come into play when dealing with a high powered business woman. You want to be sure that your attire and presentation are relaying the correct message. If aspiring as a model, your body may be your greatest asset; however, it’s not something you flaunt casually during a business meeting. Dress as if interviewing for a desk job or another common nine to five; leaving the sex appeal for the night club. Take a page out of Olivia Pope’s Fashion Catalog, wearing a stylish pants suit or a fabulous Skirt and Blazer along with an appropriately buttoned blouse to keep that cleavage in check. As fashion icons go, she is always politically correct.
2. Be Relatable
While you can’t expect everyone to be in love with you from the get-go, you can provide them the opportunity to do so through your conversation. Women love flattery and business women are not immune to compliments; a genuine complement can be a nice ice breaker and approach to finding common ground with your superiors. This can also provide insight into your interests; however, keep casual conversation to a minimum and be sure to stay on point. You can discuss personal interests over cocktails at happy hour.
3. Clean Up your Speech
It can be hard to go from conversing with friends to engaging in intellectual conversation with a businesswoman. You want to keep inserting laughable expressions, like “You know what I mean,” or repeatedly asking permission before speaking, “Can I say.” No, you may not. Avoid these phrases and other uncertain pauses in conversation where you find yourself stumbling or blankly replying “uuuh.” Additionally, you want your speech to be as clean as your physical appearance. Throw out the conversational slurs and street talk you normally apply to friends and remember to speak as if in a board meeting or communicating with potential investors.
4. Emotions Can Be Rare but Powerful
While women are known to be emotional creatures, business women are known to be a tougher breed than most. They didn’t get ahead by having their own head in the clouds and wearing their hearts on their sleeves.
You shouldn’t be surprised to find most business women in fashion to come off as cold hearted and emotionless; so, be prepared, when engaging business women you want to be as thick skinned as possible. Even though emotions are rare in the industry, understand that emotion can be powerful motivation as well. Think Meryl Streep in the The Devil Wears Prada. Emotion portrays passion and sincerity; while Business women are portrayed as intense creatures, ultimately it is because they are passionate about their jobs.
5. As always- Have a Plan
Business women hate wasting their time and often times their meetings run short and closely together. Whether you’re up for a job as the new intern or a new face in the fashion industry, you want to open up avenues for potential future communications, show them you hold serious interests, and would like to follow up. No, we don’t mean simply exchanging contact info; be assertive in your aspirations by making arrangements for a follow up in person. Before leaving your meeting with the usual, “We’ll call you,” sentiment. Ask them if there would be a good time for you to return for a follow-up in person.