AICI GL BAL
L E G A L & E T H I C A L C O N S I D E R AT I O N S I N T H E P R O F E S S I O N
ETHICS & STANDARD OF PRACTICE ETHICS
IS WHATâ€™S RIGHT ETHICALLY WRONG? LAW
LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS IN FASHION & IMAGE CONSULTING VIEWPOINT
ETHICS & THE IN-STORE STYLIST MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
EDITOR’S NOTE 2018
AICI BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Riet de Vlieger, AICI CIP Secretary Gail Morgan, AICI CIP Treasurer Chris Fulkerson, AICI CIP, FFS VP Certification Ana Cheong, AICI CIP VP Education Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP VP Business Development Lucy Liang, AICI CIP VP Marketing Dr. Carol Parker Walsh, AICI CIC, FFSM VP Conference Valeria Doustaly, AICI CIP VP Human Resources Lilian Bustamante, AICI CIP Executive Director Gigi Jaber AICI HEADQUARTERS 1000 Westgate Drive, Ste. 252 St. Paul, MN 55114-1067 Phone: 651-290-7468 Fax: 651-290-2266 www.AICI.org
I PRACTICED LABOR, EMPLOYMENT, Title VII, and contract law for over 10 years. In addition, as Associate Counsel I worked with employers and regulatory agencies to set policy and re-write regulations, and when things couldn’t be negotiated or settled, I spent a lot of hours inside the courtroom or in arbitration. It was an exciting time in my life and I learned a great deal. However, what I learned most about was human nature. You see, while Lady Justice was designed to represent the objective and impartial balance (holding the scales) of law without fear or favor (blindfolded), I often found that she would periodically peak from behind that blindfold. Law is the system of rules that’s supposed to govern our behavior, but when the law comes up against cultural practices and ensconced belief systems, the law can become subjective and arbitrary. Laws that made sense 100 years ago may or may not hold up today because the advent of technology and change in social norms may require a different application of the law. The legal system may have it’s flaws and biases but without it we’d live in anarchy and chaos. Without it we’d lose grip on a civi society. While the practice of law and the legal systems themselves differ from country to country, the unifying factor is the purpose of the law (a system of rules to govern behavior). Ethical practices, on the other hand aren’t as easily defined. In this issue of the Global Magazine, we’re examining ethical practices within our profession. AICI has a Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, as well as an Ethics Committee to review violations, and in some cases, discipline a certified member for certain infractions. But what about the membership at large? What rises to the level of discipline? What should be seen as egregious ethical violations in our industry? These issues and others were explored in this issue. Ethics are philosophical concepts based upon a collective agreement of what’s considered right and wrong in our society. However, amid these insightful articles, I believe our colleague Jainee Gandhi provides a governing definition we can live with, “[E]thics is basic honesty.”
DR. CAROL PARKER WALSH, JD, PHD, AICI CIC Comments about the magazine? email@example.com
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Issue 20 EDITOR IN CHIEF Carol Parker Walsh, JD, PhD, AICI CIC, FFSM
VP MARKETING Carol Parker Walsh, JD, PhD, AICI CIC, FFSM
ASSOCIATE EDITORS Donna Cameron Jainee Gandhi, AICI CIP
COPY EDITORS Bernie Burson, AICI CIC Julie Kaufman AICI CIP
FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS Susy Inés Bello Knoll, LL.D Shanna Wu Pecoraro, AICI CIP Carolina D. Tan, AICI CIC
LAYOUT Limb Design AICI GLOBAL is produced quarterly by Association of Image Consultants International, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the level of professionalism and enhancing the recognition of image consultants. AICI GLOBAL promotes AICI’s ideas, activities, interests and goals to its members. Responsibility is not assumed for the opinions of writers or other articles. AICI GLOBAL does not endorse or guarantee the products and services it advertises. 2018© Association of Image Consultants International. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be duplicated or reproduced without permission from the publisher. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of information included in the magazine at the time of publication, the publisher shall not be liable for damages arising from errors or omissions.
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FEATURE ARTICLES Law & Ethics: Fashion & Image Consulting.... 07 Between Acceptable & Unethical: Drawing The Line........................................... 14 Is Whatâ€™s Right Ethically Wrong?.................... 18
Inside This Issue
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT............... 6
OPINION Ethics, Clients & You..................................................... 11 Ethics & The In-Store Stylist.......................................... 21
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Irene Jordan, AICI CIC.................................................. 25
BETWEEN US Upcoming Events..........................................................29
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LAW & ETHICS:
PLAYING BY THE RULES
ave you ever experienced someone that used your photo, your brand name, your concept, or your blog post for their own benefit or gain? Well, I did, and it upsets me every time it happens. In my culture, we have names for it, such as plagiarism or an unauthorized use of copyright. We have national laws in place for business brand names, and international laws to protect our brands and identity. Itâ€şs against the law to use words, photos or designs of others. If someone plan to use them, you are required to get a written agreement and give the proper credit to the originator. I advise my students to get their inspiration through learning from others, to be someone with a creative and unique approach, to write in their own words and tone of voice, and to come up with fresh products and programs. In AICI we have members from different cultures, with different rules, laws, and habits. Since AICI is an organization based out of the USA, we follow those laws. I am very happy we can provide you an issue of laws and ethical behavior in our profession. There is a paradox in ethics. For me it works like this; treat others the way we would treat ourselves. That actually goes beyond the habit of ethical behavior. In order to be treated with respect and dignity, I focus on empowering others wherever I go. In return, the results align more and more with what I want. I am curious to learn more about ethical behavior between collegues in other parts of the world, most of all where it works out well.
CHEERS TO YOUR SUCCESS! RIET DE VLIEGER, AICI CIP AICI International President
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LAW & ETHICS:
FASHION & IMAGE CONSULTING BY SUSY BELLO KNOLL
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LEGAL & ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN IMAGE CONSULTING
hat is law? Law is a set of rules laid down in enactments (the process of passing legislation). Such is the case of intellectual property rules which protect the logo of AICI. The concept of law includes, in addition to these formal sources, any regulation of human behavior accepted by a community as governing the relations of its members. We have to attribute the status of law to codes of conducts and guidelines developed by professional bodies, also arrangements between civilized people and other arrangements which are regarded as binding.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LAWS OF THIS KIND, SOMETIMES CALLED VOLUNTARY LAWS, HAS NEVER BEEN GREATER THAN TODAY BECAUSE CONDUCT MATTERS. The importance of laws of this kind, sometimes called voluntary laws, has never been greater than today because conduct matters. In modern society the basis of law in a wider sense is general acceptance, and enforceability is only an incident, though not of minor importance. In the whole spectrum of law, agreements and other claims enforceable in courts and tribunals constitute only some of the areas of consideration, but there are others which are no less important merely because they are not enforceable. Herein lies ethics rules. Actions against these rules trigger consequences. The first level is economic. Obviously if you’re sued you’ll love money, but you’ll also lose potential clients because of a poor reputation. The second level is diminished quality. Consumers will question using
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the services as image consultants because they’ll regard the profession on a whole as unethical and are filled with individuals who act without regard for the rules. The AICI community, along with the International Board of Directors, work daily to avoid any negative perceptions by upholding the ethics of the profession and maintaining integrity in the standards of practice. The Standards of Professional Conduct of AICI outline the responsibilities of the membership including: (A) Maintain knowledge of and comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations of any government, governmental agency, regulatory organization, licensing agency, or professional association governing the members’ professional activities; and (B) Not knowingly participate or assist in any violation of such laws, rules, or regulations (Standard I). Also, the Standards determine the relationship with and responsibilities to the profession and the Association to not engage in any professional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation or commit any act that adversely reflects on their honesty, trustworthiness, or professional competence. (Standard III). As much as we’d love to believe that everyone will remain in compliance with the rules, not everyone will respect the standards of practice or adhere to an ethical code of conduct. This is why it’s imperative for our community to defend AICI’s ecosystem for the success and protection of us all. As a family, we must aim at ensuring the well-being of the profession for all of our membership worldwide. As the result of unprecedented progress in science and technology the world has become a smaller place. Whatever we do can become easily and readily known, so, it’s imperative to act ethically and in legal compliance within our profession.
LEGAL AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN FASHION What is fashion? A group of designers in Buenos Aires used these words to define fashion to me: expression, culture, cycle, social event.
In the clothing we wear or select for our clients, we see the expression of the designer and the individual through fashion. We see fashion as a statement on the values of our society and culture through color and design. Fashion has always been an expression of the times we live in. Georg Simmel, a sociologist, noted, “Fashion is… a form of imitation and so of social equalization, but paradoxically, in changing incessantly, it differentiates one time from another and one social stratum from another”. Coco Chanel, one of the most important fashion icons of the 20th century, said, “Fashion is not only…. something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening”. Fashion operates as both a cultural phenomenon as well as a highly complex business. Clothing manufacturers produce between four to six seasonal lines every year, not withstanding fast fashion which produces countless lines throughout the year. The fashion industry is among the most aspirational, industrious and dynamic of all industries. And in many ways we are a central force in that industry. But why are we talking about this as aspect of image consulting? In the 21st century a new area of law has been developed which focuses on legal issues within the fashion industry. Since fashion is a complex sector of the economy it requires the application of different branches of the law to govern and understand the implications of violations. Fashion law is fundamentally grounded in intellectual property law such as trademark, trade dress, patents, and copyright. But there’s also a bit of business, contract, employment, environmental and civil rights laws. This would include things like how to set up companies, commercial agreements, human rights, labor issues, and pollution. The economic, political and cultural issues associated with the production of clothing are complex and the consumption of fashion impacts every sector of law.
AS THE RESULT OF UNPRECEDENTED PROGRESS IN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY THE WORLD HAS BECOME A SMALLER PLACE. WHATEVER WE DO CAN BECOME EASILY AND READILY KNOWN...
The legal profession has not done enough in this area to create enough governing legislation, so there are
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still many unanswered questions when it comes to enforcement. However, as image consultants our standard of practice in relationship to the fashion industry can be instructive. While lawyers defend the rights of the members of society, image consultants must protect and defend the rights of the members of the profession. We do this by working in integrity. What are some of the challenges you encounter working in the industry? What deficiencies exist in trying to service your clients? What areas of the fashion industry do you work with and where are the points of conflict? Your knowledge and experience can help inform new procedures, policies, and maybe even legislation. The legal and ethical considerations are ever present. We may not have common jobs but we most assuredly have a common future.
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SUSY BELLO KNOLL is an Argentinian lawyer and accountant of Buenos Aires University. She has a Masterâ€™s degree in Business Law from Austral University, Argentina and a Ph.D. in Law from Salamanca University, Spain. Actually, Director of the Center of Studies of the Fashion Law Institute Argentina. She is an image consultant. VP Finance AICI Argentina.
ETHICS, CLIENTS, AND YOU BY SHANNA PECORARO
& DR. CAROL PARKER WALSH
Ethical practice and responsibility are the foundational requirements and expectations of image consultants. It’s expected that we’ll respond to client calls, incoming emails, and be timely to our appointments. Every image consultant should hold professional ethics and integrity in high regard regardless of the current political climate or the way other professions may conduct business in their industry. It’s what sets us apart and above most mainstream professions. This extends not only to our clients, but to our colleagues within our profession.
nfortunately, we have all observed individuals using the title of “image consultant” act without integrity or use questionable practices. For example, using the title of “image consultant” without the proper training. Or using credentials under false representation like when a valid certification expires. Or using the AICI logo when no longer a current member. The most egregious violation, however, is copying or using the work of others without permission, proper acknowledgement or even credit.
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In our fast-paced information rich and technologically advanced society, it’s easy to lose track of where you received the information you’re sharing or forgot to update your website or marketing materials with your change of status. However, when the infraction is a blatant disregard for what’s right or wrong, this can negatively impact our entire profession. As we’re all striving to uplift the image, reputation and significance of both our profession and the association, we want to ensure when individuals go to our website seeking to select or verify credentials, they find accurate information. The AICI certified designation is something that our fellow consultants have worked years to obtain. They’ve gone through a rigorous review by their peers, been validated by their clients, and have made significant contributions to our profession. Much like receiving the designation of M.D. or J.D. or Ph.D. as a representation of hard work, dedication, and rigor, using the AICI certified designation of CIC, CIP or CIM inappropriately is not only unethical but a disregard
and disrespect to those who’ve worked so hard to receive it. It’s also a significant blow to your own integrity and credibility. There are a variety of benefits that come with working toward and receiving one of the three levels of certification. The CIC, or Certified Image Consultant, demonstrates that you have the requisite knowledge to serve your clients at the highest level on their appearance, behavioral skills, communication skills, and how they show up in the digital space. The second designation of CIP, Certified Image Professional, is reserved for those who have made a contribution to the profession of image consultancy. These individuals have published, represented in the media, and achieved success in their practice as an image, corporate, executive, or business consultant.
about image consulting. These individuals are the thought leaders in the profession, are educating the next generation of image consultants and who because of their trailblazing work in the profession, the relevancy of our industry continues to expand worldwide. If you haven’t received one these AICI designations and want to practice with the highest ethical standard and integrity, the opportunity is available for you. Go the aici.org and look up the requirements and get your application in today. Let’s continue to differentiate and elevate the standard of practice in our profession.
Finally, the coveted CIM, Certified Image Master, which is held by less than 50 individuals in the world, is given to those who have advanced the field or changed the conversation
SHANNA PECORARO Shanna is the VP Education of AICI International. She is a sought-after etiquette expert and premium image & color consultant trainer. The creator of “The Pocket Color Compass: Steps to Your Best Coloring” – A personal color Guide Book/Tool Kit. DR. CAROL PARKER WALSH, JD, PHD, FFSM, AICI CIC, is an award winning bestselling author, columnist, image strategist, international speaker, and television personality. She’s the founder of Evolve Image Consulting, LLC, a personal and professional development companythat educates entrepreneurs, professionals and women of influence on developing an empowering presence and confident image. She serves as editor in chief for AICI Global Magazine and VP of Global Marketing & Communication on the AICI International Board.
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BETWEEN ACCEPTABLE & UNETHICAL: DRAWING THE LINE BY CAROLINA D. TAN, AICI CIC
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We are all professionals in our industry. Some of us have been practicing for decades and there are new faces on the rise growing and developing their businesses. We’ve heard the phrase, “The way to success is never a straight line,” but if this is so, how then do we draw the line as we grow and build our business? Ethics, in life and business, focuses on the behavior of people. What makes a person act against certain values and go to the opposite end of the spectrum? Is it merely a process of subjectively thinking what you’re doing is right or is it following the values and rules of a collective society? In a profession like consulting or coaching, it’s imperative that we guard against acting unethically or with perceived wrong values.
Let me share a personal experience. When I was representing another image organization, my job required me to be available to clients, honor all commitments and conduct classes and various sessions with my best efforts. Everything else was handled by the various other departments. The tides surely changed when I became president of my own company. Now I experience firsthand the following types of situations.
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FACING ETHICAL ISSUES WITH CLIENTS: When can an image consultant take on new clients that are in the same competing industries? What role does client loyalty play? This is something I face with the real estate and automotive industries.
BILLING SCENARIOS: Are the stated contract & terms of payment being followed? What are the parameters? What happens when revisions are requested? Or worst, what happens when a client fails to pay?
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES: New possibilities are always appearing. How do we handle off-shoot deals? How do we determine whether it will be beneficial to both parties concerned? Should we? What if the benefit is one-sided, does that show a lack of integrity?
ISSUES WITH CLIENT LOYALTY: There should never be “free rides” in our industry because our personal time and investment is worth gold. But do you undercut your fees or provide “freebies” to get new clients? Our what if we undercharge for our services and realize the work was worth much more? How does that impact client loyalty?
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: When your hired to a job you must work to completion. Passion on unfinished work to a colleague can cause discord in the workplace and potentially result in negative feedback from the client. When the client developed a working relationship with one consultant, is it a conflict of interest to simply substitute another consultant? Or what if the consultant is having challenges with the client and no longer wants to work with them?
Professional development standards must be considered. Shouldn’t we have a uniformed standard in our business practice? How much will and should we value it? Are the specific roles and responsibilities clear? What about the standards as they pertain to clients? When is it ok to let go a client?
3) Finally, do your job with your best efforts regardless of the difficulties you encounter. Do not give up. At times, this may mean that we give the best advice to clients at the expense of earning less. However, if it’s for their benefit, trust that you’ve have made the right decision.
I’ve come to the following conclusions: 1) H onor your commitments and your signed agreements even if a better opportunity comes along the way. This way our credibility is solidified in the eyes of our valued clients. Respect is not demanded, it is earned. 2) B efore taking on any project, disclose any conflicts of interest right away. We can only handle so much in the effective practice of business. Doing so could actually be a blessing in disguise.
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CAROLINA D. TAN, AICI CIC is President of ENHANCE YOUR IMAGE Training Consultancy (www.enhanceyourimage. asia) from 2011 handling One-On-One Coaching, Group Training & Corporate Image. She’s also a licensed real estate broker with Mega World Corporation, and IITTI Associate / Rocktell Master Franchisor for the Philippines.
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IS WHATâ€™S RIGHT ETHICALLY WRONG? BY JAINEE GANDHI
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I earned my CIC and CIP credentials within a year of each other. It took me months and months of preparation, checking and rechecking of documents and a considerable amount of time, and mental stress, assembling my documentation for submission. The process was tedious but well worth every nail biting moment.
y speciality centers around style, body image and related topics. In order to gain the designation of CIP I had to show how I contributed to our profession in my practice. As a result, I take considerable pride in not only what I’ve developed but in what I offer to our industry.
field over these 30 plus years. If you’re referencing or relying on their material as a source of inspiration to develop new content, credit them as the original source. It’s ok to say your new concept, theory, or formula is “adapted” from the work of someone else.
While I’ve developed my practice in these subject areas, I know I’m not the only consultant working in this speciality. There are others, certified and uncertified, who may share the same ideology and write and train on the same topics. But what happens when all of us are playing in the same field of colour and shape? How do we differentiate ourselves? How do we not “borrow” from each other believing it’s all universal knowledge? Where is the line of ethically right or wrong?
Blatant copying of someone else’s work, idea, brand, or image without credit or claiming that it’s your own is plagiarism. It’s not only an ethical violation, it can expose you to legal consequences. It undermines your creativity, credibility, and trustworthiness. It’s also a sign that you’ll have short lived career in this industry. Get inspired by your fellow consultants and aspire to reach their stage. Don’t skip steps and shamelessly copy their material.
ETHICS IS KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO DO AND WHAT IS RIGHT TO DO. -POTTER STEWART
For me, ethics is basic honesty. It is integral to our society, way of life, and the practice of business. The only way to maintain fairness and equity in our profession is to conduct our business with honesty and integrity. We have to respect the work and intellectual property of our colleagues who have done considerable work in the field. We are not doing ourselves or our profession any favors when we ride the coat tails of other consultants and fail to put our own mark on the various areas of image consulting. Following are five governing principles I recommend as the baseline standard for the ethical practice in our industry.
CREDIT THE WORK This is key. Image consulting is a relatively new industry. Nevertheless, there’s a great body of work that’s been developed by some of the leaders in the
DON’T COPY OTHER’S WORK
NEVER UNDERCUT ANOTHER CONSULTANT When you’re new or there are lean years in your business you may be tempted to undercut a fellow consultant’s work or oversell what you can actually deliver to make money. This can be a grey area for many because it differs country to country, region to region. Being an image consultant is a respectable profession so it’s important to not just look at the short-term benefits of money when undermining your colleague. There’s plenty of work for us all and when you know what you’re good at and speak your ideal client’s language, you’ll have plenty of business. When we support each other, we all succeed.
DON’T ALWAYS ASSUME THE WORSE Now, after I just said don’t copy and give credit, there may be times when our content and training materials will have some similarity or overlap. This is a global industry and there is a chance that what I think is unique in the Singapore or Indian market shows up in the Mexico or Columbian market as well. Because we’re taught a common language, the chances of two consultants thinking along similar lines is quite high. If the work is an exact copy than approach your colleague, share the similarities and give them a chance to share their position. Don’t start disrespecting or questioning the ethics of the consultant. If, however, the other consultant has plagiarized your work and is less than cooperative,
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approach AICI code of conduct committee and/or contact our Vice President of Human Resources on the International Board. When copyrighted material is involved, you can also consult your legal counsel and take a more punitive course of action.
BE PASSIONATE AND PROTECT YOUR REPUTATION If you are passionate about your work and what you do, you’re most likely working from a high level of honesty and integrity. Keep that spirit in your work. If you keep your eyes on your goals and don’t look to the left or right of you (at what your colleagues are doing), you’ll have nothing to worry about. You can rarely undo a bad reputation and your brand will follow you everywhere and for years to come. Work hard, stay focused, and create original content. As I’ve said before, there’s enough work for everyone.
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While we work in a global market the fundamental principles in our field are quite similar. That’s why it’s critical that we develop and work in a value system that protects each of us and our work. This is a niche industry, a global profession, and we have to work with ethical standards and not just in a compulsory manner, but for all of us to grow and create new, unique and exciting things for our profession.
JAINEE GANDHI is an accomplished image consultant and one of the only CIP’s in India. She works with individuals and corporates on creating an authentic image for themselves. Her Moto is “refuse to be unseen”. www.ImageReDefine.com | www.StylingReDefine.com
THE IN-STORE STYLIST BY DONNA CAMERON
or quite some time I’ve wondered what value these free personal shopper / stylists attached to particular stores offer a client. To be honest, I’ve always assumed getting involved with one of them would be tantamount to subjecting yourself to a pushy hard sell (which I detest) and I was not sure what kind of training these personal shoppers would have undertaken, if any. Are they really more knowledgeable than the average sales assistant and can you trust their advice? Rather than wonder any longer, when Carol, our Editor, announced the theme of this month’s issue of AICI Global was to be ‘legal and ethical considerations of the profession’ I thought this was my chance to put these free personal shopper / stylists to the test!
I am booked in with two different stores in two different parts of my home city, Melbourne, Australia. To ensure I treat their service with respect and demonstrate my own personal ethics, I will not be naming either the stores or the women who assisted me. Instead I will refer to Mary as Store A and Mika as Store B. My experience booking in with both stores was extremely similar and, I thought, encouraging. There were questions about sizing, the occasion, whether I preferred any particular brands or colors etc. Once booked, I began to look forward to this experience. And fortunately I really did have a mission - a friend’s wedding is on in several weeks and I was interested to see what options were out there for the occasion.
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I arrived at Store A and met Mary. She was lovely, and very young. She was not who I was told I’d be seeing. She hadn’t received my profile information but that was ok - she had at least received notification of my size so was able to select a spectacular array of dresses for me to choose from. I quickly discarded the ones that were (to me) awful and began trying on all the others. I deliberately kept an open mind (as I like my own clients to do when I work with them) and was interested to hear what Mary thought would look good on me. For those who don’t know me, I have soft, medium warm autumn coloring. I’m sure many of you will be picturing the kinds of colors you’d like to put me in. Well, Mary insisted the darker, cooler end of the spectrum would look amazing on me. I tried shades of navy, jade, deep bottle green and even an electric blue. Plus numerous blacks, one red, two burgundies and some grayish, muted patterns. Not only were the recommended colors a surprise to me, but when I tried the red dress, a color I wear a lot, Mary was really surprised at how well it suited me.
To Mary’s credit, when I decided which dress I preferred - and I might say it was not one I would have initially considered - she apologized profusely for it being roughly $1500 more expensive than the others! There was no hard sell. In fact Mary seemed embarrassed that it was in the selection. She was very sweet and understood when I said I would need to think about it.
he next day I went to Store B and met Mika. I deliberately dressed in exactly the same outfit as the previous day, carried the same accessories and had my hair looking the same. I did this so both women had the opportunity to glean exactly the same visual cues from my appearance.
Beyond color, I was astonished at how Mary ‘turned a blind eye’ to fit. Examples of things I would never mislead a client into thinking looked good included: • Clearly visible panty lines • Zips not sitting flat • Horizontal lines indicating the dress was too small • Straps falling off my shoulders • Flattened bust Also, Mary seemed to have no clue as to why so many dresses were ‘too big’ up top yet fitted me below the waist. And she offered no suggestion as to how this dilemma might be fixed. My dresses often need to be altered because I am short waisted, therefore the result is that they are too voluminous for me above the waistline. This is something I’ve been aware of since my teen years and something I either know how to deal with or can determine if a style cannot be altered to fit me.
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Mika was young as well but seemed a little more confident than Mary. However, she had fewer dresses to show me and despite confirming that she’d received information stating I did not like to wear black unless it is combined with lots of color, most dresses she showed me were black! Mika said that by wearing silver (or gold) accessories with a black dress it would be introducing sufficient color. Remember, this advice was being administered to a woman with autumn coloring and personally, I consider silver or gold to be akin to a neutral, not a color. Anyway, I was there to be open-minded and I embraced all of Mika’s suggestions as I tried on various dresses. I really enjoyed working with Mika. She had a much better idea of whether the style and fit of a dress was right for me or not, than did Mary. She was knowledgeable and had some good ideas about styling but they were not based on anything particular to me, rather some sound principles of contemporary styling.
Again, Mika was surprised at how well the non-black dresses suited me, especially red. She enjoyed seeing me try on several red dresses, two of which I chose myself as we did a shop floor walk to see if anything caught my eye.
I have to say, I didn’t feel ‘wow’ in any of the dresses I tried on. There was one dress I liked very much and considered buying, though I didn’t think I’d wear it to the wedding as it was a little casual. So I said I’d think about my options and I’d be in touch.
MY CONCLUSION Despite supplying information through the stores’ booking systems about my particular requirements, not much of it reached the women I worked with and neither of the women I worked with were the ones I’d been advised I’d work with. So this didn’t impress me. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed both sessions and the women were both very attentive in different ways. Mary, for example, seemed to know her stock incredibly well and knew where to get me new things we thought might work.
understood how a dress should fit her and was confident enough to assess whether a particular dress was right for her own style personality. So if a woman was happy to wear a dress that many others will own, knew what looked right on her when she saw it and had limited time to shop; then yes, I could recommend this service to her. What this research did for me was to reinforce that the personal shopping service I, and other image consultants I know, deliver to clients is a complete and considered high quality service, through which we thoroughly consider the particular client we work with.
Both women were lovely to work with and neither tried the ‘hard sell’ technique with me, which I really appreciated. Our sessions would have been much shorter had they have tried that! I was surprised however, that neither store followed up with me. Because I’m not your average mainstream department store kind of shopper, I was bored by most of the dresses I was shown. So despite the ease of the experience, I’m unlikely to return to these services. I was also astonished that both women suggested wearing black to a wedding, as well as white. Traditionally, all black is not a choice an AngloAustralian would make for a wedding but for a funeral, though black with sufficient colour is fine for a wedding. And white, even off-white, is considered too close to what the bride is likely to be wearing. Out of respect for the bride, it is wise never to look as though you are competing with her. So understanding dress codes was clearly not part of the women’s training.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THESE SERVICES? Although both women had undertaken fashion training at reputable (and different) colleges, I was intrigued at what they didn’t consider in their recommendations to me - primarily fit, color and styling to suit individual personality. Therefore I couldn’t feel good about recommending these services to a woman unless I knew she
DONNA CAMERON is the co-founder of Body Map Well-Being & Style Strategies, along with her sister, Dr. Nadine Cameron. Current president of the AICI Melbourne Chapter in Australia, she also serves as associate editor for AICI Global Magazine.
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CALL FOR SPEAKERS NOW OPEN! We invite you to submit a proposal and share your expertise with AICI community. Sharing with our group helps you develop confidence, gain recognition among your peers, and enables you to give back to the community that supports you and image consultants worldwide. Please see Speaker Proposal Guideline and Application for details and make note of the following deadlines: SPEAKER PROPOSAL: Due August 1, 2018 SPEAKER AGREEMENT AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS: Due August 15, 2018 TRAINING PLAN FOR CEU APPROVAL: Due August 15, 2018 SPEAKERS CONFERENCE REGISTRATION: Due October 30, 2018 SEND SESSION HANDOUT: This is a GREEN conference. No hard copies will be available at the conference. Due January 15, 2019 Please note all deadlines must be adhered to by the Speaker.
For questions, please contact VP Education Shanna Pecoraro, AICI CIP at firstname.lastname@example.org
IRENE JORDAN BY DR. CAROL PARKER WALSH
The Association of Image Consultants International | 25
clients (speaking & executive coaching based on neuroscience).
he Member Spotlight’s are one of my favorite parts of the magazine. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know some of the amazing image consultants practicing around the world. I appreciate their insight, experience, and contributions. In addition, we’re privileged to know what brought them to the industry and their thoughts on how we can advance our profession. This month I have the pleasure to introduce you to Irene Jordan, AICI CIC. Although Irene lives in Columbia, she is the newly elected president of the AICI Florida Chapter using her branding and marketing skills to expand and grow the chapter. I’m excited for you to learn more about Irene Jordan.
Q. What do you do in your business? A. I an Image Consultant and Brain Based Coach® and have two main focus areas: 1. Helping women empower themselves by creating and positioning them with a powerful personal brand that excites them every time they look in the mirror. 2. Helping organizations create corporate warriors by elevating their soft skills and reprogramming their brains to perform at their highest potential.
Q. What did you do prior to becoming an image consultant? A. Before I discovered the wonderful and rewarding world of image consulting, I used my bachelors degree in business working in corporate marketing. I worked at Dorito’s and was a Brand Manager at Pepsi. Even though I absolutely hated being an employee, my years of experience in marketing have been invaluable in my entrepreneurial career.
Q. What’s the focus of your image practice? (individual, corporate, etiquette, all?) A. I have 2 business lines: private clients (image consulting and personal branding) and corporate
26 | April 2018 magazine
Q. Why did you seek your CIC certification? How has your business benefited from this level of certification? A. I believe that because image consulting is such a new profession compared to other traditional careers, it is our responsibility as image consultants to professionalize the industry. The CIC certification has two main objectives. The first is a guarantee for your clients of your services. The second is a marketing tool you can use to differentiate yourself and increase your revenue.
I believe that even though most people in Colombia know nothing about AICI, it’s my job to education the importance of the association and position myself as an expert and one of the best image consultants in the country. My CIC certification has helped to do that, specifically in the corporate world.
Q. Are you planning to go after your CIP? Why? A. Of course! I’ve already paid the application fee and I plan to earn my CIP certification by the end of the year. As a marketing expert I know the importance of differentiating yourself from the pack and guaranteeing a top class service to your clients. I believe that we never stop learning and taking on the CIP certification is a way of pushing myself to continue to develop new skills every year and continue to grow my business so that I can help more people.
Q. What do you feel are some of the ethical issues and concerns in our profession? Or how would define ethics in our profession. A. I think one of the ethical concerns we face is professionalization of the industry. As an image consultant, we have to understand the gravity of our
AS AN IMAGE CONSULTANT, WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE GRAVITY OF OUR RESPONSIBILITY AND HOW WE IMPACT THE LIVES OF OUR CLIENTS.
responsibility and how we impact the lives of our clients. We have to be ready for this responsibility by being prepared, and this includes going through formal training, practice and continual education. Unfortunately, I see too people marketing themselves as image consultants without the appropriate training or competence to do so. Another challenge is being assertive when you are consulting with a client. Being honest about what she or he needs to work on without disrespecting their essence, personality or way of thinking. You develop the ability to be confident in your recommendations with training and advanced certifications. In the corporate world, most don’t understand the significance of image consulting and undervalue what we have to offer. While you should understand this way of thinking , it should not stop you from having pride in what you do and providing value to your clients. Specializing or developing an expertise around topic areas other than appearance, can make a difference in the growth and longevity of your business.
Q. What made you get involved in AICI leadership? What’s your current role? A. I’m currently the President of the AICI Florida Chapter. I wanted to actively participate in and be a part of the growth of the largest and most important association in our industry. I believe we can make a difference in real time on how our profession is perceived and contributes to our society overall.
Q. What do you like to do for fun? A. I pride myself on not being a workaholic. I’ve focused my energy on creating a business I love in that allows me to give back AND do the things I love. For example, I love reading fantasy books, mountain biking in Colombia’s amazing mountains, and sleeping … a lot! I could also spend my life traveling to different countries and learning about different topics from astrology to neuroscience!
DR. CAROL PARKER WALSH, JD, PHD, FFSM, AICI CIC, is an award winning bestselling author, columnist, image strategist, international speaker, and television personality. She’s the founder of Evolve Image Consulting, LLC, a personal and professional development company that educates entrepreneurs, professionals and women of influence on developing an empowering presence and confident image. She serves as editor in chief for AICI Global Magazine and VP of Global Marketing & Communication on the AICI International Board.
The Association of Image Consultants International | 27
28 | April 2018 magazine
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