22 Jun

Wardrobes with Iconic Brand Power

Actress Debbie Reynolds collected many famous wardrobes and costumes from MGM Studios, and some of those are being auctioned off this month. So her daughter, Carrie Fisher, whose father was Eddie Fisher, recently spoke to Harper’s Bazaar about the stylish icons who wore those clothes on the silver screen.

While reading the interview I thought about how much the enduring images and brands of those celebrities is expressed by their wardrobes. As Fisher herself said, “Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Greta Garbo – the costumes made them the icons they became while their movies changed and defined us.”

Similarly, business leaders and entrepreneurs create companies, products, and services that can change the lives of their customers and – if they are innovative enough – redefine the way we live. But the power and influence of their personal images and brands is largely conveyed through the clothes they wear and their overall visual presence.

Fisher talked about knowing Cary Grant, for example, and how he “just got through life with such grace and charm and humor.” As she recalled, “He made it look easy, and it’s not easy.”

That’s the real test of a successful image and authentic brand. Today’s leaders are under intense pressure and scrutiny, but they must exude a poised and stylish leadership presence to instill confidence in others.

Like Cary Grant or Katharine Hepburn you have to make it look easy, although it is not. One of the most important ways to do that is through a cohesive visual brand that conveys a strong and consistent message of leadership credibility and stylish poise – and wardrobe is a critical element in that formula.

To read the entire interview with Carrie Fisher about the auction and her mother’s rare collection of MGM costumes, click here: Debbie Reynold’s Hollywood Costumes – Carrie Fisher on Her Mother’s Costumes – Harper’s BAZAAR



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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.

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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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