"Women who want a promotion should stop wearing black" advises fashion stylist Laetitia Tomasso
French fashion stylist and brand consultant Laetitia Tomasso has had an atypical entry into the fashion world. Working as a lawyer for an investment bank for over 10 years, she always had a knack for styling and would style her friends and their mothers. However, she decided to put her fashionable talents on hold as she pursued a legal career. Two years ago, she took the brave step to pursue her lifelong dream of styling and now works as a stylist between London and Paris.
What is the most important part of styling a client?
My unique selling point is that I help my clients project the image of what they want to achieve. When I do a consultation with my client, I need to understand what they aspire to. Akin to the visualisation technique, you should dress in accordance to what you want, because your clothing can change everything; not just the way you feel but also the way people perceive you.
Who are your typical customers?
People typically become aware of the power of styling when they're in their 30s.
100% of the men that come to me want to progress in their professional life and want to dress the part. They range from entrepreneurs, to property developers and want a capsule wardrobe that allows them to go to a meeting with an investor in Mayfair, but also work on a project site.
Women come in two categories, the first is the executive woman who wants a change in her life such as a promotion. And the first thing I say to a woman who wants a promotion is to stop wearing black! Everyone in an office wears black and if you want to be perceived as more senior, you have to stand out and not look the same as the rest of the employees.
At the same time, I also have busy mothers who lack the time but still love fashion and have several social events to attend and hire me to stay on top of the trends and advise them on how to look their best! I usually go to their house, bringing lots of options from various top stores in London and Paris before we have fitting sessions in the comfort of their home. Home appointments are amongst my most popular service as clients do not have to pre-fund the selection of clothes and accessories I bring to them and can do fittings with items of their current wardrobe. They purchase what they like and I return the rest to the stores who lent me the wardrobe on consignment. I’m one of the few stylists in London to offer this service and that’s highly popular with all my clients (not only mums).
What has been the most effective way of marketing yourself?
It's a mix. My previous career in banking and law helps as I’ve converted several contacts into loyal clients. I also develop partnerships with concierge companies, PR companies and influential people and I arrange regular fashion events where clients bring a friend and my social media followers can attend and meet me. Word-of-mouth has also been a great way to gain new clients for both styling and brand consultancy.
How did you start your career in styling?
It's a funny story. When I was fourteen, I used to style all my friends before we went to a party. Everyone would come to my house and get ready, and I would style their outfits. Words got around of my styling talents and I even started to style my friend's mothers! However, when it was time to choose a degree, I studied Law in France and ended up working in the legal division of a bank.
Do you ever regret giving up your legal career for styling?
No. I was not happy at my legal job. It was not the right career path for me. I loved studying law but I am not a fan of the corporate environment. However, it did give me really good strategy and organisational skills. When I work with clients, I can always pull up a contract and helps to give my business a professional touch.
Most memorable fashion show experience?
Probably the first fashion show I attended, the Celine show in Paris when Giselle Bündchen opened the show. The second most memorable experience was for the first couture show at Paris Fashion Week of Israeli designer Galia Lahav.
How do you stay on top of trends?
I go to all the European fashion weeks, press days and events in London. I freelance with most of the multi-brand stores in London and get regular updates on new collections.
What's the most fun about your job?
The best part about my job is that it's also my passion and no day is the same. Depending on the time of the year and the projects I’m working on I can be on my way to Paris or Milan for the fashion weeks, work on a personal styling appointment, or commercial campaign, the wardrobe of a film or advise a client on their marketing and PR strategies. I really like the ethos of the industry. People are much more humble and are incredibly smart and creative.
Favorite style icons?
Amal Clooney and Vogue contributing editor Alice Naylor-Leyland.
Your biggest fashion no-go?
The thing with fashion no-go's is that someone stylish will wear something ugly, and all of a sudden it becomes hip. Personally I would never wear a pair of crocs, but if Bella Hadid would wear it, I bet that everyone would start loving it!