RSVP One To Watch – Stylist And Businesswoman Laura Jordan
In this week’s One To Watch, Laura Jordan, fashion stylist and owner of StyleSavvy.ie talks life, fashion and career with RSVP’s Susan Knox.
Hi Laura! Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure, I am a Dublin based personal and commercial stylist and own the Irish Style Consultancy StyleSavvy.ie. I also work as a fashion contributor with SaturdayAM on TV3 and lecture at Dublin Institute of Design. I am 29 and never expected to be running my own business at this age, I love what I do and am delighted to have built a job around my passion.
How did you first get your foot in the door of your career?
I studied with Dublin Institute of Design in 2012 during my Summer holidays, I was a primary school teacher at the time. I spent the next year doing countless personal shopping appointments, wardrobe detoxes and style nights and building my StyleSavvy brand, attending networking and women in business events. I had no industry contacts at that time, personal recommendations were the cornerstone of my business. In time, I developed Corporate Dressing seminars and saw the niche to provide Interview Style and Workwear wardrobe advice to business and third level institutions. In time, demand increased for personal appointments and seminar bookings and I decided to take the jump and leave my teaching job. Two months later I began working with TV3 and the month after that I started lecturing in Personal Shopping and Styling at Dublin Institute of Design.
What is your most favourite part about your job?
Genuinely it is making a real difference to a woman’s image of themselves and perception of their own appearance. Dressing well requires an investment of time more so than money and the smart style advice that I share is methodical, organised and efficient. Allowing a woman to look and feel her best on a daily basis is a key goal of my business.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
This is a tough question as my job is so varied. Delivering a seminar in the RDS was surreal, as was realising a teenage dream of attending London Fashion Week. Styling for the IFTAs and Late Late Show allowed me to work with some inspiring women. TV and media work gives me the chance to be part of a team which I really love. I guess my biggest achievement is developing a growing business out of my passion. It genuinely does not feel like a job, even when the hours are long and the time off is minimal.
How would you describe your style?
My style varies depending on my work and my mood. I prefer classic cuts and wear either bright block colours or black, I let my accessories do the talking and alter these regularly; usually in eye-catching prints or styles. A soft oversize shirt, pair of jeans and leather jacket is my ideal style for busy days. If I have a business meeting I will add funky heels and replace the top with a bright silk blouse and tailored jacket. I keep a few of these in the office for unexpected meetings, when I have to dress to impress. Like it or not, my image represents my brand.
If you could style, or makeover any celebrity in the world, who would it be and why?
I would love to style Oprah Winfrey. She is the epitome of a successful businesswoman who has worked hard to encourage and inspire women. Her clothes reflect this goal in a non-threatening and approachable way, particularly as she moves more from TV to other media platforms.
What is your go-to casual outfit that you’ll just throw on and look put together?
A black tux jacket works with anything. I’ll pop it with black skinny jeans and converse for shopping appointments, leather trousers and heels for evening and ripped boyfriend jeans and loafers for a day off. I’ll add different accessories to dress it up or down; a choker or statement sparkle. I get most of my pieces from Irish site www.bettyandbiddy.com
What has been your worst fashion disaster to date?
Oh there have definitely been a few. I bought a dress for my 21st birthday that I got altered as it didn’t fit properly. It was a well known Irish designer and on sale and I was delighted with myself. When I collected it on the day of the party and tried it on I couldn’t sit down in it. I had forgotten to do this crucial test when it was being fitted. So I had to awkwardly perch on the edge of chairs and sort of shimmy around the dancefloor for the night…not a good look!
Can you give us a typical working day in the life of Laura?
I wish I could! No two days are the same. For the most part I will go to the office early to answer emails and then head out for various meetings or appointments. A lot of prep goes into TV segments and personal shopping and I spend a large part of the day on my feet. In the evening I will either head to the Institute of Design where I lecture twice a week, present a Come Style With Me evening or Style seminar or ocassionally attend a press event. I don’t have many evenings to myself but this job often requires working at times when others are off, that’s the nature of it.
What are your top tips for anyone trying to find their own personal style?
Look at your lifestyle and the function of your clothes, i.e. what your clothes need to do for you, whether it be board meetings, school runs or college lectures and then consider the outfits that inspire you; naming a person in the public eye can help. Every woman can take elements of another woman’s style regardless of their body size or earning power. This narrows the focus of your shopping. Styles don’t change, regardless of trends, so you will usually gravitate towards a classic, dramatic or natural style within each season or trend collection.
Who would you say is your biggest fashion icon, and why?
This is a great question. I love Iris Apfel. She is a 95 year old New Yorker and I had heard of her legendary fashion collection and styling work through a feature on her in the film Advanced Style, before I watched her own documentary, called Iris. This is when I fell in love with her ethic and outlook on the fashion industry. It has inspired every area of her life and she is still revered as one of the ultimate experts in the field.
What is your most favourite piece in your wardrobe?
My black leather jacket. I bought it in BT2 with one of my first teaching paychecks and it has got softer with age. I wear it over a white t-shirt in the Summer or black poloneck in the Winter as well as over dresses and evening outfits. It’s the most versatile and well-worn item in my wardrobe.
If you could only wear one piece of clothing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Jeans, without a doubt. They are my go to for work, nights out, time off…I’d wear them to a wedding if I could! They are my biggest investment. I love a black slim fit wax finish for Winter and loose fit rips in light denim for Summer.
Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
I hope to have a larger team working with me, to offer more and varied services to my clients. My assistant ensures my website is in tip-top shape and allows me to focus my attention in other areas. I can only imagine what more hands on deck would enable the business to achieve. I would love to increase my media work to share the key style secrets of StyleSavvy with a larger audience. My ultimate goal would be a regular magazine column to answer style questions from readers, as I think they are a great asset to a publication and identify real life issues for women.