High Profile Magazine January Edition
Renata Aron is 2020's winner of the Fashion category at the Best of Brazil European Awards. She is the Founder of Nothing To Wear Image Consultancy and the NTW app, and her aim is to build people's self-confidence in all areas of their lives by transforming their image.
How did you make the transition from working in financial services to working in the fashion industry?
When I was working in the financial market I was working a lot of hours and I was travelling a lot for work. At that time I lived in São Paulo, and I began to question if it was really worth it to be spending so much time so far away from my home and my kids. I left the financial market to be able to spend more time with my family.
It wasn’t an instant transition to image consultancy for me, I've always liked fashion, but more as a consumer, I never really considered that I could help people to make fashion choices or anything like that. I actually found myself having a completely different routine, but my image was still that of an executive, and I only knew how to dress myself in an executive’s dress code, and that just didn’t suit my lifestyle anymore.
I would spend hours getting ready, I had a wardrobe which was completely stuffed full of clothes, but I spent my life thinking I had nothing to wear. That's when I received a gift from someone who had bought me an image consultation session. The work that the consultant did with me was incredible, it completely transformed me from the inside out. I felt like I finally knew who I was and could connect who I was with the way I looked. It was then that I decided that this was what I wanted to do as a career. I wanted to help people with their self-esteem, so that when they looked in the mirror, they felt confident and incredible. I knew that there are so many people out there who feel the same about their appearances as I used to, and I want to help them change that!
Can you tell me a little about your image consultancy company, Nothing To Wear?
Nothing To Wear was born during this transformation process that I went through. We're a duo, I'm here in Europe and my business partner, Camila Alves, runs the Brazilian side of the company. We work with each client on an individual basis, according to what their needs are around their personal and professional image.
We have also developed an app which allows you to have your closet in the palm of your hand. Our clients can access their closet on the app, and we can also take a look at their closets for them so that we can help them to create looks, as well as helping them to pack their suitcases with the clothes they’ll need on a trip. We created the app with a network of consultants who were hand-selected by us to attend to new clients across the globe. To use the app, you just need to download it for free and choose the service you want us to help you with.
We have also launched ourselves into the digital space with online courses which teach people to make more conscious and useful shopping decisions. For those who can’t access our consultations in person, we also launched a course which teaches people to give their own image a boost.
How do you help people to improve their confidence and self-esteem?
I often say that in the process of our consultation with a client, the clothes are just the cherry on top of the entire process.
We work to improve people’s understanding of themselves. We help our clients to reflect on who they are, what they want, how they live and how they like to dress. Afterwards we put all of that information together and we create a portfolio with their desired aesthetic. From there, we lay out a pathway for our clients which shows them exactly how they can get from the way they look right now to the way they want to look. This is where our knowledge of harmonising the physical shape, the ways of wearing clothes, the brands, and the archetypal ways in which a piece of clothing can convey non-verbal messages comes in, all of which we align with the goals that each client has for their appearance.
Our wish is to help people discover themselves, and when they have done that, to help them show that self-discovery through their appearance. When we look in the mirror and we see a reflection that reflects how we feel, it increases our self-esteem, which in turn boosts our confidence. When we feel confident, we gain a feeling of security in ourselves, which further increases our self-esteem, creating a positive cycle within us.
Over the last few years, we have seen a huge growth in the sustainable fashion industry. Do you think that as time goes on, we will all make more planet-friendly decisions when buying our clothing?
I think that thanks to the pandemic, there have been a lot more people who have woken up to the reality of how our consumption habits can affect the planet. We impulse buy without a second thought far too often, which is a result of how we are influenced by the media, and particularly by social media. A lot of the time, the things we buy doesn’t actually fit in with our personal tastes or our routines, and so the clothing ends up discarded in our wardrobes without ever being used.
That’s the exact reason that I created the course “Shopping With Conscience”. On the course I show people who the saboteurs are that encourage us to consume in excess, and how we can change our habits to avoid succumbing to these triggers. Ultimately, the aim of the course is to help people to make more assertive and more eco-friendly choices when they shop.
When we talk about eco-friendly fashion, many people think that we mean the raw material from which our clothing is made. But the reality is that it involves the whole production process, the raw materials, the workforce, the working conditions, and so much more. A lot of brands are beginning to adapt to this new era, and I truly believe that we will see a lot of positive change in this area over the next few years.
What is the greatest challenge that you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?
I think the biggest challenge is that image consultancy is a relatively new profession, and a lot of people still don’t understand what it is, or what the point of it is. A lot of people confuse it with a personal stylist, but that’s not what it is!
Many people think that we will just aim to fit with the trends of the time, keeping to the existing standards, and that we expect people to throw out their entire wardrobe and start from scratch. Actually, what we do is quite the opposite of that. In fact, with a lot of our clients, we are able to do the entire image transformation using their existing wardrobe.
The current working model, in which a lot of people are starting to enter the digital world, means a lot of people are working on the image of their business, and that has increased the visibility of the image consultancy profession. I truly believe that everyone should go through the image consultancy process at least once in their lives in order to see the importance of it and the benefits it can bring.
What's the aspect of your work that you enjoy the most?
Getting feedback from my clients, without a doubt! Whenever I finish a job, I ALWAYS get feedback from my clients saying that they feel amazing, that they’ve had a lot of compliments, that I've given them more confidence at work, that I've changed their lives for the better, and even in some cases that I've helped them to overcome depression. You can’t put a price on that kind of feedback! It really gives me a feeling of having completed a task successfully, and there is nothing I love more.
If you could do a style consultancy for anyone, who would you choose, and why?
I think what I would love is to just be able to do a style consultancy for any person who could show how a consultancy can produce results in all aspects of your life, because that would help to get rid of the idea that these consultancies are just about fashion.
Nowadays, a lot of people have style consultancies, but they are embarrassed to say so because they are scared of being judged, scared of people saying that they don’t know how to dress themselves. I do a lot of work in the European football niche, and not all of them share that they’ve had a consultancy. But I've already changed a lot of people’s lives, and I would love to be able to change a lot more.
What are the benefits for a client of working with you at Nothing To Wear?
We always make sure to respect the wishes of the client, and our process always starts from the inside and works its way outwards. Our first step is to take care of your inner thoughts to later be able to help people reflect their inner thoughts on the outside. We believe that no two clients are the same, and so each of our portfolios is developed on a totally individual basis. We show our clients how to implement the process, because we believe that throughout life there will be a number of times in which they will need to use that process, as with every change that someone goes through, they may wish to change an aspect of their self-image, be that due to a change in career, the fact they’ve gotten older, the fact their tastes have changed, or the fact their financial position has changed. We want to empower everyone we work with, and to teach them to have self-confidence in all areas of their lives.