14 Jul Nick Hems – Men’s Personal Brand Stylist
Fashion can be tricky. It takes time and skill to understand trends, figure out what types of clothes look best on you and find outfits that represent your personality.
Our Menswear Online team sat down with Nick Hems – men’s personal brand stylist, who knows how to craft impactful and authentic first impressions with the right outfit.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Coming from the world of sales and marketing, what made you want to change your career path to become a stylist?
I’ve always seen the two as intrinsically linked, one is product and service packaging and what I do now is people packaging. Having studied the psychology of selling whilst at Uni, I’ve always been obsessed with ‘what made people buy’. The general accepted rule is, people buy people, so if you can work on improving the first impression you make on someone, you improve the likelihood someone will ‘buy’ what you’ve got to say.
Also having a love for style and fashion meant I adapted my clothing dependent on the type of client I went to see, and I used clothing to try and separate myself from others, which seemed to work for me. Being in a position to start my own business I wanted to be able to show others how to use styling and clothes to create further opportunities in their lives as I feel this is a very under-utilised service for men in the UK.
2. How has style & fashion affected your own life?
Style and fashion have had a massive impact on me. I used my clothing when I was younger to help overcome my shyness and lack of confidence. I used it to speak before I did and set an impression in people’s minds, which then gave me confidence to follow up.
I use it today more authentically to represent me. I am very conscious of the fact that the way I have dressed in the past has created opportunities for myself and set people’s impression and expectations of me and I love that this is possible through just clothing and a bit of confidence.
3. What type of clients do you usually work with?
I’ve worked with a wide array of clients, but if I had to categorise it’s typically time deficient successful, professional men that want to take more pride in their appearance or establish their own personal style/brand.
4. What’s the main reason men come to you for style advice?
A life event, they have started a new business or job, recently been separated or looking to start dating. Presently I am/have been working with a lot of men helping them put together a new wardrobe post lockdown.
5. Are there certain types of garments you naturally gravitate towards when dressing clients?
No. The only thing I really gravitate to is quality in clothing, I also think certain brands lend themselves well to particular physiques or styles of dressing. My main aim is to establish a brief with my clients through a style questionnaire and discovery call. This points me in the right direction style wise and although everyone is so different, really helps me pinpoint exactly where I want to go, shop wise or online.
6. What would you consider the most rewarding aspect of being a personal stylist?
Without doubt the feedback I get when clients have had a positive response to their new look or clothing. Sometimes it’s just a positive comment they receive, other times it’s given them the confidence to achieve more career wise or led to a new job. They may have met someone new and attributed part of their journey coming from the confidence they had built up when working with me. I just love seeing positive change occur after I have worked with someone.
7. You have trained with London College of Style. Has that influenced your understanding of style and fashion in any way?
Yes, LCS taught me a lot. How to put a styling proposition together for clients. I learnt about colour and the importance it plays in the way someone looks and represents themselves. I also got an understanding of how to dress people the best way possible for their physiques or body shapes. They helped be see beyond my understanding of what I knew looked good and made me understand why certain things worked on people and why others didn’t, so that I could verbalise it.
The most rewarding aspect of being a personal stylist is without a doubt the feedback I get when clients have had a positive response to their new look or clothing.
Sometimes it’s just a positive comment they receive, other times it’s given them the confidence to achieve more career wise or led to a new job.
8. Where do you usually go for style inspiration?
Usually just being out and about, seeing other people. I tend to get ideas for styles or outfits crop up in my head and I may go to Pinterest to find examples of those or similar looks.
9. Which celebrity would you love to style?
David Gandy or Omari Hardwick (James St Patrick or Ghost in the TV Series Power), they can pull off so many different looks, it would be great to be really experimental and go to town with different looks for them. On the flip side there are many prominent politicians I feel could really do with the assistance.
10. As a stylist, what’s your biggest dream or aspiration?
To make a difference in the lives of younger men from deprived areas, ethnic minority backgrounds or those that have faced particular adversity in their lives. My mission is to help people understand that through your appearance or the first impression you give someone, it is possible to shape and create opportunities in your life that wouldn’t ordinarily felt possible.
11. What advice would you give to men who struggle to make head or tail of fashion?
If it bothers you, speak to a professional. I’m not just saying that because I’m a stylist, I’m saying it because in the long term, not only will you know you look good, you’ll understand why and it will give you so much more confidence. The big thing though that returning clients come back to me with is that in the long term it saves them money, as they’re not investing in pieces they’re not sure about and consequently don’t get a lot of wear out of.