Nicoletta Adda, an Italian image consultant and personal stylist based in London, is a living example of the principles she believes in: style and care for her appearance. For her, style is much more than being well dressed. It start from the inside with the right nutrition and extend to the environment in which we live. The phrase "mens sana, corpore sano", "healthy mind in healthy body", may have been coined for her: Nicoletta exudes health, vitality, physical form and style. Born and raised in Verona - one of the most fashionable cities in Italy - she inherited the sense of style and elegance from her mother. She has lived in London for over thirty years and, in her previous job as financial director in the hotel and aviation sectors, had the opportunity to travel a lot, but her true passion had always been fashion so she decided to change her career and make the most of her talent and life experience. Now she uses her natural abilities and knowledge of different cultures and styles to help her clients project the best possible image of themselves. Nicoletta qualified as a professional image consultant at one of the best academies in the United Kingdom and then founded her own consulting agency in 2003, Pinkananas.
The first thing that strikes me, reading your story, is the ability you have shown in successfully transforming yourself from a finance director into an image consultant. Two professions apparently very distant from each other but that have not prevented you from giving a new propulsion to your career. Was it a difficult passage?
NA: Yes and no. Yes, because I had to change from an employee to an entrepreneur, with all the problems that such a change can bring. In my case the jump was particularly difficult as I changed sector, so I had to work much harder to acquire the first customers and make myself known in the fashion circles. No, because this has always been my passion. Moreover I have always maintained that between numbers and style there is a common denominator: attention to the smallest details.
Image consultant and personal stylist. What are the differences between the two roles?
NA: Good question! As an image consultant I have to analyse the physical components of the client - complexion, body proportions - in conjunction with the lifestyle, personality and preferences indicated by the client. Practically, I am an image therapist. All these "ingredients" must be well blended in order to obtain the ideal recipe and create an image for the customer that can visually express their personality, role, professionalism, everything even before they can open their mouth.
The role of the personal stylist, on the other hand, is a service based on the physical appearance of the person and as such concentrated solely on the service of the wardrobe sorting and personal shopping. In my case, the two roles often blend into one.
Who are your customers and how do you help them?
NA: My clients are mostly City based professionals and entrepreneurs, both women and men, of various nationalities. Generally, we meet for an appointment during which I carry out an in-depth analysis of their physical characteristics through the use of a particular technique, we discuss their lifestyle, as well as their preferences in terms of clothing, as the objective if this session is to achieve for them the highest level of self-confidence. It would be a mistake to impose a totally alien style on the client. We then move on editing their wardrobe where I usually can see their life story right in front of me! It is truly a revelatory process both for me and, above all, for the client: it is the unveiling of the soul, because I help people get rid of that mask that they have long used to conceal their identity, knowingly or not. Not all cases are so drastic. They range from subtle touches to radical changes but the traces that this process leaves are indelible, because they enable a person to enhance and emphasize strengths and to know how to minimize small imperfections. The wardrobe edit, in practical terms, consists of eliminating garments that are no longer adequate, reusing others in a more creative way, altering those that are still in good condition, making a shopping list to fill the gaps to make the wardrobe more current, versatile and above all easy to use. And to do this we move to the last step of the ladder towards an image of success: personal shopping.
What does the Power of Image mean for you?
NA: If we think of silent cinema, that is an excellent example of the power of the image. At that time the actors had to let us live their roles through their image: their miming but also their costumes were fundamental. Nowadays their miming is our body language and their costumes are our image. In a nutshell, we should always imagine ourselves as silent movie actors and ask ourselves if our image and attitude honestly reflect who we are. A positive and attractive image has the power to influence the opinion of others, the opposite also has the opposite effect.
One of the fundamental points of your work is the difference between the image we project and the perception that others have of us. How can you build a successful personal image?
NA: We need congruence between who we are and how we present ourselves to the outside world. Our image is purely the perception that others have of us. We cannot change this but we can manage it. To be successful it is not necessary to be a victim of fashion, but to know how to better value one's own physical attributes and express one's personality through them and, generally in the professional field, one's role. It is also very important to know how to dress according to the occasion, because this indicates cultural sensitivity. Another essential component is personal care, which must always be impeccable, as is a correct posture and beautiful manners.
How important is it in your profession to be Italian?
NA: Let's say it helps .. The "Made in Italy", in a broad sense, enjoys an excellent reputation across the Channel, especially in the field of style and fashion, and fortunately I am part of that world.
Who are your style icons, both female and male?
NA: I would not say icons but people I admire, are Christine Laguarde, president of the International Monetary Fund, and Iris Apfel, an entrepreneur and model. Note that the latter is almost a hundred years old! They are two totally different but equally exceptional women: incredible professionals and exquisitely elegant, the first essentially classical, the second absolutely eccentric. On the male side, the Prince of Wales and Roger Federer: again two very different styles but rich in class and in perfect harmony with the characters. You can definitely judge the book by its cover!
Giornalista e scrittrice, dirige Redmont Consulting, una compagnia di comunicazione ed organizzazione di eventi. La sua esperienza internazionale include collaborazioni con la Banca Europea per la Ricostruzione e lo Sviluppo, la Banca Mondiale, BP, ENI e Alitalia. È Direttore di Ciao Magazine ed autrice di diverse pubblicazioni in italiano e in inglese.