In May we enjoyed a fascinating peak into the world of fashion and how to maximise our appearance with what suits us and how to maximise our look with Edith Chan, Image Consultant, Personal Stylist, Mindset Coach and Personal Brand Queen.
Later Susannah Grant caught up with entrepreneurial Chan to discuss her double-decade career that has led her to style models in Fashion Week, for magazines, as well as film stars such as Leonardo di Caprio in Hong Kong, New York, London and now in Madrid where she has also just styled German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the CBS Chief Correspondent Margaret Brennan.
How did your career evolve from bustling Hong Kong to the bright lights of fashion runways round the world?
In Hong Kong Chinese culture appearance is key and from a very young age I was inspired by clothes from reading many fashion magazines and observing the customers in my parents’ restaurant on the island. As a girl I was forever experimenting with hairstyles, make-up and different outfits. I then kicked off my career in the hair and make-up industry and soon became Art Director for various hair styling brands and I also made a name for myself styling models for magazines and actors in the film industry. By the age of 27 I was teaching other professionals before moving on to do head-to-toe transformations in London and in New York before transferring to Madrid in 2016.
What differences have you seen in the Madrid Fashion Scene vs London and vs New York?
In my opinion New York fashion tends to be more modern, contemporary and commercial whereas the style in London tends to be more creative, experimental and heritage-inspired. Madrid is an interesting mix: more classic, life-style and arty.
You have styled well-known celebrities such as Leonardo di Caprio, what´s it like working with people in those spheres?
In my experience celebrities prefer to be treated as normally as possible. This attitude of measured deference has the added advantage in that it makes you “shrink” less so that you are taken more seriously while retaining some power and respect which ultimately allows you to shine at your job and help them shine at theirs.
Apart from working with celebrities and models what sort of “ordinary” people come to you?
All sorts. Some are women looking to enhance their professional image for their career-related social media online presence, others are stuck in a rut and feel uncomfortable with experimenting with new styles. Once their appearance is enhanced, they feel quite differently about themselves internally. That´s the area I´m currently training in so as to offer 360-degree transformations. I have a broad clientele and am able to work my magic online as well as in person.
What differences have you noticed about women in different age brackets?
Women in their 20´s tend to follow fashion blindly or they want to stand out but in both cases there is less regard for what actually suits them. Those in their 30´s start to consolidate their identity and want to accelerate their career with the “right” image. They know what they want but they don´t know how to create it. Women in their 40-50’s assume they know more than they actually do (sound familiar?) and their previously rigid colour range opens up as they venture beyond their husband´s diehard preferences. They tend to shy away from showing any incipient signs of ageing. By the time women hit their 60’s and over they´re emancipated again and more accepting of their life stage.
In your consultations with clients, what differences or repeated preferences or characteristics have you seen in Spanish or expat clients here compared with those in the UK?
The expat clients in Madrid like to blend in with the lifestyle and culture in Madrid which means they want to be more casual, playful with less of a corporate formal feel. Interestingly, I´ve seen that people´s characters are influenced by the sunny climate and easy-going atmosphere in the capital so they became more relaxed and sociable.
You´re also a Colour Me Beautiful Consultant – what does that entail?
I develop a personal colour palette that reflects a woman´s lifestyle and unique colouring plus make-up to give her the wow factor. We also discuss how colour influences how we feel and look.
Why do you have to have a bare (make-up free) face for the consultation?
In order to match up the colours that best suit you it´s important to know the “bare” truth as once you have a clear idea of the original base-line you can then play and mix it up more successfully.
What other services do you provide?
I also do personal styling, wardrobe management and personal shopping whereby we analyse a woman´s current clothes to ensure the outfits reflect the best version of herself as she is now and we make amendments accordingly. This usually means you have fewer items that are more flattering, versatile and meaningful as opposed to 100´s of garments gathering dust. It´s a lot of fun!
What would you say to a midlife woman who is convinced that she doesn´t need fashion and beauty advice from an expert or perhaps is not looking to make a statement about her appearance?
I have always believed that it´s crucial to remain on a continual learning curve, irrespective of your life-stage. Our clothes and general appearance send a lot of non-verbal cues about who we are, where we´re from and how we feel about ourself as well as others. So, coaching mid-life women to build their confidence, self-esteem and self-image is a big part of my job. I like to discover their true essence and inner-power in order to enable them to show their best self and authenticity. I am passionate about helping women to accept the ageing process and break through their limiting beliefs about their overall appearance.
In my opinion, fashion and beauty don’t just impact other people’s impressions of us. They also affect how we think and feel about ourselves.
What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs who are also looking to expand their professional repertoire?
Look at your skillset, drill down deep into what sparks joy in your life and this will inevitably lead you to explore other areas where you can add value and feel fulfilled. My job is all about listening to my clients and visualising how best to enhance them. My creative skills remain at the core of everything I do.
What´s next for Edith Chan?
I will be soon qualified as a Rapid Transformational Therapist (RTT) and mindset coach. In my job interpersonal skills are key as I have to suss out my clients very quickly and accurately as possible. I realised that so many people are held back by hidden beliefs of what they could or should look like. So, I have put my attuned people skills to good use by transforming clients on the inside as well as the outside. I love to delve into their areas of self-doubt and give their self-confidence a creative Chan-induced boost.
Edith Chan – contact details:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / WhatsApp +34 654 189 358