By being natural and sincere, one often can create revolutions without having sought them”. I’ve been thinking a lot about personal and luxury branding this week and have felt challenged by Christian Dior. He founded Dior when he was aged 42 after several failures (inspiration for all us forty-somethings), but as his fashion brand started to grow, he came under pressure to ‘brand’ himself. 

He tried. He exercised. Ate a healthier diet. Took spas and had massages. Bought new suits. He even wore a flower in his buttonhole. He hated it.  Acknowledging that the gap between his “imaginary” personal brand and reality was too wide, he just went back about his business and accepted who he was. “A well-fed gentleman in a neutral-coloured suit”. Dior avoided schmoozing with the social elite and the people who thought he needed a brand. Instead he preferred to hang out with nature. Whenever he needed inspiration, he wandered around his rose garden. And when he needed to design an important collection, he hid away in the forest with his pencils and sketchbooks for a couple of weeks. Sounds like heaven. 

I really admire the carefully crafted personal brands of business leaders like Tom Ford, but I think we often worry far too much about our own “image”. Especially on social media. I prefer Dior’s more romantic personal brand values. The ones that include spending time to think in your garden; armed only with colouring pencils, paper, a glass of wine and some good cheese. 📝 🍷 🧀