We all know that entrepreneurs have led the way for some major developments that have transformed the way we work, socialise and play, but are they now also leading the way in trends beyond technology, Kickstarter or the Internet. So In this article, I am asking the question, Are Entrepreneurs Becoming Style Icons?
The question about modern day entrepreneurs setting the trend in fashion has been on more than just a few people’s minds lately. Today’s entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and their counterparts are defying the conventional dressing code of business men of their stature.
Mark Zuckerberg in his trademark sandals
They appear in public dressed casually, something the earlier generation of successful entrepreneurs like Warren Buffet, Donald Trump Alan Sugar, could never dream of doing. Perhaps it is because of the source of their fame and success; technology, but today’s brood of new entrepreneurs are challenging the status quo by rarely wearing more formal clothes such as suits.
The technology geek’s trio of Zuckerberg, Page and Brin are particularly notorious for wearing jeans and T-shirts at almost every conference and events they attend. Mark has been quoted on several occasions as saying to the media that he is usually too busy working to be concerned about his clothes. Which is why he does not give much thought to fashion.
Larry Page & Sergey Brin wearing jeans and T-shirts
The technology gurus are propagating the belief that appearance is not important in the business world. Having great ideas is what matters most. Larry Page and his co-innovator Sergey have even extended their laid-back fashion sense to their Google Headquarters in California, going by the casual clothes that employees wear when reporting to work. Google has very relaxed dress code policies for its staff and they are free to even go to work in shorts and sandals.
Richard Branson who has declared his hatred forties on numerous occasions is one of the older group of entrepreneurs whose fashion trend is similar to today’s younger entrepreneurs. He prefers going to work when wearing a cardigan and corduroys or shirt and jeans rather than a suit.
Smart but casual Richard Branson jeans shirt and jacket but no tie
Branson also allows his employees to dress casually to work. The business genius believes that giving the employees the freedom to choose what to wear will boost their morale and create a relaxed atmosphere at the workplace. He has even adopted the same strategy at his Virgin Money business and hopes that customers will feel freer to speak to a manager who is dressed less formally. As a result, they hope to enjoy good business from a younger crowd.
Female entrepreneurs are also turning up the heat and setting the trend in fashion as well as any of Hollywood or LA’s finest, Ruzwana Bashir, Leila Janah and Kelsey Falter are turning heads in silicon valley with their fashion style.
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Ruzwana Bashir looking chic in a lemon colour dress and black high cut belt
Leila Janah looks gorgeous in a simple cut black one piece dress
Kelsey Falter looks like an oscar winner in this plain low V-neck black top
These cool cat entrepreneurs are not stopping there, the trend in male entrepreneurs to break out the stubble or go full on beard is all the rage, turning a geek to chic or from weed to warrior in some cases.
Beards are not something that has not been associated with the elite much before however Richard Branson and the late Steve Jobs are some of the big name entrepreneurs who have been known for sporting long lasting beards and goatee.
Steve Jobs, ultimate trend setter
The trend of growing a beard is now all the rage and not just for entrepreneurs. From footballers to Hollywood movie industry actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal and Russel Brand and Ben Affleck which may be where modern day innovators have borrowed the look from.
Entrepreneur Style Icon Pete Cashmore
Mashable founder Pete Cashmore has been compared to Brad Pitt, here with a beard
The reasons for growing the facial scruff some entrepreneurs say is due to working long hours, not sleeping much and isolating themselves on their work, which is where these simplistic looks, unshaven, t-shirt, hoodie and jeans emerge from.
Ben Affleck, with a beard much like today’s male entrepreneurs
There is no telling where the more quirkier fashion trends of these modern entrepreneurs have come from or can reach, one bizarre looking example is the rolled up jeans, exposed ankles with no socks on and wearing a pair of polished business shoes.
Young people who identify with these trend setting entrepreneurs look up to them for inspiration and they may decide to adapt their fashion sense to match. We should give credit where it is due by agreeing that some of these modern day entrepreneurs are becoming the benchmark of success for the youth of today.
They inspire the younger generation that any dream can be achieved with sheer determination and hard work.
From the way the entrepreneurs carry themselves around nowadays, it seems that to look cool as an entrepreneur.
For those wantrepreneurs who want to dress more like an entrepreneur you can try following these tips:
- Dress casually to any important event
- T-shirt under your suit jacket
- jeans, roll up over ankles with no socks
- dark coloured hoodies
- Ladies – boots over skinny jeans
- Guys grow out your beard
- Only don a suit or formal dress, occasionally to surprise everyone
- Ignore the criticism and focus on expanding your business empire
- There is no need of spending too much on luxurious clothes and jewellery, just focus on doing what you love best and the rest will follow.
Other new entrants into the entrepreneurial field are two Brothers; Peter and Richard Semple who have started a clothes line in Britain under the label of Golden Axe London. The label opened its shop in 2012 and is rapidly growing.
Their designs are worn by celebrities and other prominent people in Britain. Peter, who is only 32, is also an employee at Google and his main duty there is to design the exterior casing of Google’s phones and other gadgets.
The brothers wear the latest fashion, skinny jeans, classy shoes and trendy designer t-shirts. They are true representations of the modern entrepreneur’s look. Their passion, dedication and determination match that of the earlier more business like entrepreneurs, like Bill Gates. The only remarkable difference will be the appearance.
Indeed, there are also other business people from very unlikely quarters who have surprised people by their success in business. These are the likes of Shawn Corey Carter, popularly known as Jay- Z who is an entertainer and an entrepreneur as well. The businessman started out as a rapper and a music producer and later ventured out into business. He has a net worth of about $520 Mn from his music and business empire. The entrepreneur usually dresses in a trendy way and is rarely seen wearing a tie.
Women are also leaders in innovation and business. Oprah is one of the most celebrated talk show queens on TV. She has accumulated huge wealth from the media business. She also a very fashionable woman and always well dressed.
Entrepreneurship has indeed been redefined in the recent years. Entrepreneurs are changing trends on how they conduct business, which includes even how they dress. Nowadays an official suit is no longer needed like the old days.
People are becoming more acceptable to embrace a new trend of casual dressing or less official dressing in the workplace, especially in newer more technology and creative focused companies that have a younger generation of entrepreneurial leadership.
After all, it is not about how you dress, it’s about how smart you run your business. What are your thoughts Are Entrepreneurs Becoming Style Icons?