Robin Fisher is an image consultant dedicated to helping professionals develop an individual style, and feel great in it. After working as a buyer for major department retail stores and as an International Production Manager for private designer labels, Fisher took business into her own hands and created Polished. Polished offers services ranging from personal style consultation to wardrobe and closet sweeps. She also recently started PolishedID, which offers wardrobe and image management for corporations and individuals. We spoke to Fisher about her love of fashion, success in the business and trends to look out for this spring.
Q: What made you make the switch from big designer buyer to personal image consultant?
Life. I mean I was in the San Francisco area working for actual corporate design houses and then I relocated here to be a department store buyer. Then I ended up getting married and having children. But with my first son that lifestyle was okay— in terms of constant travel and pressure and stress and so forth—but then I got pregnant with a set of twins about seven years ago. I decided that I could figure out how to have it all. I didn’t want to give up my career, but I definitely wanted to do something that I was more in control of and just have a passion for. I really believe that I can have it all, so I started to go into my own business.
Q: How do you evaluate your clients to give them a personalized look that they will feel best in?
I really work very hard to understand the individual that I’m working with. The majority of my clients tend to be very high-profile powerful and successful women and men that have really put a lot of effort towards their careers and their education. They really know who they are. I really understand who they are, what they think, and then get into what their personal taste levels are and not force any kind of trend on them (or anything that I think is just my personal taste). That’s one of the things you develop as a buyer.
Q: How do you balance offering such a variety of services with keeping up your own personal style?
This is what I’ve always done. It’s something that has always come from my heart. I grew up in the fashion industry. My grandmother owned a retail store in San Francisco so I was buying at the age of 4 or 5. It’s something that I’ve always been very interested in. I tried to go the more traditional route; my undergraduate degree is in engineering and business, which is industrial technology. That’s just something that didn’t work for me because that wasn’t where my passion was. So this is something that really comes naturally to me. I’ve never felt like I’ve had a job at all. I’ve always enjoyed every single thing that I’ve done even when I was working for different people or in different situations in the company. The balance is really just who I am.
Q: Some trends aren’t always appropriate in a professional setting. What is your criterion for staying within those boundaries?
You always need to respect your environment. I work with people who work in very creative environments like marketing firms and so forth, and then I work with people that work in very structured firms like judges, attorneys and diplomats. The first thing that I think you really have to ask yourself is: ‘Where am I?’ ‘What industry am I in?’ and ‘What is appropriate for that industry?’ I think that there are definitely trends that can’t be converted in, however you can always[add] a little bit of something that will make it your own.
Q: What advice would you give a business professional who feels they don’t have enough time for fashion?
I would tell them to focus on the basics and then incorporate five to 10 items-whether those are accessories, shirts,colors or shoes-that really speak to them and that they’re really connected to and that they love. Therefore, they can mix and match the items. I’m a firm believer that you don’t need a wardrobe that’s overflowing with items to dress well.
Q: Who is your style icon?
Oh my gosh I have so many. I love Victoria Beckham, I love Diane von Furstenberg, I love Tory Burch. I am a huge fan of Alexander McQueen. There are just so many I could keep going.
Q: What look or item are you most excited for in the coming spring season?
I think that I’m most excited about the very tailored silhouette and the artistic prints in dresses. I would say that’s the trend that’s most exciting, especially because when people do print they get attached to it for different reasons and so therefor that whole rocking it your individual way is really key.