Behind every great man is a great … wardrobe. Yes, it’s true — at least when it comes to the handsomely clad, professionally accomplished chaps in our new series, Dress for the Job You Want, which profiles more than a few good men who have proven that success is an equation of both substance and style.
They’ve cut their teeth in the fashion industry, climbed the corporate ladder, created their own companies, and conjured plenty of new ideas — and have looked damn good doing it. For these guys, dressing for the occasion is simply part of the gig.
But you don’t have to be a fully suited, buttoned-up show-off to stake your claim in the game, as suave subtlety often wins in the end. And, with our apologies to Mark Twain, it takes a lot more than just clothes to make the man. However, a good sartorial statement can go a long way when it comes to charting your career course.
As for beauty curator and brand architect David Pirrotta of David Pirrotta Brand Management, he practically breathes fashion, design, and beauty. With more than 15 years in the personal care and grooming industry, he not only has a keen eye toward product integrity, but is also sharply attuned to all manners of aesthetics.
Described by his peers as “wonderfully passionate, intelligent, and a strategic relationship builder,” he and his team are dedicated to developing brands and positioning them to have that enviable “it” factor.
As for the Los Angeles-based Pirrotta, he just simply feels like the “luckiest person on the planet,” as he gets to do what he loves every day — and he does so in style. Here’s what he told us about creating your own professional and personal brand.
The Cheat Sheet: What is your background and what led you to your current profession?
David Pirrotta: I got my break in the beauty and grooming industry in New York City. The day I quit my number-crunching day job, I struck up a conversation with the Bergdorf Goodman beauty counter staff. After being complimented on my healthy skin, they offered me a job and I started on the spot. Working the cosmetic floors at Bergdorf as well as at Barneys New York helped me learn how to sell a brand while building long-lasting relationships.
I eventually started accepting consulting projects and was able to bridge the gap between the retail and wholesale worlds by processing consumer reactions into constructive feedback for small brands. The natural progression was the development of my own firm, David Pirrotta Brand Management, in 2010. Over time, I have helped launch and grow start-ups, such as The Art of Shaving and Rodin Olio Lusso, into international powerhouses through my instinct and business-driven strategy.
CS: What do you love most about your job?
DP: Helping people’s dreams come to life — it’s an indescribable feeling and one that never fades.
CS: How do you define your personal style?
DP: Stylish, functional, and most importantly, comfortable. For me, I can’t go wrong with a look that is classic and put-together — but with a little bit of edge, of course. J. Crew is a go-to of mine for jeans. I also love Scandinavian design, so I’m always following the Stockholm-based Acne Studios. All of their clothes are classic yet modern — and they fit extremely well!
CS: Why should all guys care about their personal style?
DP: Taking pride in your appearance is important. Often, we make snap decisions about people who we don’t know or who we are just meeting for the first time. I think people would care more about their appearance if they understood the power of visual stimuli and human relation.
CS: How do you view the relationship between your clothes and your career?
DP: It’s a simple but significant equation: Dress sharp and you feel sharp. Feel sharp and you carry yourself with confidence. That confidence can inspire an entire office or company.
CS: Do you believe that success and good style go hand-in-hand?
DP: Absolutely! Good style symbolizes confidence. It shows you’re truly happy with where you are at in your life.
CS: What are some of your favorite accessories?
DP: To stay organized for my busy days of meetings, I always carry a bag. WANT Les Essentials and Lotuff leather bags are perfect because they are high-quality, understated, and they hold everything I need. I also love collecting jewelry—a beautiful piece of jewelry makes me happy. I think that my favorite piece is my vintage gold Rolex. It is understated and keeps me on time throughout my day.
CS: Where do you like to spend your off-duty hours?
DP: I spend a lot of time with my family — especially my mother and grandmother with whom I’m very close, and of course, my son who means the world to me. When I’m at home, I like to relax with my dogs and read. If I’m able to take a weekend trip, I enjoy Palm Springs or Laguna Beach. On my time off, I really just like to go back to basics and enjoy some necessary downtime to recharge my batteries. It is during these times when I’m in a quiet space that I’m able to come up with some of my best ideas.
CS: Best career advice you’ve received?
DP: One time an 83-year-old CEO of a Fortune 500 company told me two things: “you can never stop learning” and “be open.” So I think it’s OK to be a little naïve and trust people — that will usually translate into great learning experiences and ideas
CS: Best style advice you’ve received?
DP: “Just go and buy everything you want!” I’d tell you who told me that, but she would kill me! But, really, I think it the best advice is about wearing whatever you love. I don’t think that a person has to necessarily dress for his or her age — I hate when people say that. Your style is part of your personal brand, and you shouldn’t have these sorts of silly restrictions.