By Gregg Hollmann, “Party Professional”
The New Jersey Disc Jockey Network recently hosted a “Dress for Success” seminar and DJ fashion show. The seminar was presented by Ble Yalong, aka “DJ Amable” who in addition to being a highly sought out wedding DJ, designs his own menswear line called the Y2 Collection. DJs and grooms alike have been purchasing Amable’s distinctive tuxedos.
Amable is an incredibly well put together man. From his shoes to his tailored suits to his designer watches and even his eyewear, Amable oozes a well-groomed “wow factor” that really makes him stand out in a room.
The purpose of this article is not to suggest that we as DJs all need to dress like fashion models to be successful. However, we all should work to define our own personal style and use it to our advantage in sales and performance settings.
The Power of Perception
Some years ago, my basement was flooded and needed repairs. From the Yellow Pages, I found a service provider who visited our home to provide an estimate. He was joined by his wife, and both of them were dressed very plainly, striking me as typical blue collar workers. I immediately recognized the couple from church. At Sunday mass, these two were always the sharpest dressers in the congregation, and I had always envisioned them as socialite millionaires. It is incredible the difference in perception that results from a change in clothing.
With this power in mind, it is important that we as DJs manage client perceptions of us by how we dress. The starting point is to know your target market. For example, if selling high-end corporate or wedding work, a suit and tie would be highly appropriate. If you are selling lower-priced weddings and meeting couples at a Starbucks, a suit and tie might be too intimidating to your prospective clients. Why not try something smart and fashionable like a sports coat and jeans? If you are selling to fashion-conscious teens for a Sweet 16, a business casual ensemble with a pocket square will make you more appealing versus a stuffy suit and tie.
Particularly for corporate work when multiple DJ companies are interviewed for an engagement, fashion/style can be the difference maker in winning the job.
Fashion as Respect
According to Amable, dressing well is a form of respect to your clients. When you dress well at a party, you are showing that you care deeply about the success of their event. Whether you realize it or not, clients and guests are taking notice of how you dress. When dressed well, you will gain more referrals. DJ Taso, one of Amable’s DJ models, mentioned that he’s won jobs based on his attire at gigs with clients even requesting him to wear a particular suit to a performance.
Defining Your Style
In his presentation, Amable stressed that “fashion is an expression of who you are.” However, he deliberately didn’t dictate what is the right style for a DJ. It really is a very personal choice rather than a one size fits all formula.
Jason Jani, in a recent #AskJasonJani video mentioned how one of his SCE event hosts, Jeffrey Scott Gould, wear a tuxedo/bowtie very well. Jani himself burned his tuxedo years ago and goes for more a rockstar look that better matches his own personal brand. He recommends DJs “to be unique, to be comfortable and to be you.”
Mario Panicucci, a talented and physically fit DJ, showcased a flamboyant pair of sequined loafers at the NJDJN fashion show. Mario wore them very well, but many DJs would not.
One of my company’s event hosts, Gregory Lambiase, aka “DJ Greg Nice” uses the bowtie as the centerpiece of his fashion ensembles, wearing them to sales consultations, networking meetings and events. The bowtied look is a great choice for Greg, and makes him memorable.
Jack Bermeo, a consecutive “DJ of the Year” winner uses a fashionable half-shaved look, wearing tuxedo blazers, jeans and artsy pocket silks for sales consultations. At events, Jack is known for wearing expensive designer tuxedoes.
One of the more controversial pieces in Amable’s Y2 Collection was a hot pink blazer. Few of us could rock this jacket well, but in fact Amable himself was spotted wearing it well in Atlantic City at the recent DJ Expo.
If you need help defining a personal style, consider hiring a professional “Image Consultant” who can help to showcase your strengths and camouflage any weak areas. Image consultations can be done for a few hundred dollars, and provide recommendations on the best colors to wear considering body type and skin tone, and the best styles of clothes to wear for a particular body type.
According to Amable, expanding and diversifying your wardrobe is not an inexpensive endeavor, but it is a great investment in your business and in how you feel about yourself.
Marcello Pedalino, aka “Marcello” is well-known in the DJ industry for his physique and sharp fashion sense. Marcello, during his runway walk at the NJDJN fashion show, asked the emcee to share these quotes from his favorite designers:
“Being well-dressed is a form of politeness” – Giorgio Armani
“A well-maintained physique is a great business card” – Giorgio Armani
“Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.” – Ralph Lauren
“Fashion fades… style is eternal.” – Yves St. Laurent