How would you describe your fashion journey?
My love of fashion started when I was a little girl in elementary school. We lived in Asia for over four years and had a dress maker for all our clothing. She was amazing! She could make anything just from a verbal description of what you wanted. She even made the latest fashion outfits for my Barbie doll. Her presence made me believe that anything was possible when it came to fashion. If you could imagine it, it could be made, worn and adorned. This started my journey.
What makes you unique in how you were influenced in the industry?
When it came to fashion, I loved starting trends and it was fun watching others emulate my style. That didn’t mean that I was not influenced by fashion trends. It simply means that I didn’t get lost in society fully immersing me in their fashion floods while making my fashion and image choices.
How did fashion become your passion to help and serve others?
No matter where I lived, people always asked for my help in choosing their outfits. It came to a point where I coordinated and commentated fashion shows. I also owned a boutique in Europe where I marketed and sold my own designer line of hand-painted silk accessories. I became known as the fashion diva. After helping many women find clothing that “fit their personal style,” I realized that I had a gift for helping others discover their image identity and wrote my first book, Daughters of the King.
What is your take on developing and maintaining a healthy self-image through your work?
The Daughters of the King helps women to understand their facets of femininity, specific body types, and their image factors. No matter where we are in society or even in the world, these factors are unmistakably essential and used daily to impact “your” world. They include:
- Skin Color – No matter what we believe, people judge us by our melanin
- Gender – People also judge us by our gender. It is sad but true.
- Age – Many young/elderly people devalued because of their age.
- Appearance – People judge us by how we dress and present ourselves.
- Facial Expressions – People read faces. Watch your facial expressions!
- Eye Contact – In our culture, eye contact dictates how people see us.
- Body Movements – Body movements can either make or break a first impression.
- Personal Space – When personal space is violated, it can destroy a first impression.
- Touch – Prematurely touching can also negatively impact how others see you.
How important do you think image weighed today in our society?
Whether we choose to believe it or not, image is important. It is not only the way you look, but also the way you speak, interact with others and how we present ourselves to the world—it’s a universal language or expression. In my work as an Image Professional, I discovered that once a woman discovers the beauty and power of her image type, she is empowered to embrace her self-image in a more positive, powerful way.
Once she sees herself as beautiful and powerful, she then can more clearly see and embrace her gifts and impact others for good and not for evil. She can then become a better wife, mother, sister, and friend. Her choices become limitless! –Dr. Gail Hayes
Share a recent fashion encounter that transformed your life?
I recently had an image encounter that changed my life. An African fashion designer reached out to me and asked if she could design some clothing for me. My image type is: Elegant Flamboyant with Fascinating and Fabulous making up my image landscape. I like hats, caps, scarves, large jewelry, and brilliant colors and rich fabrics. I asked the designer to make a couple of dusters since I love wearing black jeans and tops with my black heels when I speak.
When my clothing arrived, I put on the coats and something magical happened. The clothing ignited an inner fire that literally caused me to dance and sing. At first, I couldn’t understand the joy I felt when I simply touched these articles of clothing, but I soon made an amazing discovery. My sister researched our family ancestry and discovered that 39% of our family line was from Togo. The clothing I owned was made in Togo! Therefore, I can twirl in the beauty of my image type wearing my coat of many colors from my native land!