1. Mr. Ireton, you are known as the go-to-guy to transform ordinary men into extraordinary gentleman. Tell us how you achieved so much success.
Let me define what success is in this scenario. I believe my success is the fact that I found a skill and talent, and decided to put it to use to help others and become damn good at it.
I help men, because I’ve always believed in the good of other people since I was a child, and I’ve always been as inclusive of others as I possibly could. My family told me stories of how I would invite my entire 5th grade class to go to Hawaii with me and my grandparents, and that I stood up to the school bully for my classmates around the same time.
2. And what does the nickname, ‘James Bond of Men’s Image Consulting’ mean to you?
It was in college that I rediscovered the importance of dressing well. I say ‘rediscovered’, because at around eight, my grandparents bought me my first suit. I’d been begging for one for sooooo long, because I wanted to be just like James Bond.
3. So once you got to college, how did that set the stage for your future?
In college, working a customer service job, I realized that dressing well changed people’s perception of me. I realized that if I wore a dress shirt with a tie, jacket, nice pants and a reasonably cared-for pair of shoes, I earned more respect. Even if they were just college-budget clothes. Not only did school staff respect me more, but fellow students also looked up to me and were inspired to do the same for themselves.
I was going to school for a degree in web design, and shortly after working in the industry as a graduate, I found that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I learned that I had the knack for helping others with their fashion choices when I started giving my friends advice based on everything I’d learned from magazines like GQ and Esquire; and I loved doing it.
4. How did you transition from just helping your friends casually to doing it as a professional?
The girlfriend I had at the time — who’s now my fiance — knew I was beginning to hate my career in web design, so she found a new opportunity for me to pursue: selling made-to-measure menswear products like suits and dress shirts. I started doing that part-time and absolutely fell in love with the idea and execution of providing a service to guys that they weren’t getting from mainstream retailers. Whether they wanted to admit it or not, guys weren’t satisfied with what they got from off-the-rack retail, and I was there to help them relieve the frustration of bagginess, too short or too long sleeves and the discomfort of collars that choked them. Similarly, I was also helping them eliminate suits that looked like they were their dads’ hand-me-downs, and supplying them with new, well-fitted pieces without several trips to a tailor.
However, after a while, I knew this solution was amazing but wasn’t enough. Men needed more. They needed a confidant and a friend to help them from start to finish: empowering them with the knowhow to do it all on their own — knowing what colors and fits are best for them, cleaning out their closets with them, shopping with them if necessary and even taking them to a barber — instead of just having some guy (me) come in and tell them what to buy.
That problem is what made me create Nuinspiration, and at that point, I didn’t even know other people were already doing this professionally. I just knew I needed to solve the problem.
5. So, considering everything mentioned already, why exactly do you do this?
The reason why is because I was once almost 300lbs. Those were my high school years. My best friend at the time was training to go into the Marine Corps, and I thought we could train together instead of eating pizza and playing video games until 3am, sometimes 4 or 5am.
In an effort to just keep up with him, I began making healthier eating choices and went for runs 3–4x/week. As a result, I lost about 60lbs. That, coupled with my newfound desire in college to dress better, made me want to help guys achieve the same kinds of results, which then also evolved into the desire to help them find romantic relationships in respectful ways like I did.
I deserved better for myself, so I made the conscious effort to be better and feel better about myself. I just want the same for other men.
6. As I understand it, you don’t do personal training and you’re not a dating coach. So, how do you resolve those problems with what you actually do?
Correct. My business’s focus is on appearance, style and how my clients present themselves through interpersonal communication improvements. What I try my best to do, is provide additional advice in the realms of dating and fitness, then connect them via referral to professionals who can more properly serve my clients if they need more in-depth assistance in that regard.
As an Image Consultant, my job is to make them feel more confident in the bodies that they currently have, and re-evaluate their needs after weight loss or weight gain has occurred. It all depends on their goals, and sometimes I turn away clients if they have an audacious goal of losing/gaining 20, 30, 40 or more pounds, because they’d end up spending a fair amount on clothes that just won’t fit them after they hit that goal. But, they still need to dress for the bodies they currently have, so I do my best to point them in the right direction in the short term as needed. Then, once they hit their goal, we can start working together.
As far as romance is concerned, I plant the seed in my clients’ minds of how to be respectful to women without being walked over. Some men flatout fear talking to women, and some women just hate men because of how many jerks ruin the reputation of the good guys. So, my job is to help the good guys look and feel extraordinary, and confidently prove to women (or men) in the dating pool that they’re worth their interests’ time. A lot of people say, “oh, so you’re like the real life Hitch,” to which I can agree to some extent as I’m not on Will Smith’s level of awesome — yet.
7. Who are the types of clients you’re serving and have served?
I can help virtually any guy. Whether they’re entrepreneurs or sales professionals who need to make positive first impressions on investors, vendors and/or clients, they’re in their 50s and divorced looking to date again, or they’re in their 30s/40s and happily married with a career they want to take to the next level.
The 52 year old client I have had been through the ringer. Two marriages that didn’t end well, but he has two wonderful kids and a job he’s going to happily retire from soon. For him, however, he felt it was time that he enjoy his single years without serious attachments. One of the things that was holding him back was his style. He didn’t feel totally confident with what he was wearing. He felt as if his closet was an endless abyss full of options that he wasn’t wearing and/or weren’t right for him. It was severely holding him back, and he turned to me for help.
After I equipped him with digital style guides, the knowledge of how to shop and where to shop, audited his closet with him, and gave him some advice on what to do with his hair, he’s made much better strides in his romantic life. Every time he meets a beautiful woman and gets a phone number, he texts me with excitement saying, “look who Nuinspiration found for me!” I love hearing about these kinds of results, making me proud to know that my clients are improving in the ways they wanted.
Other clients, like one who’s a therapist, get my help not just for dating, but also for their careers and hobbies on the side. This client who stands at 6’6” felt that his style had plateaued. His own research and experimentation wasn’t getting him to a place he wanted, and he was feeling anxious about it. And, practically speaking, his height and slender body type was difficult to accommodate with standard off-the-rack solutions. So, we began working together on everything I did for the previously mentioned client, but instead of shopping at a store together, we set him up with made-to-measure garments.
Now after wearing the properly fitted clothing he got from me and with a fresh haircut, he’s feeling more calm and confident at work and in play. He comes across as more professional at work and feels like he will more likely get promoted into a leadership position since he — to use his words — “cleaned up his act”.
I have many more stories, but those are the most recent and a couple of the most powerful results.
8. You’ve done some speaking for me at my events and others’ events before, what do you typically discuss in your presentations and workshops?
Well, I really love doing speaking engagements. There’s just something about impacting multiple people at once that excites me. Engaging with the audience, and providing them with information that can really help them makes me beyond happy.
But what I talk about, to answer your question and as what the readers would infer, is about style and image. I tell my personal story and use that to illustrate the importance of how image can affect our lives internally and externally. I want people to know that image plays a huge role in our success both personally and professionally, and I’m trying to break down mental barriers that some men have about dressing well.
One of my most favorite speaking engagements was one I did for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization; Greater Los Angeles division (BBBSLA). I had the opportunity to share what I believe in with three teenage boys and their ‘big brothers’, taught them how to tie ties, taught them goal-setting techniques, facilitated a positive visualization exercise and sent them home with free jackets and ties from another non-profit organization I work with called, Clothes the Deal (CTD).
9. What are some of those mental barriers you feel men have?
Not all men, but some guys have an irrational fear that dressing well can negatively impact others’ perceptions of them. For example, being labeled metrosexual or gay for some straight men affects their ego. The reason? I’m not totally sure, but it has to do with strong social constructs and societal norms they’ve grown up with.
What’s really interesting about that is not dressing well can negatively impact others’ perceptions of them much worse than if they did dress well. Wearing baggy clothes, wrinkled clothes and in general just not paying attention to how they look shows the world that they don’t care. It tells a woman or potential partner that they won’t care about them in a relationship, that they’re lacking confidence and other negative characteristics. On the flip side, it shows bosses, coworkers, clients and other important people in their career that they likely don’t care about their work.
And finally, not caring about one’s appearance depletes their own self-confidence. Interestingly enough though, some guys are very confident even if they don’t dress well. I believe that to be misguided confidence that still needs work, because a man’s lack of attention on his appearance, again, will negatively impact others’ perception regardless of how confident he is.
10. If a reader wanted to learn more about you, hire you, refer you or invite you to speak at an event, where should they go to get additional information and contact you?
My website is a perfect place to start. They can go there to learn more about my story, get more details on my services and schedule a complimentary, virtual face-to-face meeting with me. From there, we’ll have a 15–30 minute conversation to find out what it is they need and how I can help.
Image Consultant, Sean Ireton, is the creator and owner of Nuinspiration: an agency dedicated to transforming men into extraordinary gentlemen through their personal appearance. He combines different mediums such as direct in-person experiences using service and personalized, made-to-measure products, and indirectly via his Nuinspiration Extraordinary Gentlemen Podcast.
As a professional hybrid between life coach and personal stylist, Sean hurts seeing men struggle with their confidence. He hurts because he’s been there and knows what it’s like to wake up feeling anything but love for the person he sees in the mirror.
Going from an unhealthy and overweight teen who was almost 300lbs, to a young man who struggled with meeting women even after losing about 60+ pounds, Sean learned through years of trial and error that how you feel on the inside and outside are strongly connected, and have a profound impact on overall self-confidence. This time has led him down a path of growth and positive mindset, toward a fiancé and a business he loves, leaving behind a life of boredom and unfulfillment.
For over 6 years, before and since Nuinspiration was created, Sean has helped countless men, both friends and clients, embrace their individuality and gain newfound independence in an area that many men collectively have neglected for over a decade; missing out on the positive power of perception.
For more info, visit: http://nuinspiration.com
See also: http://bit.ly/nuinspiration-in-voyage-la