Bear with me for a moment while I tell a story that's not exactly fashion-related, but that I'm sure I can trickily spin to have a fashion angle. A powerful higher-up type, sitting in his office on the 33rd floor of a very high, very sparkly glass building, looked out his window one morning to see the usual view of the Sydney Harbour and the hotels and parks that line its shores. Boats dotted the gold dusted water and the sky was the kind of blue that makes your eyes thirsty. Moored in front of the Park Hyatt Hotel, he saw a massive white yacht that clearly belonged to someone who was quite a lot more comfortable in this life than the rest of us. He knew that people who are that comfortable make good clients, and so he decided to try to make contact with this person. Kind of like when aliens visit earth, but not scary.
Being a powerful higher-up type, he had at his fingertips a resource of eager minions waiting, wide-eyed and excited to boot lick, compliment his tie and do his bidding. He enlisted their help to find out the name of this comfortable person, and to buy the person a fancy bottle of wine. The minions did their work well and the wine was sent to the boat with this accompanying note:
Welcome to Sydney, Mr. Comfortable Person.
I looked out my window this morning and saw your boat. I wanted to thank you for improving my view. If you need anything while you're in Sydney, please feel free to give me a call.
Enclosed is some fancy wine to help you be more fancy on your fancy boat.
Mr. Comfortable Person called the powerful higher up type later that day to thank him for the fancy wine and to invite him for dinner. Mr. Comfortable Person lives overseas and already has his own powerful higher-up type so our protagonist didn't get a client out of it, but he got a nice dinner, a new friend, a way into the world of more similarly comfortable people and a good story.
So what can we learn from this story of clever gift-giving?
You need to give before you can expect to take. Post about Candace Ang jewellery on your blog and she may send you a feathery necklace. Or not. Probably not, because she doesn't know who you are. But if you're kind and you offer someone something you think they will like, good things will probably come to you.
Be brave and take risks. Be brave in the clothes you put on in the morning, (there's the fashion angle I promised. Flimsy, I know), be brave in saying what's on your mind even when you know people will disagree and be brave in doing something that scares you every day. Pet a big hairy spider that you're pretty sure isn't poisonous, but that you're pretty sure will bite you. Call up an editor at Vogue and tell them why they need to let you write for them. Say that you like Taylor Swift even though everyone who's anyone seems to think she's a vanilla, all-American bore-factory.
Be creative. Lots of people in the world think they're too important for the likes of you.
But if you do something different that catches their attention, they'll probably give you a bit of their busy important time.
What do you have to lose anyway? The price of a bottle of wine? When you're a powerful higher-up, or when you're just you, the price of a bottle of wine is a mere drop in your ocean of fancy possibilities.