When Forbes journalist Hannah Elliott swapped clothes with Margo Simms for our Second Skin series, she ended up having to attend an official business meeting at the Soho Grand in studded kitten ears, a blue crop top, and a Harajuku mini.
Now, secure in her own clothes, Hannah tells us more about her style and story.
Despite growing up in Bend, a small ski town in Oregon where you didn't dress to draw attention to yourself, Hannah had it in her head that one day she would have a job that required her to maintain a closet with a certain flair. Sporting a vintage, velvet Ralph Lauren blazer and a John David bowler, Hannah clarifies, "Wearing black doesn't mean that you don't think about your clothes. It takes me a long time to get ready in the morning, because I don't want to have to worry about my outfit for the rest of the day. With her utilitarian style, the New York-based lifestyle journalist is prepared to cover anything, from how consumers are coerced into a buying mood through scents to the classic cars of the future.
A journalist from the get-go, Hannah told us, "When I was little, I would play this game where I would talk to people in order to see how much I could get from them without having to reveal anything about myself." As her sophisticated and sharp Phillip Lim heels suggest, Hannah's not interested in conversing about the weather. Her Givenchy dress isn't trite and neither are her interviews. As her profile on NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon proves, Hannah's not a journalist who cuts corners.
Not one to make an entrance, Hannah had to spend a day in Margo Simm's clothes -- a girl who bathes in the spotlight. About the experience, Hannah says, "I learned that I should smile more. I looked really serious, even though I don't feel serious inside -- I'm just chilling. Margo's warm and engaging, and it's healthy for me to be around people like that because they draw me out of myself."
Up next for Hannah is a book about a luxury. “The term has no meaning anymore because it’s so ubiquitous,” Hannah explains. “Regardless of brand, price, or label, when you're dealing with products that are made by large corporations in the tens and hundreds of thousands, that’s not luxury, that’s mass.”
Hannah's tip for confronting this world of generic products? "Have something that pushes you forward, get upset, take heart, and have courage. 'Coeur' in French means 'heart,' plus the end of the word is 'rage.' I like that dichotomy. It's much better to feel rage than to feel nothing."
If Hannah's things inspire your story, then add them to your closet!