“There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis,” wrote bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell in Blink. It's not something people like to admit openly, but first impressions are everything. And in the wonderful world of interviews, client meetings and business lunches, image is an essential component of making strong first impressions.
With regards to the aforementioned topic, in early September, Philly.com Style partnered with The Philadelphia Collection for Make Me Over, Philadelphia!, a contest that would give two winners a complete makeover furnished by Collection participants. Each contestant was asked to submit a photo with an accompanying explanation on why he or she best deserved to receive this all-inclusive makeover package.
After reviewing submissions, the team selected Amanda and Steve Rinaldi, a hardworking, local married couple, who deserved to be pampered from head-to-toe. Here's why.
Amanda and Steve Rinaldi flaunt their new look on Chestnut Street. (Mark Schaffer / The Philadelphia Collection)
Amanda, a full time accountant and Steve, a middle school math teacher who juggles two jobs, married two years ago. The young professional couple, whose primary focus is working to build a future and family, lack the means to shop or primp on a consistent basis. Furthermore, Amanda, who was raised in a family with six brothers and a sister, lost her mother at the age of five. Although she grew to become a poised, lovely, young woman, she was left with little direction in the realm of fashion and beauty advice.
The bottom line: Both Steve and Amanda lacked the time and means to work on their respective images, and both were in serious need of guidance.
Last Thursday, the couple met with select members of the Collection and Philly.com to begin their makeover journey. We chronicled their transformation from start to finish.
The couple first stepped into Giovanni & Pileggi, where they received chic haircuts and makeup services. Salon owner Giovanni, who worked on Amanda's cut and color, explained his vision to us (watch the video below) on how he intended to rejuvenate her look. The result was a blonder Amanda with a demi-bob, which is actually a hot hair trend this year. She said, "I love the style and color that Giovanni did, and Robby [the makeup artist] made me feel so beautiful."
Next, Steve hopped over to Liberty Place to meet with Les Richards Menswear for a suit fitting and image consulting session. He walked out looking sharp in a tailored BCBG suit, provided by the company. "The suit they custom-fit for me, fits so perfectly," he said. As a teacher, Steve will make good use of his new suit for parent-teacher conferences and various educational functions.
Amanda, left, tries on a dress from Arcadia boutique. Her husband, Steve, at Les Richards after his fitting. (Mark Schaffer / The Philadelphia Collection)
Meanwhile, Amanda was given three outfit options provided by Arcadia Boutique. She selected a Greylin collection dress with Dolce Vita booties. On the experience she stated, "I've never been able to pamper myself like this, so having a team of expert stylists make me over was truly a once in a lifetime experience."
Their evening ended with a runway debut at the Philadelphia Fashion Week Black-Tie Affair & Award Ceremony. Steve concluded, "Walking down the runway with my wife was an experience I will never forget." He did mention to Philly.com that the sole reason why he decided to follow-through with the makeover was for Amanda, who enthusiastically thanked the Collection and participants, "for letting my husband and I feel like a king and queen for a day!"
Watch the video here: