Hello, Beauties! Welcome to MSR’s new fashion column called Fashioning YOU – Inside & Out. Each month, I, Nicole Pillow, will have the distinct privilege of providing you with a fun and fashion-filled adventure tailor-made for both your body and soul.
As a speaker, writer, educator and personal empowerment coach, I’m humbled to say that my faith and determination has provided me with a platform to inspire change in the lives of thousands of women across the United States and abroad.
I currently live in my home state of Minnesota, where I serve as the education director at TANDEM, a nonprofit organization that cultivates a community of hope for thousands of women and children each year in crisis. This work has been rewarding beyond words.
I also have the privilege of being a media ambassador and leader for Weight Watchers International, equipping hundreds of people each week with the skills and mindset needed for a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.
My jet-setting journeys include a career as the fashion commentator and production coordinator for Ebony Fashion Fair by Ebony Magazine (the world’s largest traveling fashion show). This is when my true passion for fashion first began.
In February 1998, I received the most exquisite piece of mail I had ever seen. It was my personal invitation to attend the Haute Couture fashion show of Givenchy. Several more invitations began arriving from Paris France and Rome Italy addressed to me, Madame Nicole Pillow.
I was privileged to have a front-row seat at one breath-taking Haute Couture fashion production after the next. I sat there and watched in a complete state of awe, marveling at the passion and detail that went into every design — a handmade work of art.
I attended these fashion shows to study and learn the latest trends of the season. Each year on tour, I traveled to 177 cities and 44 states every nine months to share fashion first-hand with audiences across the country.
Through my experience, I have come to appreciate the workmanship of fashion. I have also discovered that fashion and style transcends well beyond the clothing that we put on. It’s so much more than what you wear. It’s about an attitude, a way of life, and how you share your personal story with the world. I now see fashion and style as a journey.
While fashion can deliver a boost of the ‘I got this’ factor, I believe that most people experience times when a shiny pair of shoes is not enough to do the trick.
Life circumstances are real. Disappointments are real. Insecurities are real. A universal message that I continue to hear from my friends, social media followers and clients is that how they present themselves on the outside is often inconsistent with how they’re truly feeling on the inside. I, too, have experienced this in my own life. In fact, as the founder of Inner Beauty Project, LLC, my motto is, “There’s no photo-shop for the soul and that’s exactly where real beauty begins.” This means, that no matter how much we love expressing ourselves through fashion and applying things that enhance our outer appearance, there is nothing more fashionable or beautiful than a woman whose sense of style and confidence radiates from her soul.
How I intend to utilize this column is two-fold. First, my hope is to help readers like you stay informed and inspired by the world’s greatest fashion trends from around the world, in a way that feels tangible and relevant to your everyday life.
I’m also excited to keep you in-the-know about live events on the Minneapolis fashion scene. If I happen to see you there, I might get the chance to find out just what inspires your personal style. Finally, I am here to be a source of encouragement — to share practical tips and insights that will help you cultivate the most stylish, confident, fashionable YOU, inside and out.
I am overjoyed to have this opportunity. Be on the lookout for my first official article in December, when I will share current tips and trends that are sure to keep you layered in warmth without compromising your style. We will also explore the layers of life that we can take off, to better experience a greater sense of authenticity.
Nicole Pillow welcomes readers’ response to firstname.lastname@example.org.