Female entrepreneurs are reimagining traditional 9-5 dressing – stuffy suits no longer equal cool and in control. We meet three business women who’ve found a personal style that conveys confidence and authority. Here, we speak to Lisa Murray about her workwear in this month’s issue of IMAGE magazine.
In 2014, Lisa Murray founded The Atlas Club, a global lifestyle management company based in Miami, which offers a range of services to wealthy but time-poor individuals. Murray describes herself as “Olivia Pope without the dead bodies” and oversees 60 “fixers” globally. She began her career in a management role at Irish Ferries before moving into the luxury sector with global concierge service Quintessentially.
I always ensure I have my hair, nails and make-up done, but I think having to wear four-inch stilettos and a pencil skirt all the time is outdated. Part of being a success involves knowing and understanding your industry, being an expert in it, and being liked. Having said that, if you’re in a meeting and you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, obviously you won’t feel confident. As I’ve moved up the ladder, I’ve realised that dress codes are important, but it’s okay to approach workwear in a more relaxed way these days.
The climate in Miami is a huge influence on what I wear to work. I often choose a jumpsuit and a neat jacket. I usually include a piece that’s a little bit unique, such as a beautiful handbag, as this can often become a talking point with colleagues or clients.
It’s important to let a little of your personality shine through. To me, this is part of what it means to be stylish. I think BCBG is a great label for women in their forties, and I buy online at Asos all the time (I almost had a panic attack when the site went down for four days!). I often browse Net-a-Porter too, but the prices can be prohibitive.
Bearing in mind the climate in Miami, my go-to labels are Camilla Franks, BCBG, Etro and Vilshenko. For staples and basics, I love H&M, J.Crew, Zara and Penneys. I’m a big fan of Helen Steele – I have a few events coming up in Miami to which I’d love to wear her pieces − and I love Catriona Hanly’s beautiful ruffled items and Jennifer Rothwell’s prints. Although I’m wearing neutrals today, my wardrobe is quite vibrant because in Miami, it’s all about colour. I prefer the sense of style in Ireland and the UK. In the US, the focus is on grooming not fashion.
A lot of my meetings are out of the office and often in Soho Beach House, where it’s better not to look overdone. I don’t go in for overly tailored looks, partly because of the heat here, but opt instead for softer, more fluid pieces. Even the big corporate banks in Miami are beginning to move away from conventional business attire because the heat is so intense.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORKWEAR SAY ABOUT YOU? Competent, confident and stylish.
LAST PURCHASE? A blue and white print top from Zara.
FINISHING TOUCH? Earrings. In the evening, I wear bigger styles, but regardless of size, they’re always drop earrings.
SHOE DESIGNER OF CHOICE? Aquazzura for heels and Joseph or Tod’s for loafers.
BAG OF CHOICE? Prada Bibliothèque and the Saint Laurent monogram West Hollywood clutch.
PROFESSIONAL ICON? Sheryl Sandberg, Michelle Obama and Samantha Power.
THE APP YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT? Asos. My husband thinks I have a problem.
STATEMENT OR FINE JEWELLERY? Statement.
This article originally appeared in the October issue of IMAGE magazine, on shelves nationwide now.