The Trevor Project … Part 1 (Makeover)

The Trevor Project

By: Richard Maloof

I was driving in my car one evening when my phone started to ring. The incoming call was from Orange County, California, located south of L.A. I didn’t recognize the number so I allowed it to go to VM. Sorry … kind of my deal for unknown callers. I thought to myself that this was probably a wrong number and dismissed it, but knew if it was important they would leave a message … and they did!

As the message started to play, I found myself listening intently to what was being said. “Hi Richard, my name is Trevor and I am interested in your image consulting services.” I am always excited at the potential to work with a new client and I wanted to know more. Trevor continued on with his message, “I am 18 and just graduated High School. I have been at the gym all summer and dropped 15 lbs. I am getting ready for college and I am anxious for an updated look and clothes that fit my new body.” This sounded like fun! I knew that if he took the initiative to seek me out, then he was serious. Trevor continued to describe what he was trying to accomplish, and said that he needed guidance to make it happen.

My initial concern … how would I really be able to give him my full service if I am in Texas and Trevor is in California. I offered to fly out there, but these expenses can add up quickly, and after all he was only 18. I really wanted to take Trevor on as a client, because this is what it’s all about … changing a life. I decided that we would do this, even though we were thousands of miles away. I approached the “Trevor Project” as a learning experience that would help me work with remote clients in the future.

Due to the unique situation, we were going to have to utilize email, phone and a lot of pictures. I asked Trevor to send me photos of his clothes, himself, his nails, facial products, and his shoe collection. I sent him a list of unique questions that would get him thinking about what his favorite outfits were, and what look he is really going for. It’s amazing how much I hear the statement “guys don’t care about that stuff!” This is becoming more and more false everyday … he is 18, he cares, and that speaks volumes for that next generation of so called “guys.”

Trevor answered all of my questions, and was very diligent about making sure I had the pictures I asked for. He also explained to me that we only have 2 days as he was leaving for his semester at sea. Wait, wait, what!!?? … we are doing this remotely and I have only 2 days? Ok, so my plan has changed, and we need to focus on things that we can fix quickly like hair, nails, and clothes. I immediately told him to schedule a haircut appointment followed by a manicure and pedicure. He was going to be on a ship, and at various times barefoot or in flip-flops … his feet need to be ready for exposure!

I also sent him to the store to purchase a beard trimmer ASAP … this facial hair issue needed attention, and a solution to keep it looking great in the future. He was concerned about his facial hair, because he had been getting mixed reviews on how it looked on him. I made the decision based on his facial structure and how his beard was growing in. Wearing scruff is no longer just wearing scruff! Facial hair has become part of certain men’s looks, and is very acceptable … gone are the days of the “must be clean-shaven in the office.” Two things about facial hair … first, if you’re going to wear it, then you must keep it trimmed. This doesn’t mean you always have to trim it down to a 1 guard, but just keep the wild hairs cut clean. Second, make sure your facial hair is growing in consistently. The patchy growth is creepy looking! … I am sorry guys, but not everyone can grow a beard or wear scruff.

With a haircut appointment set, beard trimmed, and nails buffed, we needed to focus on clothes. After reviewing his wardrobe pictures, I concluded that he wasn’t dressing age appropriately. I told Trevor that he was a good looking, guy but his fashion was “vanilla” … just kind of boring.

My biggest concern of doing the makeover remotely was the fashion portion. I love dressing clients in the right clothes that match their body type and personality. I like to push clients a little out of their comfort zone, because some things look great, but they wouldn’t have tried it on in a million years. This is the fun stuff! I love when a client says that they never thought that they could pull something off and then they kill it … meaning that it looks amazing on them. I came up with a solution … I took his height, weight, age and his personality and went online shopping. I sent him links to stores that I knew were near him, and told him to go shopping … and good lord did he go shopping! He got everything I recommended and then some … oh yeah “guys don’t care!”

In the 2 days that proceeded that initial call, we were able to accomplish a lot. Trevor got his haircut, trimmed his beard, got a mani-pedi, and bought several new awesome outfits. The Trevor Project came to an end as we had run out of time, but not before we made drastic changes. This was a success, and taught me a lot about working remotely with future clients. His new look is a start, and will be a work in progress when he returns in December. The next item on Trevor’s makeover list will be his skin care products as he is using all the things he shouldn’t be! If he is the future, then all current stereotypes will be out of style!