The first thing you notice when you join Lucozade Ribena Suntory is the accessories. In particular, the high heels – they are everywhere! One woman confessed to me that she has more than 100 pairs. Perhaps my role as marketing director means I notice these things, as accessories allow people to make a subtle, individual statement.
But, as a man, here’s the thing. I wear dark jeans, a white shirt and rotate a couple of blazers, which means I look like every other man in the office.
Then there’s the laptop rucksack issued by IT. It looks like something a US exchange student might wear. So whatever style I started out with has been completely undone by the bag.
Which brings me on to my Uri Minkoff leather bag, which I quickly bought to replace the IT-issued laptop bag. It has become my professional ice-breaker. My colleague Mollie thought my zips were "a little aggressive", Tracy that "I could just about get away with it" and Naomi that I may be "lacking confidence" after I cited a GQ article as evidence I was on-trend. And I won’t even tell you what Alberto said.
Who knew a bag could draw so much attention? Not only does my "Minky" mean I don’t feel like an extension of the IT department, it reminds me that accessories reveal a small part of our personalities. It’s part of my role to understand people better – and understanding them makes me better at my job.
It’s a lot easier to fuel creativity and encourage imaginative ideas when you understand the person producing them. But just as vibrant high heels and jazzy ties give me an insight into the personalities of my colleagues, my bag gives them an insight into mine. Accessories are the perfect office weapon. So, on this basis, I may need to shake up my wardrobe a little further (for professional reasons, of course) and extend my armoury.
Jon Evans is marketing director of Lucozade Ribena Suntory