“Authentic” was selected as the 2023 word of the year by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. It’s a word that I have grown to have a love-hate relationship with over the past year. It’s been overused, it has a lot of nuance and it’s become one of those words that sometimes feels like you’re saying a whole lot of nothing. Now that says a lot coming from somebody who uses it a lot in their business branding!

These days we are looking for authenticity from corporations, brands, politicians, celebrities — rather than that, right here, we’re going to bring authenticity Back in the Closet. As an Iconic Visibility Activator, I elevate creatives to own their inner icon by stepping into their most authentic expression by de-conditioning identity to unveil their true style. 

From a young age we’re taught how to do everything. How to crawl, walk, speak, act, behave — how to be. The ages 0 to 7 are known as the imprint years, and during that time we’re a sponge — we soak in just about everything from our surroundings. The good and the bad. They become apart of our beliefs, values and behaviours for the rest of our lives. Unless we do some deep work to undo them.

In the same ways we’re taught our fashion boundaries: the dos and don’ts, the casual and dressy, the masculine and the feminine. It’s not until we hit the rebellious teenage years or later on where we might break down these moulds, forging our own unique style. Growing up, I remember admiring my mom’s fancy shoes and purses, wondering why it was only that women could have pretty things.

Many of the clients I work with are still stuck in the fashion box they were put in as a child. “I can’t wear glitter, I need to be in black,” “I can’t wear a clutch, it’s too feminine,” “I need my loud patterns, otherwise, how else will I be seen?” 

To be authentic means to understand who you are — to know it, to love it, and to then show it off. I’ve learned that I like pretty things. That is a part of who I am. I express that through my accessories, statement pieces, or paying extra special attention to detail when doing my hair or skincare.

Let’s take a bet on our own true style. Being by asking, “do I dress for myself or for others?”

When you start to wear clothes that you actually love, you become 100x more magnetic, talk about authentic! Imagine your perfect closet, what would it be full of?

  • Colour and patterns?
  • Muted, sophisticated looks? 
  • Pastels and coastal vibes? 
  • Casual and comfy?

Now think about your wardrobe, how much of it currently is what you just imagined? 

Authentic means, “of undisputed origin; genuine.” You are your own unique being, don’t let the world tell you what you should be. A perfect way to express this is to begin with your clothes. The next time you’re shopping or you’re Back in the Closet, choose what you love.

When done right, fashion is our ultimate communicator, it tells everyone about your vibe and your values — you want those to be authentic, right?

Anthony Tomizza

About the Author

Anthony Tomizza elevates creatives to own their inner icon by stepping into their most authentic expression through de-conditioning identity to unveil their true style. He provides not just a Queer Eye Tan-inspired makeover of your closet and fashion but also the 1:1 Karamo-style coaching. Together, allowing creative expression to flow for icons to gain visibility by elevating their image. anthonytomizza.com