Cohen Handler founders on being non-conformist conformists

Recently, Simon Cohen and Ben Handler, co-founders of real estate buyers’ agency Cohen Handler, were interviewed by Jessica Sier of Australian Financial Review about their dressing to success and eccentric style in the office.

You can read the full article here.

So how exactly do their clothes fit into their work?

Simon says,

“We have meeting after meeting after meeting, so we’ve got to dress how other people see us.”

Both are sophisticated, eccentric, cool, and good at mixing and matching different pieces. Like Ben says,

“It’s such a simple way to make a shirt look like a really good shirt.”

You can’t not communicate. Everything you do makes some kind of statement, and Simon and Ben are good at making a statement. The fact that Ben has golden collar stays engraved with Hindu sayings or Simon having a delectable wardrobe space dedicated to his shoe collection, suggests people do judge based on how one looks.

Office-appropriate attire has definitely changed over the years but we all know clothes make a strong visual statement about how you see yourself and others see you. There is now the need to balance expressing your individuality and maintaining professionalism.

Simon and Ben effortlessly achieve this balance every day – through their attire choice and personal presentation, to the aesthetics in the office. Both are also extreme fans of snappy and snazzy accessories. Goyard, Dior sunglasses; if it looks good, chances are they have it.

But their dressing to success is more than what can be seen on the outside; it showcases their different personalities and drives the company culture.

“People comment on the people in our company; on how well dressed they are. We have a cool, non-conforming culture. It’s important how you present because it affects how seriously people take you. We set a standard in our office: represent your personality and how you feel. Don’t be that person that comes to work in a tie, if you hate wearing a tie. Don’t do what everyone else is doing. It’s that corporate, military approach that’s really bad.”

And right he is. Dressing appropriately is a way of expressing respect for the situation and the clients, and Simon and Ben quietly know one of the secrets to their success is in the way they dress.

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