Anyone who’s thought Daymond John sports a bolder look on Shark Tank than his fellow investor Kevin O’Leary is right. According to John, it’s a deliberate choice to dress like himself and to match the dynamic presence expected of a television personality.
He told Men’s Health in August 2014 that O’Leary “dresses traditionally and understated, like an undertaker,” and he sports a different image while sitting beside him.
“Kevin likes to wear conservative skinny ties. My tie is going to have a double Windsor with a fat knot. And I’ll pick a color that’s a little brighter. Not to show off, but to represent myself in broad strokes.”
He emphasized that the setting influences his choice of attire, and John will opt for something more conservative when he’s being interviewed about finance on CNBC. But on Friday nights, he’s best known as the venture capitalist who co-founded and built FUBU, aka the panel’s fashion expert.
“On ‘Shark Tank,’ I’m an investor with an expertise on lifestyle brands. My clothes have to represent that.”
During Season 8 on Shark Tank, he’ll be taking things in a slightly different direction. As John, best known as a stylish gentleman with a shaved head, revealed on his social media accounts this week that he’ll be showing off a new look: salt-and-pepper hair.
In his lengthy caption, he reinforced a fashion philosophy he’d also espoused to Men’s Health.
“Your appearance should reinforce who you are, not the person you want people to believe you are.”
John’s new ‘do was on display in an Instagram shot posted by Enterpreneur journalist Kim Lachance Shandrow, who was on the Shark Tank set to do interviews with the panelists. Perhaps it was the angle of the shot, but the “salt” in John’s salt-and-pepper hair was less noticeable than in his own Facebook photo.
While the jury may still be out on whether fans prefer John bald or with his natural gray hair, John seems to own his look — even rejecting the suggestion that he should dye his locks to make himself look “younger.” John made reference to opening up about his struggle with dyslexia as one example of his desire to be honest about himself.
The new season of Shark Tank has already started taping, and as John revealed on Instagram, a mysterious person has been supporting fellow shark Mark Cuban’s potential run for political office with a tailor-made bumper sticker showing up on the stars’ trailers. Lowercase Capital investor Chris Sacca, who was a guest judge during Season 7, is back for some more Shark Tank fun in Season 8.
Sacca confirmed his participation in Season 8 with a Lowercase Capital blog post, where he revealed his surprise at the positive reaction he received after some high-rated Shark Tank episodes.
“I guess I expected a whole new universe of haters to emerge. Yet, I’ve been blown away by how many people wrote to say they appreciated my candor on the show and my willingness to have fun squaring off with Cuban and the others.”
John told Shandrow that budding entrepreneurs can take many steps to increase the chances of their businesses’ survival — they include tapping into your network, focusing on social media marketing, and building infectious brand ambassadors.
“Once they’re part of your brand tribe, believe me, they’ll do the promoting for you. It’s amazing.”
According to Shandrow’s piece, only one-third of new companies last 10 years or more. But John said entrepreneurs should not get caught up in the depressing statistics.
“It’s OK to have a healthy sense of paranoia, but only enough to fuel the fire to keep going, get better and survive.”
Shark Tank Season 8 debuts this fall on ABC.
[Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images]