A fashion legend puts your office to the test.
If you've got a flair for office decor, consider entering the first annual Okidata Best Dressed Small Business Contest, judged by none other than Mr. Blackwell. Turning his sharp eye from his usual celebrity targets, Mr. Blackwell is taking aim at entrepreneurs' fashion sensibilities as expressed through their office environments.
"If I go into an office that has zero personality, I get totally bored," says Mr. Blackwell, who considers "a row of fluorescent lights and all the machines lined up" as despicable as polyester pants and a pocket protector. "I don't care if you decorate with egg crates or Louis XV," he says. "I want to see attitude!"
Participants must submit an essay of 150 words or less explaining why their office should win the award. Mr. Blackwell will select 20 semifinalists and announce the winner on March 15.
Besides bestowing the winner with $25,000 in cash and nearly $5,000 in prizes, the fashion critic hopes to present an award for the worst dressed office, and would like to surprise the offender with a personal visit. "I won't attack the entrepreneur," he says, "just his or her furniture!"
The deadline for entries is January 15. For an application, call (800) OKI-DATA, fax a request to (212) 213-7221, or visit the com-pany's Web site at http://okidata.com. --J.C.