With The Dropout landing on Hulu on March 3rd, former biotech entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes will be in the spotlight once again, this time, portrayed by Academy Award-nominated actress Amanda Seyfried clad in a number of Wolford black turtlenecks.
As Holmes continues to pervade the zeitgeist (another project, Bad Blood, directed by Adam McKay, starring Jennifer Lawrence as the infamous fraudster is also in the works at Apple), we’d like to revisit the topic of the Theraos founder’s uniform of choice. Before her epic downfall, Holmes was constantly seen in all black ensembles, with her black mock turtleneck sweater front and center. With a wardrobe filled with black turtlenecks, Holmes blamed her intentionally identical ensembles on ease of sartorial choice, leaving her with one less thing to think about in the mornings.
Telling a publication in 2015, “My mom had me in black turtlenecks when I was, like 8. I probably have 150 of these.” She said, “[It’s] my uniform. It makes it easy, because every day you put on the same thing and don’t have to think about it — one less thing in your life. All my focus is on the work. I take it so seriously; I’m sure that translates into how I dress.”
As a meticulously calculated non-statement, the black turtleneck served as the ultimate blank canvas. A form of anonymity, Holmes pulled back blonde hair and signature red lip may not have only been out of convenience. Apparently having quite the obsession with Steve Jobs, Holmes attempted to emulate the Apple founder. According to a former co-worker, Holmes fervently tracked down the exact Issey Miyake black turtlenecks Jobs often sported in his keynote speeches and beyond.
In the 2019 HBO documentary The Inventor, Holmes confesses, “I do have to disclose that I’ve been in black turtlenecks since I was 7,” while denying ever taking stylistic cues from Jobs.
With overinflated and contradictory statements, a great many of Holmes’ actions are surrounded by a flurry of questions. And while obviously minute in comparison (Holmes was charged with 11 counts of fraud and conspiracy in January), I’m still left wondering about her exorbitant amount of black turtlenecks.