Aside from the scrupulous notes Elizabeth Holmes wrote to herself on how to attain the right level of Steve Job-ness and ultimately outdo him — we’ll get to that later — there were much more obvious tells regarding her admiration for the Apple inventor. As CNBCHolmes was, as Jobs, a strict follower of a uniform. Like Jobs, Holmes donned a black turtleneck for the majority of her public appearances — a strategy Jobs also employed — yet substituting the black turtleneck for a black mock-turtleneck. (As ForbesIt was reported that Jobs’s motivation for his clothes was a mix of unique branding, day-to-day efficacy and design.
Holmes told the press that she was not influenced by the Apple founder despite obvious similarities in aesthetics between the two tech CEOs. Holmes stated that Holmes was the only one who could see similarities between them. GlamourShe stated that as a child, she wore black turtlenecks because her mother had told her.
While this could indeed be the case, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou — who blew the Theranos fraud case wide open through his reportage and his subsequent investigative tell-all “Bad Blood” — later found Holmes was encouraged by a Theranos employee who had once worked at Apple to adopt the look (via Insider). Per Carreyrou Holmes wore Holmes’s usual clothes before that. “wide gray pantsuits and Christmas sweaters.”