Who are the most stylish men and women in Dallas? We intend to find out. We have once again partnered with the Plaza at Plaza Center to present the second annual CultureMap Stylemaker Awards, which will culminate in a celebration on October 15 at Tootsies.
First, we asked you, our devoted readers, to nominate those you deem our city’s arbiters of style. Then we convened a panel of judges — including yours truly and CultureMap editor-in-chief Jennifer Chininis, 2014 Stylemaker winners Melissa Rountree and David Goltl, fashion show producer and owner of RSC Productions Rhonda Sargent Chambers, and the Hall Agency’s Cindy Morris — to narrow down the pool to 12 deserving semifinalists.
It was no easy task, but after after carefully considering each and every nominee, we present a list of men and women who represent not only a diverse array of styles, but also a variety of industries. Some have made an impact on the fashion business; others have simply impressed with their ability to make a fashion statement in any circumstance.
So take a look at this list, and then cast your vote. You can vote once a day, every day, until September 20. The six top vote-getters will move into the final round to determine the readers’ choice. That person, along with editors’ choice, will be honored at the Stylemaker party on October 15.
Meet the Stylemaker semifinalists (listed in alphabetical order by last name):
Name: Judy Aldridge
Why Judy deserves to be a Stylemaker: Judy Aldridge never met a bold, vintage piece she didn't like — and thank goodness for that, because it's her daring style that makes her so much fun to watch. Her daughter, Jane, runs the popular blog Sea Of Shoes, showing that the apple doesn't fall far from the well-turned-out tree.
Name: Nicole Bulcher
Occupation: Bar Method manager and Dallas Cowboys cheerleader
Why Nicole deserves to be a Stylemaker: Blue and silver might be her colors on the field, but this veteran Dallas Cowboys cheerleader doesn’t shy away from vibrant colors and powerful prints in her everyday life for a carefree style we all wish we had.
Name: Javier Burkle
Why Javier deserves to be a Stylemaker: Styling others may be his profession, but Javier always looks pretty slick himself. This man-about-town always knows what’s hip and happening, and how to translate it into a more polished daily life. His friends say he always looks impeccable.
Name: Kendall Eckerd
Occupation: Blogger, designer, and illustrator
Why Kendall deserves to be a Stylemaker: When she’s not tending to her beautiful blog or working on her upcoming fashion line, the professionally trained artist is putting together looks so effortlessly cool that you wonder how denim and a T doesn’t look that great on everyone.
Name: Lisa Garza
Occupation: Chef/Restaurateur/Creative Director
Why Lisa deserves to be a Stylemaker: After appearing on The Next Food Network Star in 2008, Lisa parlayed her kitchen skills into two wildly popular Dallas restaurants. But it's not just her food that people remember: her vintage vibe and Southern hospitality charm all who know her.
Name: Nelson Huff
Occupation: Sales associate, Pockets Menswear
Why Nelson deserves to be a Stylemaker: There’s an art to making a man look his best, and one look at Nelson confirms that he’s got it. It’s easy to take fashion advice from such a stylish gentleman, and we can thank him for helping to make Dallas gents a bit more put together.
Name: Nancy Koen
Occupation: Co-founder, B. Stellar Jewelry
Why Nancy deserves to be a Stylemaker: Nancy stays on top of not only what’s in fashion, but what will be. She has years of experience in the fashion biz with myriad designers and brands, and recently she launched jewelry line B. Stellar with pal Misty Incontrera, giving the women of Dallas a little bit of their style to carry with them.
Name: Julian Leaver
Occupation: Area Director of Catering Sales and Events for Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and Rosewood Crescent
Why Julian deserves to be a Stylemaker: Thanks to Julian, #BowTieTuesday is officially a thing in Dallas. The dapper man behind some of the most fairytale-like events at the Mansion and the Crescent is always perfectly turned out, and that includes the classy ties he’s been sporting since first grade.
Name: Amanda Reed
Occupation: Manager, TenOverSix
Why Amanda deserves to be a Stylemaker: Amanda stays ahead of the fashion curve as well as she masters classic style. Her couture knowledge lends a bit of refinery to everything she touches, and we covet her statement-making shoes. She is also excellent at finding that finishing "third piece."
Name: Bridget Ryan
Occupation: Account consultant, rewardStyle
Why Bridget deserves to be a Stylemaker: This tech-savvy fashion maven has a job that suits her. As a consultant for rewardStyle, she's clued in to everything that's going on in Dallas and beyond. Says her nominator, "You not only want to emulate her style, but her sweet disposition as well."
Name: Charles Smith II
Occupation: Fashion designer, Smith The Second
Why Charles deserves to be a Stylemaker: Exposure to high fashion while walking the catwalks of Milan may have influenced Charles Smith II, but it's the designer's sporty, sexy signature style that informs his two fashion lines. He's changing the way Dallasites dress, one new vision at a time.
Name: Linda Snorina
Occupation: Associate creative director, The Marketing Arm
Why Linda deserves to be a Stylemaker: You could say Linda's eye for design informs not only her work in creative marketing, but also her day-to-day look. There's an air of exuberance to how this vivacious gal dresses, and she gets noticed wherever she goes.
Which of these Stylemakers stands out from the rest? Cast your vote daily through September 20.