Who are the most stylish men and women in Dallas? We intend to find out. We have partnered with the Plaza at Plaza Center to present the first-ever 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, Oh So Cynthia’s Cynthia Smoot, lady-about-town Yvonne Crum, FLUENT’s Jackson, and longtime local stylist and fashion writer Stephanie Quadri — 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 October 1. 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: Matt Alexander
Occuptation: Founder, Need
Why Matt deserves to be a Stylemaker: The London native knew he was onto something when he started Need: Offer a small collection of hard-to-find goods online and make it easy and enjoyable for men to shop for them. Then along came customers, investors and a partnership with New York Fashion Week’s Men’s Day. Says his nominator, “He’s helped show that Dallas is as important a fashion center as NY and LA.”
Name: Merritt Beck
Occupation: Founder, The Style Scribe
Why Merritt deserves to be a Stylemaker: In a sea of fashion bloggers, she stands out by staying true to her style and creating content that fans look forward to reading every day. Says her nominator, “Merritt is the style guru. She is my go-to fashion blogger whose posts never disappoint.”
Name: Eddie Fortuna
Occupation: Architectural designer at Omniplan Inc.
Why Eddie deserves to be a Stylemaker: His creativity extends beyond his day job; he and his wife launched a website that puts a fun twist on the standard fashion blog. Also noteworthy: GQ magazine recognized his sartorial savvy. His nominator sums it up: “He’s always impeccably dressed, a complete gentleman, and carries an infectious smile and attitude with him.”
Name: David Goltl
Occupation: Studio proprietor at Design Within Reach
Why David deserves to be a Stylemaker: Not only can this guy dress a room, but he can also dress himself — and inspire the other gentlemen around him to take it up a notch. As much we love the bow tie he’s sporting in the slideshow above, his best accessory has to be his smile. And he makes looking and living on trend seem effortless.
Name: Jenny Kirtland
Occupation: Partner, Ascot + Hart
Why Jenny deserves to be a Stylemaker: The Polyphonic Spree chanteuse now has a style maven’s dream job, running her own clothing line, Ascot + Hart, with her best friend, which they launched last November. She has always marched to the beat of her own fashion drum, which is not always easy to do in Dallas.
Name: Kevin Lavelle
Occupation: Founder, Mizzen+Main
Why Kevin serves to be a Stylemaker: He was just trying to solve a common menswear problem: a comfortable, well-fitting, washable dress shirt that wouldn’t get drenched with sweat in the heat. The apparel industry told him he was crazy, but now his Mizzen+Main makes dress shirts and way more out of a moisture-wicking, washable, wrinkle-free material that has everyone — from athletes to executives — talking.
Name: Diamond Mahone
Occupation: Blogger and sales at TenOverSix
Why Diamond deserves to be a Stylemaker: She dares to be different and has a knack for balancing old with new. Says her nominator, “When you see Diamond out and about on the scene, you know for a fact that her look includes many well thought-out pieces, including lots of vintage. I love that about her.” She was also recruited by The Gap for its Styled.by campaign.
Name: Michael Rodriguez
Occupation: Style/image consultant
Why Michael deserves to be a Stylemaker: He takes his job seriously, and he has a look all his own. Says his nominator, “Michael literally makes a living off of looking good. He’s always polished, professional and impeccably dressed from head to toe.”
Name: Maleiah Rogers
Occupation: Owner, Era Salon
Why Maleiah deserves to be a Stylemaker: She looks fabulous wherever she goes, even while she’s styling clients in her equally fabulous salon. She can also pull off almost any look, from fun and funky to perfectly coiffed. According to her nominator, “She inspires us all to be a little more glamorous.”
Name: Melissa Rountree
Occupation: Realtor, Dave Perry-Miller & Associates
Why Melissa deserves to be a Stylemaker: Her style withstands the test of time, which makes sense because she spent years as an executive at both Chanel and Dior. Says her nominator, “Melissa has been a style maven her entire life. She creates a sophisticated, polished look while staying fun and on-trend.”
Name: Ariel Saldivar
Occupation: Executive director, ArtPrize Dallas
Why Ariel deserves to be a Stylemaker: Whether she’s at an opening reception at Goss-Michael Foundation or a major fundraiser at the Dallas Contemporary, she always dresses the part of the young, confidant champion of the arts. As you might expect from a creative — she’s a singer and jewelry designer to boot — “her look is always fresh and unexpected but never out of place,” says her nominator.
Name: Patrick Ware
Occupation: Sales, Traffic Los Angeles
Why Patrick deserves to be a Stylemaker: As a fixture on the men’s retail scene, he has infused countless Dallas wardrobes with contemporary, hard-to-find fashions. He doesn’t follow the trends; he sets them. And he has a passion for helping his clients find their individual style. As his nominator puts it, “Guys want to dress like him, and girls want their guys to dress like him.”
Which of these Stylemakers stands out from the rest? Cast your vote daily through October 1.