And then there were six. We’re down to the half-dozen finalists in our fourth annual CultureMap Stylemaker Awards, in which we celebrate the most fashionable men and women in Dallas. From the 12 semifinalists our distinguished judges chose, you decided who would make it this far.
Now that we’ve reached the finals, you must vote again, this time to determine the readers’ choice winner. You can vote once a day, every day, until October 24 at 11:59 pm.
Then, on October 26, we celebrate all six finalists at the big Stylemaker Awards reveal party at Tootsies. Themed "Defining Decades of Style," the party will celebrate style icons of the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. Party-goers are encouraged to dress for the decade that speaks to their soul, then come ready to walk the red carpet, sip signature cocktails, belly up to a cosmetics bar, mug for a photo booth, and more.
For the party, the finalists will put their styling skills to the test, creating full looks with clothing and accessories pulled from retailers at The Plaza, our Stylemaker Awards partner. For the first time, proceeds from the event will benefit The Family Place's Partners Card program.
In preparation for the big reveal, we spent a day in the studio with our six finalists and photographer Hoyoung Lee. In between primping and posing, they told us about their personal style evolutions and influences, and what defines them as a "Stylemaker."
Watch the video, view the photos, and read about the finalists to get to know them better. Then be sure to vote for your favorite.
Amber LaFrance, 29
Occupation: President and executive publicist, CultureHype; Publisher/editor-in-chief, DFW Style Daily; Co-owner, Longhorn Ballroom
Her style, in her own words: "My style's been influenced by anyone who's a little bit quirky and out of the box. I'm really big on being authentically you; my style's very eclectic. I used to be a lot more toned down. I was a 23-year-old girl boss, so I was wearing a lot of suits and muted colors. Over the years, I have realized that I can let my fashion-freak flag fly. I can be as creative as I want; I can wear patterns. My style has evolved a lot over time; it's kind of gotten weirder and weirder every year because I like really unique shapes, patterns, and colors."
Rida Mandavia, 27
Occupation: Behavioral therapist; Chief editor of Dallas[Intuitive]; Founder of Rida's Pop-Up Shop
Her style, in her own words: "The sari is a very traditional garment worn by, usually, married women in India. It symbolizes elegance, timelessness, and a kind of demureness for the Indian woman. I like that a lot of those values reflect in how I visualize my style, so I like to pull a lot of influence from a lot of my culture and my background. My style has evolved immensely thorough the years. I've gotten a lot more in touch with my Indian side and have learned to embrace that. Being first generation Indian-American, born and raised in Dallas, it was kind of difficult navigate that identity, so I found that style really helped me celebrate my culture ... and really give people a visual of what it means to be an Indian-American."
Brad Pritchett, 37
Occupation: Director of marketing and communications, Dallas Theater Center; TV correspondent, WFAA and Dallas Voice DVtv
His style, in his own words: "I'm really big on a polished look from head to toe — something that looks like you at least put put more than five minutes into what you're presenting, because it's all about building your brand, and your brand is part of your aesthetic, as well. Years ago, I was walking into work and found out that the stairwell that I take into my office had such great natural lighting, so I threw my camera up against the wall in self-portrait mode and put on a timer and walked down the stairs, and I came up with my Instagram #StairwellSeries, and it has blown up with amount of people that look forward to those and comment on those and see those ... which is great for me because I sit and stress about what I'm going to wear to work at night."
Deve Sanford, 44
Occupation: Fine art consultant; Curator; Partner at Dbrand Distribution
Her style, in her own words: "Art, for me, is all about self-expression and opening your eyes to new cultures and new concepts, and that's also what travel does for you. My style is a direct reflection of that. My style is really timeless because my style is a direct reflection of who I am. As I've grown as a woman, of course my style has grown and changed, but it's fun, it's sophisticated, it's sexy. Never trendy, because just like Coco Chanel said, 'Fashion doesn't remain, only style does.' I can wear anything from designer to things at H&M. Whatever I put on it just takes on my personal style."
Yasmeen Tadia, 35
Occupation: CEO and founder of Make Your Life Sweeter Brands: Fluffpop, Hotpoppin, Sugaire, and Modsweets
Her style, in her own words: "My culture and heritage has a lot to do with my style, and how I present myself. When I was 12 years old, I decided to dress conservatively and modestly, but also making sure that I'm fashion forward."
Molly Tuttle, 33
Occupation: Style blogger; Animal advocate
Her style, in her own words: "I am not a totally structured person, so stylistically I'm not too structured, either. I want to be really intentional with where I buy and what I buy. I love vintage; it's the most sustainable, and in my opinion, soulful way to shop. I really love to support it when high fashion designers step outside the box and start making animal-friendly choices. I feel like my mission and the way I dress is the definition of a style maker because I'm changing people's perception about vegan fashion and letting people know there are options out there that are more eco-friendly, and to me, that is a style maker."