see them at cocktail parties, at work, on the street ó even in the
They are those
people who, whether they are grabbing a coffee to-go or sipping
champagne at a gala event, always look effortlessly fabulous. Often,
theyíre not wearing the latest designer trend or the "it"
look from the cover of a magazine. Sometimes, their look doesnít
scream fashion, but instead is so well-fitted and tasteful that you
canít put your finger on exactly what makes it so perfect; you just
know that it is. What sets them apart is the unique way in which they
make a stylish entrance with a vintage blazer, repurposed dress,
favorite pair of shoes or colorful pocket square. Their style emanates
from within each and every one of them ó and definitely is all their
own. They are 11 Milwaukeeans who make a chic statement through their
Owner and Designer, LMD Handbags/Community Volunteer
I like to describe my style as Audrey Hepburn meets Amy Winehouse or
Joan Jett. I love the contrast between hard and soft, and feminine and
masculine. I think a contemporary woman represents this struggle to be
a wife and mother but at the same time have a successful career
outside the home. That tension translates into the way I dress. I love
classic lines but at the same time I love an edgy, modern twist.
Sometimes I can achieve this with different textures of fabrics or
with a unique handbag (usually one of my designs) or a vintage piece
A purposeful mixture of vintage and modern dressing. I always wear
something vintage ó sometimes itís a jacket or dress that I have
reworked to make it look more current or a piece of jewelry that is a
loving memory of someone in my life. It makes me feel close to them
even though theyíre gone. I think itís important to wear vintage
that is personal to you. It tells a lot about who you are!
Take chances, trust your own intuition about what looks good on your
figure and go with it. Confidence is king!
Favorite: Handbags, of course! Only LMD will do!
I always shop in my own closet first. I try on different combinations
of outfits and shoes, and take inventory before I buy anything. When I
do buy something, I head to vintage shops (The Third and Fifth wards
have several good ones, like Riverside Antiques and Antiques on 2nd.)
If I canít find what I want, I head to Jo-Ann Fabrics and make it.
Or, Iíll check out Lela or Gigi of Mequon.
Personal: I think style is achieved first on the inside by being
confident and happy. If you have that confidence you release yourself
from all the internal and external expectations ó and then you can
have fun. I think the biggest gift we can give ourselves as women is
to not be judgmental and be kind to ourselves.
Owner, Fayeís Boutiques
I grew up in a very small town in North Dakota; there were 1,500
people. But my mother always made an entrance. She sewed her own
clothes ó things like curly lamb capes! The more interesting
question is what inspired my mother? I never asked her that. And now
itís too late.
A black column, cardigan or jacket, and LOTS of accessories. I have a
big, chunky, silver Kalibre bracelet that I have worn everyday for
almost two decades. Itís my signature piece. I feel lost without it.
You donít need a lot of clothes, you just need the right clothes.
Clothes should simplify your life, not complicate it. Also, I never
wear anything I donít LOVE.
Favorite: Hmm Ö I think a great cashmere sweater. Iím a fabric
snob. I love things that feel luxurious. Oh, and scarves. I need to
check into Scarf Rehab.
Missoni, Theory, Lafayette 148 and alice + olivia.
In my stores Ö full stop, period! I never undress to try clothes on.
I figure if something fits over what Iím wearing, it will look
better when I take the first layer off. I hate to shop. I donít have
a lot of clothes; I donít want too many choices. I have no problem
wearing something two, even three days in a row, if my
"audiences" are different.
Personal: When I donít have my "costume" and "game
face" on, you can find me wandering the woods on our property
with my husband, Rick, and our dogs. Many times Iím in pajamas and
Wellies! Honestly. Also, Iíve had my business for more than 20
years. And, I am as enthused about it as the day I opened the doors,
Feb. 2, 1991. I still wake up at 4:30 in the morning, and the
adrenaline starts pumping. Might as well get out of bed; timeís a
Senior Hair Stylist, Erik of Norway Salon-Downtown
My personal style came to me at a young age. My father is a hair
stylist, who dressed stylish and expressive. My parents encouraged
self-expression and individuality. I was also influenced by what and
who I saw while working in Beverly Hills and New York, and by my
wife, Nichole, who is currently very influential in my style and
Style Mantra: My
style mantra has always been to wear what makes me feel good, and to
Favorite: My favorite clothing item is a pair of jeans. Jeans are an
iconic American clothing item that can be extremely versatile, and I
have dozens of them, including vintage.
My favorite designers/lines are John Varvatos, Mark Jacobs, All
Saints and Leviís.
I shop in New York, L.A. and online. Often, while my wife is
traveling for photo shoots, she will buy me something interesting.
Personal: I served twice in the U.S. Army and was a hair stylist in
L.A. for 10 years (which gave me the opportunity to meet and style
dozens of actors and musicians, and travel around the world). I love
being a dad and a husband.
President & Creative Director, Dynamic Events by David Caruso
Iím inspired by so many different things ó movies, celebrities,
home interiors, art, travel. My Grandpa Kirby definitely influenced my
personal style. I can remember being very young and recognizing his
dapper suits, white patent leather shoes and perfectly coiffed silver
Most of my outfits would not be complete without the addition of a
stylish pocket square combined with bold patterns and signature
colors. Pocket squares are a great accessory for men because they are
so versatile. Patterned pocket squares can add interest to a plain
outfit; while solid colored ones can mix and match with almost
Style Mantra: I
like to demonstrate my personal style by wearing clothes and
accessories that showcase my personality ó fun, bold, creative and
Favorite: A well-tailored sport coat. You can completely change the
look of a jacket simply by choosing different shirt and tie
combinations to pair with them. You can dress them up by wearing them
with matching pants, or dress them down with stylish jeans and a
Designer Dish: I
covet a range of designers: event designer Colin Cowie; interior
designer Michael Smith; architectural designer David Adler; fashion
designers Coco Chanel and Valentino Garavani; and life designer Oprah
When it comes to shopping, Iím definitely not a creature of habit. I
enjoy discovering interesting garments everywhere from mainstream
retailers and outlet malls to local boutiques and Internet hot spots.
Personal: Considering my line of work, people might expect that Iím
out and about on the town experiencing parties frequently. However,
when Iím not working, Iím most comfortable spending time at home
with my dog, Miss Molly, a Hendrickís and Tonic (with fresh lime)
and watching episodes of my favorite TV shows on DVR.
Company B Brand Marketing Principal/Co-owner, The Iron Horse Hotel
Getting ready is sometimes my favorite part of the day. I transformed
a bedroom into a closet (a trick I learned from my mother, who did
that to my old room). Iíve never understood celebrities that get
caught in baseball caps and no makeup or people who wear sweats on
airplanes. Dress your best, whatever your budget. It makes me feel
like a woman and strong, all at the same time.
Professional but edgy, body conscious, age-appropriate (but just
barely), and hardly ever slacks.
Youíre not dressed until youíre overdressed.
Favorites: Not just shoes, heels. The higher the better. My trainer
tells me Iím shortening my calves, so Iím exploring fashionable
flats (which is sort of an oxymoron).
Narciso Rodriguez, Oscar de la Renta and Alexander McQueen.
I donít spend a lot. Someday, but for now a mix of retailers like
BCBG, private lines like Etcetera, local shops like Lela and vintage
dress shops anywhere. I love shopping when I travel because you see
such a variety of styles and influences.
Personal: I am the mother of two stylish teenagers who constantly
challenge my fashion choices and stamina.
Community Volunteer/Former Owner, Arlene Wilson Model Management
My mom and now my husband, Joel Lee.
Usually pretty classic with a good fit; beautiful fabric, mostly solid
colors, few patterns; things that I can wear for years and that travel
Simple: Iíve worn every fad/style at least once in my life and I
love to see those beautiful young models in the ads who can wear
anything and look great. But I know those days are over for me! I can
still look good at 71, but no more minis, platforms, etc. Simple and
classic works best.
Favorite: I love pumps and sandals, but no platforms, no heel over 3
inches. I love wearing flats or wedges during the day. I tend to carry
a handbag that I can get all my things in and that will fit over my
shoulder easily. For evening or parties, I use a smaller bag. I love
my LMD shaggy bag. My favorite jeans are Loro Piano that I bought
three or four years ago. I told the sales person that I would never
spend that much on a pair of jeans but she encouraged me to just try
them on. I rationalize that I live in them, so it was actually a much
better investment than a pair of dressy pants.
Designer Dish: Iím
all over the board. I love casual things from Vince, Apostrophe,
Joseph, J Crew. Sometimes the skinnier pant but with a long sweater or
blouse over. Suits by Strenesse, Zenobia; dresses by Magaschoni, Iris,
Yeohlee, Escada and Armani. My favorite evening dresses are by Theia,
Redux, Donna Ricco and Donna Karan. I have an Armani three-quarter
coat that Iíve worn for years and I still love, a Geox down coat
that I love because itís warm and practical, and an easy,
wear-with-anything Eileen Fisher knit coat.
I like to shop locally where I can try things on, but I do shop
online, too, and on vacation. Cindy Molloy (owner of Molloyís)
always seems to come up with things I love when I have a special
occasion. Saks has the best website in that they have video of each
dress, modeled so you can see how the piece moves on the body. I also
never buy at trunk shows because I may not like the way the garment
fits when it comes in, but then I would own it. My husband is a womanís
dream; he loves to shop and he pushes me to be a little more
Personal: Honestly, I could live in yoga clothes and my Toms, or jeans
and a sweater. But, because Iím on the Cancer Center Board at the
Medical College of Wisconsin and on the We Care Fund Committee, I need
some business clothes. I just bought another black suit by Zelda. My
granddaughter, Bella, in L.A., says, "MooMoo, have you ever
thought of wearing color?"
Dreative Driector and Co-founder, HollenWolff
My Inspiration: My grandfather, Stanley Hollenbeck, is the
inspirational and sartorial half of the company namesake. He always
looked impeccable. His use of pattern and color was loud, but he
carried it so well.
"Independent traditional." For example, the shirting Iíve
designed for HollenWolff can be dressed up or down. The heavy white
oxford can be worn to a formal event or just as easily with
summer-weight suiting. I want to wear my things 10 different ways. It
depends on how Iím feeling.
Whatever your size or shape, fit is most important. Period.
Favorite: HollenWolff cufflinks, of course! Thereís a combination
for every situation that presents itself.
Ralph Lauren, Mark McNairy, Daiki Suzuki, Jil Sander and Karl
I love learning about what I buy. Researching the companies, meeting
people involved with the lines ... I want to know what factories the
clothing is made in. Quality over quantity. Locally, I shop Simon
Oliver in Whitefish Bay and Context in Madison.
Personal: I have two daughters, London, 6, and Cosette, 3. Those two
girls are amazing. I love laughing with them. They make everything
WISN 12 News Anchor/Journalist
titles include, but not limited to: Mommy, wife, nose wiper, thing
finder, laundress, cook, caregiver, errand runner, personal kid-sistant,
jewelry designer, Miss Crafty and household Commander in Chief,"
My early and reoccurring influence is my grandmother, Kitty Murphy.
She was always "put together" but managed to make it look
effortless. Iíve only seen photos of this, but she would vacuum the
house in heels ... not to impress anyone but herself! She was the
epitome of sassy. Iím also influenced by total strangers. Just today
I saw a woman at the airport who was WORKING her outfit (tan ankle
pants, black T-shirt, strappy espadrilles, a jean jacket, a leopard
print scarf and woven fedora.) I told her the minute I got home I
would be copying her look. She probably thinks Iím crazy, but
politely thanked me anyway.
Polished, refined, simple, (mostly) timeless. Iím not certain I
always pull it off ...
You should wear your clothes, they shouldnít wear you ó and retail
is for suckers.
Favorite: Shoes and jewelry. Thatís where you can get the most bang
for your buck (especially when you wear a lot of black). Iím a
sucker for an edgy, bright, bold pair of shoes. With my jewelry,
whether theyíre pieces Iíve made, repurposed from vintage items,
"re-loved" from my grandmotherís collections or bought
new, I aim for them to make a statement. I love the ability jewelry
has to detract attention from trouble spots, take the focus off a bad
hair day, elevate a ho-hum outfit or totally pull an outfit together.
Iím sounding like an addict.
Whateverís on sale.
Iím truly all over the place, so hang with me here: I often shop the
Internet because I can find items that arenít at every mall in the
country. I shop discount department stores, like T.J. Maxx and
Marshalls. I am really fond of local boutiques because theyíre a
great spot to find uncommon things and support local businesses. Iíve
been known to hunt Goodwill and resale shops for several reasons. I
find original pieces (many times vintage), Iím minimizing my carbon
footprint and I adore the reaction I get when I answer the question
"where did you find that?" Plus, it really proves you donít
have to go broke to pull off a good-looking outfit. All that being
said, I can be just as at home perusing the mall and the Macyís/Neiman
Marcus/Boston Store world.
Personal: I never knew the gravity of being both proud and humble
until falling in love with my husband, Brian, and having our
daughters, Alivia and Maya. Related to work, I take my job seriously,
but I donít take myself seriously.
Creative Director, LP/w Design Studios
The answer to this is multifaceted. It was a combination of growing
older (thus ditching some of my hipster wear), starting our business
(thus projecting the proper brand) and feeling more comfortable in my
own skin (thus having the confidence to be more presentable).
Style Mantra: In
the words of John Hodgman, "Properly fitted and tasteful clothing
will be practically invisible. People will only notice that you look
good. And you will feel good because of it."
Favorite: A clean, white button down shirt is unbeatable, but Iím a
sucker for a cool jacket.
Unrealistic: Ralph Lauren. Realistic: J.Crew and Zara.
I donít have a big wardrobe, just the basics. I usually know what I
want, so if itís not online, itís a quick trip to the store.
Personal: I live in a house full of women. Iím just trying not to be
Owner, A.C. Zuckerman Jewelers/Jewelry Designer/Philanthropist
One and only: Anna Dello Russo. (Once described by Helmut Newton as a
"fashion maniac," Anna Dello Russo is currently the editor
at large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan.)
My culture approaches life like a party ó a garden party. My style
has been contaminated by international travel, but Italy has been one
of my biggest influences. Three words: Milan Fashion Week!
Let your style express the way you see yourself. Donít follow
fashion ó be fashion. Eccentricity must be alive. I believe in
hyper-accessorizing, flamboyant catwalk looks as daywear and that
great taste equals loving color. I dress for life!
Favorite: Shoes ... definitely shoes! People in this city donít have
to automatically know who I am ó the red soles of my 6-inch shoes
give it away. One might refer to me as an addict, but I think of
myself as a "collector." My 6-year-old daughter counted 126
pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes in my closet.
Designers: Azzedine Alaia, Giambattista Valli, Alexander McQueen,
Proenza Schouler, Oscar de la Renta and Dolce & Gabbana.
Madison Avenue, New York.
Personal: True friends come in all shoe sizes!
Creative Professional/Owner, Reginald Baylor Studio
From my momís point of view and encouragement, one should always be
dressed as one wishes to be perceived. From my dadís point of view
and encouragement, one should wake up in the morning and dress like
one is ready to work ó ABSOLUTELY no sweatpants or lounge wear.
Wear what you want, as long as it looks good.
Favorite: Boots, turquoise and polka-dots.
Shanel Regier, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Kenton Sorenson, Henry Ford,
Personal: My goal as a business owner is to prove that creativity can
be more of an asset than just an expression.