The 29 Best-Dressed Detroiters of 2008

It’s something retailers and the international couture community have known for years: Detroiters know fashion. Photographs by Joe Vaughn


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Chauncey Billups
From left to right: Jennifer Knapp, Tika Ivezaj, Danialle Karmanos, Laurie Sall

Jennifer Knapp

West Bloomfield Township, publisher

Knapp thinks the way she dresses expresses her personality before people even meet her. Her style is polished, with a dash of street smarts. “I love denim,” she says. Her favorite shopping spot is Dolce Moda, and she loves discovering independent designers. However, she admits a fondness for Yves Saint Laurent. She acquired her sense of style while traveling throughout Europe, and from her mother. “I went to Catholic school, so I always wore uniforms,” she says. “But my mother would create fun and dressy outfits for me to wear on weekends and off school times.”

Tika Ivezaj

West Bloomfield Township, fashion model

Ivezaj says she has fun with fashion, because it allows her to express the mood she happens to be in. “I can be whoever I want — sexy, classy, edgy — just by changing clothes,” she says. Favorite designers are Roberto Cavalli, Zac Posen, Chanel, and Dolce & Gabbana. She likes to shop at various stores, but her favorite is Dolce Moda. She loves handbags: “It’s very important to have a hot purse.” The first time she got a compliment on an outfit in grade school, she was hooked on fashion. “I had a pair of black-leather pants,” she says. “I thought I was so cool.”

Danialle Karmanos

Orchard Lake, philanthropist/activist

People often think that, as the wife of business tycoon Peter Karmanos Jr., Danialle’s look would be traditional and conservative. Not so. Although she appropriately rises to the occasion, she loves being glamorous and having fun with fashion. Her mood swings from lace and sequins and leopard-print false eyelashes to Uggs and James Perse T-shirts, oversize sweaters, and pants. Her style icons are Gwyneth Paltrow, Selma Hayak, Kelly Ripa, and Charlize Theron. Her favorite designers: Alexander McQueen, YSL, Prada, Azzedine Alaia, and Brioni suits. In Michigan, she shops primarily at Linda Dresner and Neiman Marcus. “I consider it an honor to wear such amazing clothes,” she says. “I never take any of it for granted.”

Laurie Sall

Troy, insurance agent

Owning her own business means she’s always got to put her best foot forward, Sall says. And doing that means she’s got to look good. For Sall, that means a style that’s eclectic and trendy, often with a mix of old and new. It’s a look that has evolved from early childhood. Her first hot fashion look, she says, goes back to age two, when she was delighted to sport a shantung pant-and-blouse set. Today, her favorite designers are Lanvin, Peter Som, and Thakoon. And she’s proud to say that 90 percent of her wardrobe is purchased in metro Detroit, with 70 percent from her favorite store, Tender. She especially loves fancy overcoats, and says, “I buy a new coat every year, fur or otherwise.” 

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