2013 Best Dressed List

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Each year, society and style watchers keep an eye on the local scene for sartorial metro Detroiters — those who wear it well wherever they go. The following pages showcase our picks to ‘suit up’ for this year’s team.

* Winners listed in no particular order

Daniel Zott & Joshua Epstein

Frontmen for the band, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Fashion style:

Colorful, bright, exuberant and edgy on and off stage. “Josh wears slicker, more fitted clothes, where I tend to really be a bit of a wild man,” Zott says. And while Epstein admits to getting help with his wardrobe from his fashion stylist wife, Birta, Zott always dresses himself, and often helps his wife, Nancy, with her wardrobe.

Favorite shops:

Caruso Caruso, Lost and Found Vintage, Barney’s, and vintage shops on the road

Favorite designers:

Topman and Levi’s

Fashion debut:

Both men say they first started paying attention to fashion as teenagers, and both recall it was wearing their first 3-piece suit. “I realized I feel special when I dress up and I liked that feeling,” Epstein says.

Fashion advice:

Zott: “There’s power in clothing that develops our character psychologically. If you do it right, it can help you feel more confident.”

Epstein: “Dress partially for yourself and partially for other people. You only have one chance to make a first impression. The best way to dress is to buy special pieces then build your wardrobe around them.”

 

Laura Hughes

Program officer at Skillman Foundation

Fashion style:

Classic with an edge. “I like to take tailored suits and pair them with wild, chunky jewelry or work a simple classic dress with crazy patterns.”

Favorite shops:

Complex in Birmingham and Saks Fifth Avenue in Troy

Favorite designers:

Yigal Azrouel and Marlaina

Stone Jewelry

Fashion debut:

“It comes from my mom at a very early age. She would always tell us, ‘When you leave the house, you should be dressed to leave the house.’ I took that to heart.”

Fashion advice:

“Make sure your clothes are well-tailored and perfectly fitted; collect as many standard pieces as you can then embellish with great accessories; and finally, you can’t go wrong with black.”

 

Marc Gardner

CEO, North American Bancard

Fashion style:

Custom-tailored suits for business on Wall Street and in capital markets; sporty casual for day to day and social affairs — for instance, a suede blazer, cashmere sweater, and jeans.

Favorite shops:

John Varvatos in SoHo

Favorite designers:

John Varvatos and Ermenegildo Zegna suits

Fashion debut:

“When I was a kid I worked in my grandfather’s clothing store called The Argyle Shop. Working in the stock room, unpacking the merchandise, watching the clientele — it didn’t take long for me to get into it.”

Fashion advice:

“Look in the Neiman’s and Saks catalogs and pull outfits from there. They spend tremendous amounts of money hiring the best stylists in the world to put those outfits together. If you duplicate them just as they are in the catalogs, technically, you’re dressed by a top fashion stylist.”

 

Torii Hunter

Detroit Tigers Right fielder

Fashion style:

Classic mixed with funky. “I call it up to date,” he says. “I have kids in college. I’ll never have them laughing and saying, ‘look at that old-school stuff Dad is wearing.’ ”

Favorite shops:

Majority of wardrobe is custom hand-tailored at Elevee. He works with a fashion stylist company called Alba, and also shops at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, and Ferragamo.

Favorite designers:

Elevee clothing, Louis Vuitton, and Breitling watches (“I collect watches,” he adds.)

Fashion debut:

“When I was coming up I had nothing. Dressing well wasn’t an option. As soon as I was able, I started shopping. That was in 1993 when I got a signing bonus with the [Minnesota] Twins. I went out and bought a bunch of outfits by Girbaud and a bunch of Jordans (gym shoes).”

Fashion advice:

“Go with dark shirts with lighter jeans and shoes that match the shirt. Better yet, look good, feel good, play good, pay good.”

 

Sharon Eisenshtadt

Personal stylist and owner of She, women’s clothing boutiques in Bloomfield Hills and Grosse Pointe

Fashion style:

Classic contemporary. “The core base of my wardrobe is classic,” she says. “I throw in trends with accessories. You can usually find me in a little black dress.”

Favorite shop:

She, of course. “Even though I’m in New York a lot, I always try to shop locally,” she says. “If I see something in New York I want, I’ll call Saks in Troy to have them get it for me.”

Favorite designers:

Yigal Azrouel, Catherine Malandrino, and Velvet

Fashion debut:

“I’ve always liked girly clothes. I would never wear jeans and sweatshirts. In high school I used to wake up ready to dress for success. I felt better, got better grades, and now I have transferred that to my work ethic.”

Fashion advice:

“Seek and purchase styles that you love. Stick to interpretations of your own personal style.”

 

Sydney Ross

Co-owner of Great Lakes Wine and Spirits and co-founder of The Garden Party Foundation with his wife, Elizabeth

Fashion style:

Effortless. Beautiful sports coats over well-tailored trousers and open-collared shirts. “I love colorful socks,” he adds, “if I’m wearing socks at all.” Sometimes in summer, he switches up with great linen shirts and pants, but always sticking to a color palette of mostly blue, black, and gray.

Favorite shops:

L’uomo Vogue and Saks Fifth Avenue

Favorite designers:

Ermenegildo Zegna suits and Ferragamo shoes

Fashion debut:

“I’ve been dressing myself since I was 7 years old. Both my parents were always very well dressed. But at this stage, things are quite different for me. Eight years ago, at 6’4”, I weighed 272 pounds. Now I weigh 210. That made a big difference in what I wear and how it looks.”

Fashion advice:

“Dress in clothes that you feel comfortable wearing, and that are properly suited for the occasion.”

 

Suzanne Shank

President/CEO of Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC, an investment banking firm

Fashion style:

Elegant and understated. “Being on Wall Street limits some of the things I can wear,” she says. “But my personal wardrobe is more adventurous. I follow in my mom’s footsteps wearing things that are flattering to me as opposed to what the new trend might be.”

Favorite shops:

“Because I travel a lot, I shop all over the world,” she says. “Locally, I shop at Tender, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.”

Favorite designers:

Lanvin, Etro, Valentino. “And I love Tom Ford suits.”

Fashion debut:

“I didn’t really appreciate fashion until I moved to New York as a young woman,” she recalls. “The volume of offerings was mind-boggling – every major retailer and designer. I had to learn how to dress from day to evening. Plus as I began traveling abroad, I came to appreciate couture.”

Fashion advice:

“Find a great personal shopper,” she says. “You’d be amazed what you can accomplish by finding someone who shops for a living who understands you, your lifestyle, and what is flattering to you. That’s critical.”

 

Cornell Batie

CFO at Mack Avenue Records and executive vice president of Detroit International Jazz Festival

Fashion style:

Very dapper and well coordinated. He likes accessories and custom suits with vests and admits to being a shoe fanatic (“Shoes can make a difference in an outfit more than anything else,” he says). He shops for clothes that accent his physique, favoring particularly flat front pants.

Favorite shops:

The Vestry and Bachrach

Favorite designer:

Sean John

Fashion debut:

“In middle school I used to try to create my own style. One winter I decided I would not wear any coats. I thought I was very sharp in my long-sleeve hookups. I was cold, but I was sharp.”

Fashion advice:

“I try to buy something new every month to keep my wardrobe fresh. But everybody has to find what works for them and what looks good on them individually. And it’s always great to have an objective set of eyes – a second opinion.”

 

Rochelle Rietow

Marketing Director at Hello Innovation

Fashion style:

Eclectic. “I love getting creative with the latest trends and pairing them with classic go-to pieces. Overall, I’d say my style is glamorous with a bit of edge.”

Favorite shops:

Intermix, Caruso Caruso, French Connection, Zara, BCBG, and Lululemon for workout gear. “I’m addicted to shopping online too — a few of my faves are ASOS, Nasty Gal, and I’m a sucker for flash sale sites like Gilt Groupe and Fab.com.”

Favorite designers:

“I have a handbag obsession, so Chanel, Celine, and Balenciaga are my faves. I also love Herve Leger, Christian Louboutin, Giuseppe Zanotti, Roberto Cavalli, and Alexander McQueen.”

Fashion debut:

“Being interested in fashion is a part of my DNA. When I got my first set of colored pencils, I started designing outfits. They were mostly tweed skirt suits with matching accessories, before I even knew Chanel existed.”

Fashion advice:

“First and foremost confidence is key. It’s not the clothes that make the person; it’s the person that makes the clothes. Get to know yourself. What flatters your figure? What colors complement you? Understand what styles look the best on you and stick to them.”

 

Ethan Daniel Davidson

Musician, volunteer, philanthropist, investor, father, husband

Fashion style:

“I’m Gypsy godfather meets country club goodtime Charlie and everything in between,” Davidson says. This includes a variety of looks mostly all accompanied by unique shoes/boots and clever hats. “Henry the Hatter has changed my life,” he laughs.

Favorite shops:

“I buy vintage clothes all over the world, especially in New York, then I take them to Ali, The Birmingham Tailor, and he works his magic. He’s a real gem here in Detroit.” Davidson also shops at Lost and Found Vintage in Royal Oak, Mother Fletchers in Ferndale, RRL Archive in New York, and of course, Henry the Hatter in Detroit.

Favorite designers:

Rag & Bone and APC

Fashion debut:

“I’ve always fooled around with clothes and my look as far back as high school,” he says. “I’d experiment with all kinds of crazy things. But now it’s taken on a second life. My wife, Gretchen, is a huge inspiration.”

Fashion advice:

“Like with anything, you have to study. Don’t buy a lot, but see a lot and say ‘no’ a lot. You want to put out there what’s inside you. Express yourself even if nobody else gets it.”

 

Linda Orlans

CEO of eTitle Agency and Principal of Orlans Associates

Fashion style:

Sassy business. “Because of my work, I’m almost always in business attire,” she says. “So I take classic, quality business separates, mix and match them, then spice them up with accessories — especially good costume jewelry and great shoes.”

Favorite shops:

“Neiman Marcus is my favorite, but I like many of the stores at Somerset Collection.”

Favorite designers:

Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Carolina Herrera, and Chanel handbags

Fashion debut:

“When I became a lawyer and started going to court, I wanted to be taken seriously, but I didn’t want to look like a man. As soon as I started making a little money I began buying beautiful pieces one by one. Then I started collecting good costume jewelry.”

Fashion advice:

“Start with a good foundation of quality pieces — a good jacket, a beautiful pencil skirt. Then build your wardrobe bit by bit. You make it your own with your accessories and jewelry. Following these simple rules will produce amazing, rewarding dividends.”

 

Maha Jano

President of Maha Jano Interiors

Fashion style:

Nontraditional. Fashion forward. Dresses up outfits with lots of accessories like hats, avant-garde shoes and boots, and bold jewelry.

Favorite shops:

“I have an office in New York, so I shop there a lot, especially at Barney’s,” she says. “Locally, I shop at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.”

Favorite designers:

Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Lanvin

Fashion debut:

“It probably took full effect when I was 14 or 15 years old,” she recalls. “My mother used to sew. I always had to have things that were unique. I think I’ve always loved fashion.”

Fashion advice:

“Like in my interior design work, I take classic main pieces and then use accessories to enhance them. I have classic pieces in my wardrobe that I’ve had for 20 years. I can still wear them today with new accessories, making them vibrant and fresh.”

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