Boston’s Most Stylish are …
Artists, entrepreneurs, an activist, and an actress all made up the Globe’s eighth annual list of tastemakers.
For full interviews, more photos, and behind-the-scenes content from Globe Magazine’s Spring Style issue, visit BostonGlobe.com/StyleMagazine
Age 14 Occupation Actress Residence Andover
What did you wear for your audition for
I just came in a pair of leggings, Uggs, and a sweater.
And do you still wear a lot of blue eye shadow?
Not much. But sometimes I will put on a little. I can’t help it, I love it.
What do you like to wear?
I’m pretty casual, but I’m starting to obsess a little bit, like one of my favorite things to do is to pair really feminine accessories with edgier outfits or vice versa. I’m starting to find my own style.
Maggie DeSantis Ahearn
Age 62 Occupation Vice president at Otis & Ahearn Real Estate
Residence Back Bay
Do you think it’s harder today for women over 50 to look fashionable?
I think it’s easier. Even though much of fashion is often geared to a youth-oriented audience, you can absolutely find clothes that are chic and age-appropriate. Today, women over 50 look better than they ever have and can carry off trends in fashion and style. I never wear a single designer head to toe, though. I like to mix it up, knowing a sense of my own style.
Age 33 Occupation
Boston Bruins defenseman Residence Boston
What do you wear on the weekends?
Honestly, a lot of the things I wear are because I grew up as a punk, skateboard, snowboarding kid. I still buy Volcom jeans, and most of the casual pieces I wear are active brands.
Age 27 Occupation Founder and CEO of Spreedia.com
What’s your favorite hidden gem in Boston?
I would say stores that are not on the main streets. Hidden places like Patch NYC or places that are just outside the city, like Viola Lovely in Concord. Or even a place like Bobby From Boston. I’m always surprised about how many locals don’t know about it because Bobby has a huge following outside Boston.
Age 35 Occupation Executive Director and Cofounder, Future Boston Alliance
Activist style should be your next project.
Oh, trust me, they need it. I am so done with this idea that looking busted shows that you’re doing good work. I have knocked on doors in heels, baby. You still have to be fabulous.
How do you think growing up in Abu Dhabi influenced your style?
I grew up in an environment where brands were the focus, whereas I was into purely fashion. It put me off from wearing anything that has a big, grand logo on it. I’d rather wear something that was designed in a really cool way than wear something that’s severely costly just for the sake of advertising a brand name.
Dave Willis and Will Willis
Dave Willis (top)
Age 35 Occupation Cofounder, Bully Boy Distillers
Residence Jamaica Plain
Age 39 Occupation Cofounder, Bully Boy Distillers
Your bottles are beautifully designed.
Dave: We wanted to create a bottle design that mirrored the image of our company. We’re a craft distiller. We grew up on a farm in Sherborn, and we grew up working on the farm, so we wanted something that was real. Not frosted glass, not one of these bottles that has a slick image behind it.
L.I. Sounder puts a big emphasis on quality American-made goods. Has that helped from a business perspective?
Not only has it been really helpful, it’s what makes it most enjoyable. Just working with Frank Clegg in Fall River, he works with a number of different designers in the area who come into his leather shop. The best part about making your product in the United States is that there’s a camaraderie between the companies doing it.
Age 34 Occupation Director of public relations and social media, Boston Ballet
Residence Warwick, R.I.
What did you learn about personal style from working in fashion?
What’s interesting about being on the inside of fashion is that you see that the people who look great all the time are the people who really march to the beat of their own drum, who dress to please themselves.
Michelle Tolini Finamore
Age 43 Occupation Curator of Fashion Arts, Museum of Fine Arts Boston
What do you say to people who consider fashion a lesser art form in a museum like the MFA?
If you actually look at a couture garment and the way it is constructed, there are plenty of parallels you can make to the best artworks in the museum. Couture is the pinnacle of clothing creation. And as an art form, fashion communicates on two levels, both the personal expression of the wearer and the broader cultural aesthetic of the times.
Age 41 Occupation Attorney and owner, Evelyn & Angel’s Candy Shop
Your two jobs are very different. Does that make for an interesting wardrobe?
I like to be elegant when I’m working in the law firm. My wardrobe as a lawyer is like a uniform. But I stay rather conservative and classic at the law firm, especially when I’m going to court. When I’m at the shop or out and about, I like to have fun with my clothing.
Age 48 Occupation President, Boston Celtics
Describe your best power suit.
I have a lucky suit, which is the one I was wearing the night that we won the championship in 2008. It got drenched in champagne, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to salvage it, but the hotel was nice enough to dry-clean it for me. Whenever we have a big game now, I make sure to put it on.
Age 50 Occupation Author and professor of physics at Harvard University
So you have a Jekyll-and-Hyde sense of style?
Well, at this point I just do more of what I want. But when I first got to Harvard, I went to a reception for new women faculty, and a friend afterward said, “I thought that was so cool that you wore jeans to this.’’ I hadn’t realized I had done anything out of the ordinary. I would say that I’ve always known a little about fashion, but I did try to avoid it. Then at some point, I stopped avoiding it.
Age 28 Occupation Illustrator, stylist, freelance writer, and N’East Style blogger Residence Cambridge
The heritage and Americana movements are on their way out, but do you think they’ll remain in New England?
I think the sensibilities behind them are what will stay, rather than the replication of the styles. The core of the trends was supporting your own economy, local artisans, and creators, and those elements will always remain. You can see it infiltrating other trends.
Victoria Elman & George Wong
Age 30 Occupation Attorney at Goodwin Procter
Age 32 Occupation Director of the LaMontagne Gallery
Did you two have a similar clothing aesthetic when you started dating?
George: I was managing the Max Protetch art gallery in New York, and I always wore polished suits to look professional. My wife opened my eyes to vintage clothing. Now, since I’m new to the Boston art scene, I am definitely aware I stand out, but I hope I’m not perceived as a frivolous fop.
Age 39 Occupation Owner and lead designer, Platemark Design
Residence Back Bay
How much of interior design informs the way that you dress and vice versa?
For last year’s Museum of Fine Arts summer party that I cochaired, I wore a custom blazer in a gold and ivory fabric. I’m now upholstering a massive door with that exact same fabric. If that’s not an expression of personal style in home decor, I don’t know what is.
Deborah Z Porter
Age 55 Occupation Founder and Executive Director of Boston Book Festival
If you could costume a literary character, who would it be?
Scott Bishop and Chris Reed
Scott Bishop (left)
Age 38 Occupation Associate Principal for Stoss
Age 44 Occupation Founding Principal for Stoss
As winners of a major design award from the Cooper-Hewitt, do you feel pressure to look like design award winners?
Chris: For the big award ceremonies, both Scott and I and our wives went out and bought entirely new outfits because of the stage that we were on. We always care about how we look. We need clothing that’s versatile because we go from a dirty construction site to a university president’s meeting. But I think the more that we’re imbued in design culture, the stakes are raised.
Age 60 Occupation Artist Residence Boston
How do you make a photo that’s only shoe box-worthy into a good painting?
There needs to be a question or some tension in the photo. The happy accident, though, is that they happen to have cool clothing on as well. I love painting the flow and drape and gesture of clothing.
Age 44 Occupation General partner at Spark Capital
Does the way you dress reflect the types of start-ups you’ve invested in?
I’m drawn to creative entrepreneurs. I backed Twitter very early in its life, invested in Tumblr when it first started, and Foursquare. These companies were very creative, with young founders and young teams.
Adele Naude Santos
Occupation Dean of MIT School of Architecture and Planning
You describe MIT as a place where people take a practical, pragmatic approach to solving problems in design. Do you feel similarly about your wardrobe?
I really believe in timeless style so that there’s no date on it. I never attempt to be fashionable in the true sense of the word. The clothes I buy I can wear for 20 years. I can just recycle them. There are designers like Issey Miyake that have some intrinsic quality — fabric used in a special way, the shape of the garment is spectacular — and I can wear it day or evening.
Age 30 Occupation Co-owner of Flock
Residence South End
Did you have different expectations when you first opened the store?
My personal style is a little more West Coast, a little bit more bohemian. Instead of trying to go all the way with my bohemian style, I started mixing in those very traditional Boston pieces. At the same time, I want my customers to step out of their comfort zone and try things that are a little bit different and a little riskier.
Age 41 Occupation Adjunct curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art
You do a lot of work with hip, young artists. Do you worry about what you wear when you meet with them?
I’ve been in the art world for a while, and it didn’t really matter what I wore until I began to work with street artists. But the art fairs that I attended did not prepare me for the street art world.
Age 30 Occupation Cofounder, Nervous System
Did you always plan a career in style?
My background is in biology and architecture, and while I appreciate fashion, I never thought I would be in the industry. We write software that generates designs, and jewelry is a convenient way to monetize our work.
Occupation Filmmaker, ASKlabs Documentary Film
Residence South End
What do you wear to a film premiere?
premiere at the Museum of Science I wore a Zero + Maria Cornejo black silk tunic printed with a neon pattern from Barneys with tough girl Ann Demeulemeester boots and leggings.
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