We profile 10 fashion-savvy Sacramentans.
Style means different things to different people, as the following pages illustrate. Some prefer bold, in-your-face fashions, while others prefer more subtle looks. Some seek the latest trends, and some look to the past for inspiration. Whatever style categories these 10 folks fall (or don’t fall) into, they all look fabulous.
Andrew Floor has always been involved with style. “As far back as I can remember and throughout my growing-up years, I had a passion for fashion and self-expression,” says Floor, who co-owns Article—a men’s and women’s clothing store, salon and spa in Sacramento and Roseville—with his wife, Tara. One of his job perks is visiting designers’ offices to look at clothing. “I like seeing upcoming seasons, especially with specific lines I am really into,” says the fashion chameleon. “I can be inspired by different looks: the skinny silhouette, rocker-style, to almost something that can be kinda preppy.”
Shops at: Article, “of course.”
Most treasured accessory: “[A] Helmut Lang bracelet was the first item I ever bought with my wife.”
Worst fashion mistake: Z. Cavariccis.
Favorite item: “Right now, it would be a pair of black patent high-top Dior Homme sneakers.”
Favorite color to wear: “Black. I’m not the thinnest, so it helps.”
In sum: “Be inspired by trends but ultimately make it your own.”
Jay Alan started his career in television—locals may remember him anchoring on FOX40 from 2000 to 2003—and he never stopped dressing the part, even during his radio days as an award-winning anchor and host on NewsTalk 1530 AM KFBK from 2003 to 2007. These days, as deputy director of communications for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, Alan keeps up the professional look because he never knows when an on-camera appearance might be in order.
Shops at: Nordstrom Rack is among Alan’s haunts. “I like to find bargains.”
Most treasured accessory: “My Office of Homeland Security lapel pin.”
Favorite item: “Blue blazer—goes with anything.”
Favorite color to wear: “Orange is my favorite color, but it’s obviously not much of a color for work. Blue and/or gray suits for work. Maybe an orange tie on occasion. Keep the orange shirts handy for weekends.”
In sum: “You can’t go wrong with understated elegance.”
Tanya Washington knew since the seventh grade that she wanted to be a fashion designer. “I filled sketchbooks with detailed illustrations of clothes with every aspect of the garment explained next to it in bullet points,” she says. After graduating from UC Davis, she spent two years working at St. John Knits in Southern California. She returned home to Fair Oaks this past June, where she’s been doing freelance fashion illustration and recently developed her online boutique, Ancora Vintage. Washington would like to design her own line of clothing some day. “Environmental and social responsibility are really important,” she says. “Fashion is really taking that direction in a fierce way and I love it!”
Shops at: Vintage shops, thrift stores, Zara, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie
Favorite items: “My deep-red vintage pumps, my ’80s navy bow belt that I add to any outfit to cinch my waist, my dark straight-leg jeans, my black floral clutch, my red flowered sundress with pockets and my mother’s long-sleeved mini fuchsia sweater dress from the ’70s.”
Favorite color to wear: Charcoal gray. “It’s classic and flattering like black but has a bit more of an edge—it’s seemingly masculine but I make it feminine.”
In sum: “I think [fashion designer] Vivienne Westwood said it best: ‘When in doubt, overdress.’”
The “Good Day Sacramento” traffic and feature reporter is known for her stylish flair—show-no-fear colors, ginormous earrings, even off-the-shoulder numbers. All are fashion “dos” in the laid-back studios of “GDS,” where Courtney Dempsey has worked since 1995. It’s no wonder many stories dealing with fashion or shopping have a big D (for Dempsey) on them. Outside of work, daughter Mariah, age 3 1/2, keeps her stylish mom busy. When it comes to fashion, is mother like daughter? “Oh, my goodness! My ‘Mini Me,’ also known as my daughter, will randomly say, ‘Can we go shopping?’ And she’s 3,” says Dempsey. “So in some ways, it’s a good thing: ‘Yay! She’s just like her mommy!’ And in other ways, it’s a bad thing: ‘Oh, no! She’s just like her mommy!’”
Shops at: Bebe, Forever21, Savvy section at Nordstrom, Off 5th
Most treasured accessory: Luis Vuitton pony-hair slingbacks from Paris. (Dempsey became vegetarian in 2003, but says she “grandfathered in” the shoes to justify wearing them.)
Worst fashion mistake: “I had this pink sailor hat that I thought was the ultimate. Really, Courtney?”
Favorite item: “I love, love, love my colorful flats.”
Favorite color to wear: “Hot pink. My sorority sisters are going to hate me for that one.”
Steven Sonder began his career working as a makeup artist for Shiseido cosmetics. He switched gears, becoming a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines, which ignited his love of travel. “I love to see other cultures and see their trends in fashion and architecture,” he says. His favorite destination? Brazil. He also picks up fashion tips from magazines, the Internet and old movies. “I just love that ’50s and ’60s look,” says Sonder, who has worked for Nordstrom at Arden Fair for 16 years as a retail manager for MAC cosmetics, an assistant cosmetics manager and, currently, as a certified fragrance product specialist.
Shops at: Zara, Forum, H&M, Diesel
Most treasured accessory: “My watch collection.”
Worst fashion mistake: “The preppy look of the late ’80s. Way too much argyle and too many bright colors.”
Favorite item: “My black-velvet jacket. It’s classic!”
In sum: “Keep it simple and sophisticated. Don’t ever be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Have a few classic pieces in your wardrobe and from there you can add a modern piece or more vintage.”
As a member of the Oakland Raiders, Rick Jennings helped lead the team to victory in Super Bowl XI. These days, Jennings helps lead communities and families to victory as chief executive officer of the Center for Fathers and Families, a nonprofit organization that offers after-school programs for kids and parenting classes for adults. He also serves on the board of trustees for the Sacramento City Unified School District. Stylewise, Jennings believes in the power of first impressions. “Your first impression is your most lasting impression, and you can never go back and change that impression,” he says.
Shops at: Macy’s, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack
Most treasured accessory: Cuff links
Worst fashion mistake: “Wearing jeans to an All-Metro football photo shoot.” (Everyone else wore suits.) Jennings’ uncle bailed him out, exchanging the suit he had on for Jennings’ jeans, but the memory stayed with him: “It taught me a valuable lesson of always knowing the proper type of dress based on the type of event you are going to.”
Favorite item: Two- or three-piece suits
In sum: “The man makes the suit, the suit does not make the man.”
When you are married to an Olympic gold medalist, it would be easy to drift into the shadows. But Jan Float, whose husband Jeff’s team won the gold in a relay-swimming event at the 1984 Olympics, holds her own. Whether traveling to San Francisco, Tahoe or Sydney, Australia, she brings her love of fashion with her. “I’m a people-watcher,” says Float, “and I love being in big metropolitan areas attempting to pull off what they do.” Describing her style as “classic fun,” Float favors Ralph Lauren’s “East Coast lifestyle” look. When she and Jeff attend charitable events, they try to coordinate their looks. “I like the look of a family or a couple when they are out together looking like they belong together,” she says. A former deposition reporter, Float is preparing to launch Remote Family Care, an Internet-based business designed to help seniors and their caregivers.
Shops at: Renaissance Fine Consignment, Loehmann’s, Chico’s, Nordstrom
Most treasured accessory: “My wedding and anniversary rings. Never leave home without ’em!”
Favorite item: “A Diane von Furstenberg wraparound look-alike: black, brown, rust, with odd pinkish hues. Dressy, funky—feels like warm jammies. And flattering. Always evokes comments.”
Favorite color to wear: “When in doubt, little black dresses jump out of my closet.”
In sum: “When you look good, you feel good.”
Kristin and Allison Masunaga
Sisters Kristin (left) and Allison (right) Masunaga weren’t even a flicker in mom Denise Masunaga’s eye when she opened the iconic Sacramento boutique Madam Butterfly in 1980. But because these young women grew up around fashion, it’s not difficult to see where they get their flair. Today, Kiki and Allie are co-owners, along with Denise, of the popular women’s clothing store in Pavilions. Allie, known as “the organized one,” handles business matters, PR and employee relations, while Kiki takes care of buying, merchandising, marketing and event planning. “We hope to expand on what our mom has created,” says Kiki.
Allie: “Madam Butterfly. For shoes, definitely Barneys.”
Kiki: “Paris, Rome, flea markets, import shops, the flower mart, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Target, even the grocery store.”
Worst fashion mistake:
Kiki: “My collection of Juicy [Couture] track suits freshman year of college.”
Allie: “Shoes. I will plan an entire outfit around what pair of shoes I want to wear. My favorite pair: brown Miu Miu flats with a big leather bow. But then, I love all Miu Mius.”
Allie: “When in doubt, accessorize!”
Kiki: “Embrace change, appreciate the
past and don’t be obvious—I’m talking
Chris Lopez Gallardo
Working at the Capitol ups the ante for dressing your best, says Chris Lopez Gallardo. “Some of these guys look really sharp, and I’m thinking, ‘I have to look good so I can fit in,’” says Gallardo, who’s been legislative director for the California Nations Indian Gaming Association for five years. “In my opinion, the presentation is always key because when you are representing a group of folks, you want to look professional.”
Shops at: Burlington Coat Factory, Kohl’s and shopping outlets. “I’m amazed at how much top designer clothing can be found at these locations.”
Worst fashion mistake: “Wearing brown socks with a blue suit and black shoes. What a mess!”
Favorite item: “My dark-navy-blue pinstripe Burberry suit. My wife bought me the suit for my 40th birthday. What a suit!”
Favorite color to wear: “Since I no longer have my 34-inch waist, I really like the way I look in navy blue. Makes me look slimmer. I think.”
In sum: “You don’t have to spend a million bucks to look like and feel like you’ve spent a million.”
Kali “Toochie” Cuffee
Kali “Toochie” Cuffee is in the business of helping others look good. “I have fun turning a pumpkin into a carriage, a house into a home or a drab wardrobe into a fashion statement,” says Cuffee, referring to the services of JSB—Just Simply Beautiful, her personal shopping, interior decorating and image-makeover business. As the mother of five children, ages 7 months to 17 years, Cuffee admits she sometimes wonders how she has time to work so much—she’s also a hairstylist at Another Look Beauty & Barber Salon in Sacramento—and care for her family and herself. But she says having a natural eye for style streamlines the process.
Shops at: Banana Republic, Lane Bryant. “I choose to buy accessories at Bebe and earrings at Burlington Coat Factory.”
Favorite item: “Black slacks with the cuff, worn with strappy sandals, because I have long legs and am very curvy.”
Favorite color to wear: “Black with black.”
In sum: “Don’t be overdone; less is more. For example, if you have a short neck, lose the necklaces. Know your style—don’t wear plaids one day, flowered prints the next and diagonals/stripes on the next day, as the way you dress becomes all over the board. My motto is to just be natural, sexy and you.”