Like paint on a canvas, clothing and fashion are an art form balancing colors and patterns; playing with textures and layering on accessories is not only a skill, but a way to express individuality, showcase inner beauty and reflect personal style.
THE ROOTS REVIVER – Abeba Salter-Woods
“My style has been heavily influenced by my mother’s and maternal grandmother’s styles from the ’70s and ’80s. I also love style icons like Diana Ross, Sylvester and Annie Lennox. I am big on dressing according to my energy for the day which is typically set by the music I fall asleep to the night before.”
A student success coach at Howard W. Blake High School, Abeba Salter-Woods has worked in education for over 20 years. Her appreciation for learning and education melts into her fashion sense as two of her favorite colors to incorporate into her look – orange and blue – are a nod to her alma mater, Savannah State University. She also blends in Ankara, or African wax prints, to feel more rooted in her ancestry. While statement earrings are a must-have to complete her look, Salter-Woods’s favorite item in her closet is an orange tulle robe by Oyemwen, which she even takes on long vacations.
THE AVANT-GARDE | Ryne Gallien
“Style, to me, is like art. It’s individually curated and can tell others a variety of things. You can show emotions, personal interests, lifestyles, age, professions and most importantly, individuality. Its limitations are really only set by the artists themselves. I have always considered style to be constantly evolving. I don’t think I’ll ever say that I discovered ‘my’ style. What would be the fun in that?”
A hairstylist by trade, it’s not surprising that Ryne Gallien’s favorite fashion accessory is, well, his hair – the style of which can make or break any look. Monochromatic shades are his current obsession, although his taste is always changing, and jewelry as a whole claims the title of his most prized fashion possession.
THE TIMELESS BEAUTY | Mary Esther Parker
“I’m not sure what you would call my style. I save all my favorite things; in fact, this Carlisle jacket I have is probably 20 years old. Sometimes I find it best to pay extra if you really like something – those items seem to stay in style if they have a classic look. I stay away from fads.”
Because her husband was an air force pilot, Mary Esther Parker lived in many places before retiring to her 22nd home in Tampa. While stationed in the northeast, she attended modeling school and began participating in runway shows, tearoom modeling and some TV spots. Her modeling career taught her to dare to wear outfits she had refused to try before. She’s become known in the community not only for her foundation, the Garden Club of Hyde Park, but for her energetic style, complete with oversized sunglasses, big stone jewelry and cowboy boots.
THE ENTREPRENEUR | Brien Walker
“My style is all over the place because I’ve experienced so much in my life. I feel like I have a multitude of stories to tell about my life and every outfit I put on tells a different one. One day, I may go with a varsity jacket and chinos as an ode to my college days. I could wear a suit and tie on another day just to feel professional. Or, I can go with a regular graphic Glass Ceilings tee and sweatpants just to be cozy. To sum it up, my style comes from life. “
Creative Director of the clothing brand Glass Ceilings, teacher and member of the Social Status team in Hyde Park, it’s safe to say Brien Walker keeps himself busy, but there’s always time for fashion. Apart from his own brand, some of his other go-to labels include Cactus Plant Flea Market, Fear of God, Joe Freshgoods, Avancer, In Way Over Your Head and Honor the Gift. While unreleased samples of his clothing line are treasured, one of Walker’s favorite accessories he owns is a bracelet given to him on his last day of school by one of his students. Who says fashion can’t be sentimental?
THE HIPPIE IN HEELS | Sasha Yodzis
“I would say Maximalism is my style signature. I adore incorporating a rich tapestry of colors, textures, and patterns into my look. From bold florals to light and flowy silks that evoke ethereal femininity, I find so much joy in experimenting with unconventional combinations that reflect my personality. Sequins, embroidery, and intricate details are must-haves in my wardrobe, adding a touch of extravagance to every outfit. My style journey has involved embracing the beauty in complexity and creating ensembles that tell a story of creativity and self-expression.”
As a wife and mother, Sasha Yodzis has mastered the art of comfort and style when piecing together one of her colorful outfits. From layered necklaces to statement earrings, Yodzis’s collection of jewelry pieces is a favorite to add to a fashion ensemble, which she notes can transform even the simplest outfit into something captivating. In addition to store-bought pieces, Yodzis also works with a jewelry designer in Miami to create most of her necklaces and rings. Paper sketches become a reality with one of favorites being a heart-shaped signet ring with an emerald and inscribed Hindi mantra on the side.