Rank & Style CEO Jamie Chandlee is a 12-year advertising industry veteran and a mom of two. Prior to Rank & Style, she was a leader on Facebook’s retail team where she helped brands connect with their consumers, so consumers in turn could make easier and confident purchasing decisions. As a busy working mom, Chandlee developed a strong passion for technologies that simplify consumer experiences so people have more time for the parts of their lives not behind a screen. She contributes our new List column in this issue and her vision is for Rank & Style to give people back the time that they waste digging through the endless fashion resources to find the products they like. Chandlee is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and is grateful to be able to help people outside of the office through her participation in social impact organizations including The Seton Fund, MJ&M, Dell Children’s Council, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, UT College of Natural Sciences and Human Ecology and the Longhorn Foundation.
DION “BLEU” DRAKE
Dion “Bleu” Drake is a fashion stylist with almost a decade of experience working in celebrity, editorial, advertising and personal styling. Over the years he has honed his skill by working with celebrities, athletes, and publications such as Elle and Italian Vogue. Originally from Detroit, moving to the East Coast afforded Bleu the opportunity to be infused with fashion and culture from a very young age. He proclaims his inspiration for his keen style aesthetic is anything edgy and glam, allowing Bleu to create dynamic images that will forever be cemented in editorial history…as in this month’s fashion cover feature.
With a Bachelor of Arts in History, and a Master’s Degree that combined Latin American Studies with MBA classes from the University of Texas, Lori Duran researches interesting historical stories about social changes. This has been her life-long passion and her past research has been included in other writers’ published articles and books. Now she is writing freelance articles for publication and she also wrote a pictorial book about the history of Austin’s Travis Heights neighborhood that was released in October 2018.
Whether finding the best restaurant in Venice overlooking the canals or taking a private tour of the Queen’s art collection at Buckingham, our cultural enthusiast and arbiter Jake Gaines, a native Texan, is on the go. Our very own James Bond on the social scene, he will gladly wield his saber to pop open a bottle of Champagne before advancing into a masked ball. His motto? Bring your passport and wear the tuxedo since one never knows what can happen. He’s a beloved guest at any dinner party and is known for his disappearing tablecloth trick. When in doubt, he recommends everyone into the pool for a midnight game of what else? Marco Polo.
Certified professional life coach and branding expert by day, social commentator by night and author of the book Being In The Room (available at Amazon.com), Associate Publisher and Senior Social Editor Rob Giardinelli is a man of many interests. Giardinelli loves sharing how Texans so generously and passionately give back to the community they love. He weaves in interesting social commentary that showcases the many who work tirelessly to raise awareness of important issues in the state.
Our newest editorial assistant is a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Human Development with a focus in childhood development. Originally from Fort Worth, she loves all things fashion and art and when she was in high school, she started her own art business, where she created and sold her own artwork. In this issue, Greve contributes with her recommendations in our Exhibit column of the best curated happenings in the state and with writing a Dallas-based wedding story.
ANA BRIBIESCA HOFF
Writer and enthusiast of all things beauty, fashion, travel and healthy living-related, our Glow beauty contributor Ana Bribiesca Hoff is currently working in the higher education non-profit sector and in launching AnaBribs.com, a lifestyle blog where she plans to share her passions, experiences, tips and sneak peeks inside her life hoping to share large doses of inspiration.
Our very fashionable Texan-turned-New Yorker-turned eternal Southerner contributor Gordon Kendall is always on the go and on the scene. He is a freelance fashion author and educator, and helms our exclusive story on his experience with the legendary New York Times social and fashion photographer Bill Cunningham and about the ubiquity of Texas style. He is also an executive member of Fashion Group International/New York and a member of The Couture Council, The Museum at F.I.T.
Our stylish contributor Tori Johnson, who helms our Admire column in this issue is the owner of sTORIbook Public Relations and is a fashion and lifestyle blogger of ThesTORIbook.com. She is also a successful commercial and editorial stylist. Johnson has been voted San Antonio Fashion Blogger of the Year and has worked with a bevy of top names including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Lancôme, Armani Exchange, and many more.
Our digital director at the helm of SocietyTexas.com and all of our associated social media platforms, Eleanora Morrison has been a writer, blogger and editor for bRILLIANT, The Society Diaries, and additional local and regional print / digital publications, covering events, fashion, culture, weddings and travel. Morrison is the Editor in Chief & Creative Director of ELEANORA, a women’s-centric multimedia storytelling platform, and is Co-Founder and CEO of S.H.E Media, its parent digital media company. Morrison is passionate about cultivating community on social media, and invites you to connect with her and join the conversation @eleanoramorrison.
Our feature photographer for this issue’s fashion editorial cover story is Los Angeles-based Mark Oberlin. Oberlin has also photographed the collections of many of the West Coast’s top fashion designers. He is an acclaimed painter, as well, and has exhibited his paintings in Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco galleries. More of his work can be found at MarkOberlinPhotography.com.
Our Associate Editor Leanne Raesener was formerly the city editor for both bRILLIANT and The Society Diaries magazines. Although, a fifth generation Texan who was raised in Austin, she spent most of her career in Manhattan, before we were fortunate to have her back in the Lone Star State. She has been a close friend of our very own Lance Avery Morgan since childhood, and at one point they even worked at the same media conglomerate―Morgan on the west coast in Los Angeles, while Raesener anchored the east coast. After working at Goldman Sachs in Charitable Giving for many years, it only deepened her interest in philanthropy. She supports many charities but holds most near and dear to her heart, her brother Jack Frederick Raesener’s Scholarship Fund, Ballet Austin, and NYU FACES in New York City. Her love of life, generosity, creative style, and wordsmithing are a winning combination.
Our talented and terrifically connected Associate Editor Jennifer Roosth is a Houston-based writer who never ceases to be amazed by the wonderfully generous spirit of the Houston philanthropic community. “It’s nice to live in a city where so many are excited about giving back,” she says, “In the process, they throw some mighty fine parties.”
Founder and CEO Lesa Rossick, of Market Ambassador based in Austin, loves to build brands and empower entrepreneurs to large corporations in their digital marketing presence. In addition to website development and content marketing, she dines at the hottest new restaurants to find Top 20 experiences for her Keep Austin Eatin’™ blog, contributes to our Savor column, and supports Society Texas with her digital media talents . Outside of business, Rossick’s biggest passion is working alongside her husband Bill in their philanthropy efforts.
Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer and modern manners expert. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the Hofstede Centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. Her Amazon #1 best-selling book on International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airw
A partner at Gangway Advertising, Dallas-based Cynthia Smoot creates buzz for some of the city’s hottest brands through interactive social media strategies and public relations for the firm’s lifestyle clients. She is the go-to resource for what’s happening and who you need to know in Dallas. Through her popular lifestyle blog OhSoCynthia.com readers get the latest scoop and inside information on fashion, food, philanthropy, events, celebrity and reality TV news. Smoot describes her blog as “a love letter to the city of Dallas” and enjoys taking readers along for the ride as she experiences all that the city has to offer.
Jonathan Spindel is a native Austinite with a global appetite for arts and culture. When he’s not searching the world for the best trends to share with our readers, he can be found at local art galleries, music venues, and hip happenings around the capital city. He reports on all that makes us proud to be part of Texas society and is inspired by the unique individuals and organizations he engages as our Associate Editor, highlighting the happenings that bring the best to, and make the most of, our great state.
ROSE BETTY WILLIAMS
Wherever there is a wonderful party, there is usually Associate Editor social chronicler Rose Betty Williams. This month she writes about her five-star adventure in Burgundy, France. She also leads symposia, plans events, serves on boards and supports organizations from OperaAmerica to the Helping Hand Home for Children and facilitates networking for project and product development. Williams is a longtime Austin resident, freelance writer and photographer with a passion for fine art, music, wine, books, tennis, food and life… and a deep love for her family and community.