Who: Shannon Marie Cusello, 29
Salon manager, Immortal Beloved, costume shop assistant, Catholic University
What she does: As the unofficial hostess of hair salon Immortal Beloved, I am the first and last person our clients interact with. I keep our team and appointments running smoothly, and I also manage all of our social media, salon events, and in-salon education. When I’m working on a show [Cusello freelances as a costume assistance for various theaters and universities], I will leave the salon as soon as we close on Saturday evening and live in the theater for the rest of the weekend, sewing, cutting, dyeing, and styling costumes and wigs.
Describe your work style: Vintage MGM musical meets rock-and-roll glam meets bohemian New Englander. I love feeling like I can run off at any time and join a troupe of vaudevillian tap dancers, or be the road manager for a band’s summer tour, or go take up residence in a lakeside artists colony in the Hudson Valley. I am really lucky to work in two different industries in which creativity and self-expression is celebrated. I go outside of the box with my own hairstyles, and it’s so fun to encourage our clients to push their own boundaries a little further. I’ve gone from a jet-black pixie cut to my current flame-hued tresses.
Meetings and Interviews
J.Crew shell top, Urban Outfitters jeans, Nine West shoes, and coral necklace and bow barrette by CiaoNina.
By Sarah Zlotnick
Who: Dannia Hakki, 27
Cofounder and principal, MoKi Media
What she does: With more than 25 DC-based clients in the nightlife, restaurant, hotel, fashion, charity, beauty, and design industries, MoKi Media has a lot on its plate. I started the Georgetown-based PR agency with my business partner, Sherry Moeller, in 2009, and we are constantly finding clever ways to create buzz surrounding the businesses we work with. I specialize in the nightlife, beauty, and fashion divisions of the agency. On any given night, I’ll be sliding through the crowds at Lost Society, One Lounge, Eden, Public Bar, and other go-to Washington hotspots. And when I’m not at my desk frantically hitting my keyboard to send out that VIP invite, pitch, or opening press release, I’m standing next to my talented photographer, Dave Phillipich, at one of my venues making sure he gets our money shot.
Describe your work style: With clients in the hospitality and fashion industries, I’m able to dress a bit more risqué than the average Washington public relations specialist. My outfits need to take me from a day at the office to a night on the town, so I stick with business-slinky ensembles that stand out in a room. I’m not too big on funky jewelry, and I like to keep it simple. Anyone who knows me would say my hair is my favorite accessory.
At the Office
Theory top, BDG jeans from Urban Outfitters, Dolce & Gabanna shoes, vintage Prada bag, and Adia Kibur bracelets.
By Sarah Zlotnick
What she does: I get out of the way of my staff—they run SimplySoles (a shoe boutique in Maryland’s National Harbor) far better than me. I spend most of my time developing new prototypes for Lilly Bee, my line of shoes, and working on the next phase for Kassie’s Closet, my new site that lets you shop outfits built from sites across the Web.
Describe your work style: My style continues to evolve, but I seem pretty content with classic conservative. I rarely wear prints, preferring instead solids with a flash of pizazz in my jewelry and a hefty dose of personality in my shoes. My unwavering go-to pieces are my skinny jeans, Gwyneth wedges, piled-on stretchy bracelets, and basic pearl studs.
Day to Night
I wear this when I have meetings outside the office and date night with my husband. Usually it makes for very busy Wednesdays.
Rugby dress, Fornash necklace, and shoes, belts, and bracelets from SimplySoles.
By Sarah Zlotnick
What she does: I wear lots of different hats, and by hats I mean bracelets and heels. I founded my digital PR company, FinePoint, to marry my marketing background with my interests in social and digital media. I’m also a freelance writer for a ton of different outlets, as well as the founder of two sites of my own. On a daily basis, I do everything from social media maintenance to new business proposals to pitching bloggers. When I take a break from FinePoint, it’s usually to write or eat Chopt. I love having my own business, so that’s definitely a perk. My boss loves me! But sometimes she also hates how much toner I use in the copier.
Describe your work style: The industry I’m in lets me wear pretty much whatever I want, and I do just that. My professional style is colorful and somewhat whimsical. I love the combination of business on top (blazers, silk blouses) and party on the bottom (Converse, great denim).
Giuseppe Zanotti heels from Ella Rue, vintage blouse and clutch, and bracelets by Hermès and Ippolita.
By Sarah Zlotnick
Who: Elaine Liao Avin, 34
Management consultant, Deloitte
What she does: I help companies improve their business, which means everything from updating their infrastructure to integrating the operations of newly merged companies. On a day-to-day basis, I am at the location of my clients working hands-on with them to develop a solution for their organization. The consulting life can be tough (long hours on the road), but it has its perks.
Describe your work style: Architectural and polished. I love structured looks, bold colors, and prints, but I’ll pair them with more subtle pieces. Travel is a big part of my job (I currently spend four out of five workdays in Atlanta), so structured dresses/skirts and silk shirts are my go-to pieces—they look great after being in a suitcase, and the silk shirts soften up the traditional “consultant” outfit.
Work to Dinner
Zara skirt and shirt, Dolce Vita shoes, and crystal statement necklace from Wink NYC.
By Sarah Zlotnick
Who: Abby Jiu, 30
Wedding photographer, Abby Jiu Photography
What she does: While I’m most often photographing weddings on Saturdays, my week is typically spent meeting with new clients, developing ideas for upcoming weddings, editing photos, scoping out new shoot locations, and doing site visits to venues.
Describe your work style: It’s great that being a photographer allows me to express myself through my wardrobe. I would describe my style as polished, feminine, and creative. In the winter you can commonly find me in skinny jeans and boots, and in warmer weather I love a good fashionable and feminine dress.
Outfit One: Client Meeting
Madewell skirt, shirt, and belt, and bracelets from Marc Bernstein and Urban Outfitters.
Who: Marissa Schneider, 30
Curator, Gilt City DC
What she does: I work to feature different brands and businesses on Gilt Groupe’s localized deal site Gilt City DC. We find and source the best of what DC has to offer, whether it’s the grand opening of a new restaurant or the best place for a blow-dry on K Street.
Describe your work style: Since I’m employed by a lifestyle brand as well as a tech startup, I don’t have to wear suits or be super-conservative, which makes it more fun to get dressed each morning. And I love to shop the site! Access to insider pricing on top designers is every fashionista’s dream, and I’m no exception.
Outfit One: Drinks After Work
Rory Beca dolman-sleeve top, Rag & Bone skirt, Cynthia Vincent heels, and Rachel Presley bracelets.
By Sarah Zlotnick
Who: Dwayne Brice, 30
Store manager/associate buyer, Hu's Wear
What he does: I manage the day-to-day operations of the store, which includes everything from hiring employees and profit forecasting to vendor communications and personal shopping. As associate buyer, I'm charged with seasonal purchasing for Hu's contemporary and designer lines (labels include Donna Karan, the Row, Proenza Schouler, Celine, and Lanvin) and assisting the buyer with selling reports and tracking and planning deliveries and reorders.
Describe your work style: Moody. I dress based on my temperament, and as a Scorpio, that can change at any moment. I love dark and brooding, but I find ways to insert color, texture, and patterns. Working in high-end retail has definitely opened my eyes to the importance of quality fabrics and enduring design. Thus, I advocate investing in "forever" pieces, be it a black cashmere V-neck sweater (I could wear one every day) or a great leather bag (I'm never caught without one).
Outfit One: Standard Day at the Store
This is a staple work outfit for me: a great pair of jeans, a tailored shirt, a standout shoe, and loads of jewelry. It's a mixture of ease with a hint of formality. Quality pieces stand the test of time, and I have had everything in this outfit for years.
Jil Sander Shirt, vintage vest, Dior Homme jeans, Lanvin shoes, and jewelry by Louis Vuitton, Hermés, John Hardy, Philip Stein, and Jessica Biales.
Who: Maria Cooke (35) and Kelly Seizert (29)
Owners & Event Designers, Ritzy Bee Events
What they do: When we are in our studio (The Hive at 1511), we can typically be found in meetings or planning our upcoming weddings and events. Our day there is split 50/50 into design and planning time. Design time entails sketching concepts for clients, storyboarding ideas and sourcing/shopping for everything that goes into events, from arm chairs to zip ties. Planning time means managing production time lines, creating floor plan renderings and constant communication with our wonderful clients and family of vendors. We also spend a lot of time on the road throughout the year doing site inspections, design presentations and what our jobs are really all about . . . producing and managing events.
Describe your work style: We try to be an extension of our brand--our style is reflective of the parties and events we create. Maria gravitates toward smart basics with unexpected details while Kelly has a little more prep in her step. Kelly's go-to pieces are Paige denim jeans, white Brooks Brothers slim fit shirts (collar popped), Tuccia Di Capri sandals, and a personalized Gucci bag. Maria can often be found in Ralph Lauren jeans, J. Crew vintage tees, cashmere sweaters and her Cartier trinity band.
Outfit 1: Event Setup and Styling
Flats! On event days, we're often on our feet for 16-plus hours doing installation and setup so comfort is a necessity. We work like part of the team--scaling ladders and scaffolding--and our outfits must be able to accommodate. We wear our denim utility aprons to keep iPhones, floor plans, scissors and styling tools handy.
Kelly (left) wears a J. Crew blouse, Paige denim skinny jeans, Vera Wang flats, and a Tory Burch cuff. Maria wears Jean Shop denim, a J. Crew T-shirt, Kate Spade flats, and jewelry from Tiffany.
Who: Alexandra Kogan, 24
Communications Specialist, Asian American Justice Center (AAJC)
What she does: The AAJC is a nonprofit that advances the human and civil rights of the Asian-American community. I manage social media and produce traditional communications pieces such as op-eds and press releases. The best perk of my job is definitely the feeling you get at the end of the day knowing that you're working for the greater good.
Describe your work style: Classic with an unexpected edge. I love conservative cuts with stylish details like bright pops of color or a well-crafted clutch. Communications as an industry allows for creativity, so I try to reflect that in my wardrobe. My go-to pieces would have to be the reliable black pencil skirt, a mixture of colorful tops, and statement necklaces.
Outfit One: Going to a Symposium
H&M skirt and top, Aldo necklace and bag, and Nine West shoes.