Who: The entire staff of BYT Media, a lifestyle website/event production company that “speaks to a young DC demographic raised on the Internet and obsessed with arts and entertainment” (managing editor Logan Donaldson’s words). Names and titles for the rest of the group follow below.
Around the Office
Stephanie: I wore a J.Crew swimsuit under black jeans and denim shirt, to represent the casual-office-to-pool-party transition. (It’s always important to be ready.)
Logan: I show up in jeans and a T-shirt but bring a blazer in case there’s a business-casual event after hours.
Svetlana: This is my trusted Ann Taylor Loft jumpsuit—add lipstick and you’re ready for an event/tasting/show after work.
Cale: I chose a pizza costume and a Casio calculator watch for on-the-fly office pizza delivery tip calculations.
Shauna: Around the office I love to showcase my shoe collection, but I keep the rest of my wardrobe pretty tame.
By Sarah Zlotnick
Who: Rikka Johnson, 32
General manager, Wolfgang Puck’s the Source
What she does: I manage the staff, the restaurant and its guests, and the finances at the Source, Wolfgang Puck’s pan-Asian restaurant located on the bottom floor of the Newseum. I love my job—I easily eat better than anyone else in Washington, as I am also the unofficial guinea pig for chef Scott Drewno.
Describe your work style: With Wolfgang, there’s definitely a value placed on style and on always looking and feeling your best. At the restaurant, you never know who’s going to walk through the doors, so I’m frequently in suits. My go-to color is black due to its functionality—no matter what I’ve tried, soy sauce and red wine don’t wear well on colored pieces.
Dressed-Up Day at the Restaurant
Oscar de la Renta dress, vintage onyx necklace, and Valentino heels.
Who: Arina Rodionova, 22
A Russian-born tennis player for the Washington Kastles, currently ranked number 372 in singles and number 128 in doubles
What she does: Lots of practicing! I typically practice, eat, and sometimes sleep. I love being on the Kastles, it is fun being part of a team—much different than in a tournament—and this is a great team to be on. One of the best parts of being a tennis player is traveling the world and meeting lots of interesting people. I get to travel to different countries and try their food, see their culture—and the shopping is also pretty good!
Describe your work style: I am my own fashion icon—I wear what I like. It’s a lot of athletic or sporty wear, lots of shorts or [tennis] skirts and tennis shirts. EleVen by Venus Williams [Williams is a teammate of Rodionova’s on the Washington Kastles] is a good brand.
Who: Dominique Vu, 23
Editor/producer of the Washington Post’s DC Scout
What she does: DC Scout is the Washington Post’s twice-weekly newsletter focused on shopping, deals, events, and beauty and style tips. I handle everything from writing and managing social media to producing content and designing creative for the newsletter. I also seek out and coordinate sponsorships and partnerships for DC Scout with fashion events and stores around town.
Describe your work style: Sophisticated and trendy. I like to mix business-casual looks with more of-the-moment pieces. I consider myself quite short, so fun high heels are my go-to for adding a bit of pizzazz to any and all office outfits. Statement necklaces and fun bracelets can also turn a basic outfit from drab to fab.
Typical Day at the Office
Banana Republic seersucker blazer, Forever 21 tank, Nordstrom skirt, Sam Edelman wedges, Cole Haan bag, and jewelry from Forever 21 and Lord & Taylor.
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.