Tag Archives: style

Fashion Nomad

August 19, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

In the fashion world, often known for inflated egos and shameless self-promotion, it’s easy to forget that not everyone is in it for money and fame. 

Up-and-coming local fashion designer Paige Modlin isn’t buying into those ideals. And, like her clothing, it’s downright refreshing. 

In person, her demeanor is quiet. She is hesitant when speaking about herself and her sentences occasionally trail off. One look at her social media tells a different story, though. When modeling her own clothing or just hanging out with friends, her confidence in herself and her personal style is clear. 

Her style, by the way, is very street. She says she likes to focus on shape and silhouette, though color clearly plays a key role in her designs. But most importantly, she likes to make clothes that people feel comfortable in, no matter their gender. “I definitely design clothes for men and women, but that either gender could wear.” 

She adds that her personal style is “sort of all over the place.” One day, she might be feeling the sporty look, the next she may want to do super preppy. Or maybe she’s just feeling a certain color. 

“I was trying to wear all pink today, but I didn’t really have the jacket for it.”

Modlin says she got interested in fashion as a sophomore at Westside High School, from which she graduated last year. She says it’s “crazy how good the program is” there.

She says she was already interested in clothing and shopping, so she decided she “might as well try” making her own. 

Her mother, Pam Modlin, says Paige is the artsy one out of her five children. She was the one who liked to draw or wanted to play the flute. However, “It wasn’t until high school when she started sewing that she really blossomed on the art scene.”

“I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist, but ever since I started making clothes, I was over painting,” says the 19-year-old Modlin. 

She says she finds inspiration everywhere. For her clothing designs, she especially enjoys searching thrift shops, which she visits at least once a day. And of course, “definitely the internet,” specifically Instagram, where she tends to follow others interested in vintage clothing.  At first it may be difficult to see where that vintage inspiration is represented in her designs, but she says it’s usually in the color palette. “I like the bright, retro jumpsuits.”

Modlin says one of her favorite creators is Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons, which makes sense once you’ve peeped his classic yet contemporary designs. While they both emphasize the structure of a piece, Modlin’s clothing is definitely more colorful. That bit of inspiration stems from her affection for Japanese streetwear and designer Takashi Murakami. 

Her love of fashion also drives her to travel. She recently visited her father in Mexico, and before that she travelled to Europe to “self-study” fashion. She was in France and Italy during fashion week, though she didn’t get to attend the actual shows. But she says she found the street art very inspiring, although she did think the lack of color was odd. 

“All the young kids were wearing black or neutral colors, and I was wearing these bright colors. I stood out so much,” she says. “I have this picture [taken] in Rome of me wearing one of the shirts I made and everyone in the background is wearing a black coat…like I’m some crazy girl.” She adds that the people in Amsterdam were more relatable and “way nicer.” 

Next up on her travel list is Japan. “Streetwear is very big in Japan, and that’s where a lot of my inspo comes from.”

When it comes to the future, Modlin says she will continue to study fashion, and she plans on taking classes at Metropolitan Community College. “They have a lot of fun classes there,” she says. Besides fashion design, she also really enjoys photography. Graphic design is another medium she would like to get into more. Plus, she adds, it would be a good skill to have to fall back on. Not that she plans on falling. 

“I want to be able to make my own brand and sell it, and graphic design would definitely fit in with that.” But for now, where she’ll end up is a mystery. “I don’t know,” she says. “I never know!”


This article was printed in the July/August 2018 edition of Encounter. 

See more on the designer’s instagram instagram/@__unknown.jpg

Storybook Cosmetics

July 26, 2018 by
Photography by provided

Developing a cruelty-free cosmetics company may not have been the dream with which they started, but Maynard triplets Erin, Mandy, and Missy have combined their individual talents to make fantasy a reality.

Storybook Cosmetics is an online business they created after Missy introduced her sisters to high-end makeup about 10 years ago. At first, Mandy and Erin were worried about her “obsession.” Missy would spend $80 on a single brush. The two were slowly swayed and that love of high-end product influenced their decisions when creating their own line. The self-proclaimed “nerds” drew inspiration from their interests and channeled them into those products. 

Erin says she would often spend nights researching “how to start a cosmetics company” on the internet. But she didn’t get far. “Labs will not even talk to you if you’re an indie brand. You need hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Erin sent drawings to her manufacturer from a previous online business. She surprised Erin one day by producing a prototype of their Wizard Wand Makeup Brushes. When Erin posted the picture of them on her Instagram account, the post blew up—engagement was in the thousands in about five minutes. She quickly removed it and the sisters decided to post it on a Storybook Cosmetics account they had created but had not used yet. The account went from 9,000 to over 100,000 followers “in a matter of days.” They started pitching themselves to beauty magazines right away, and publications  like InStyle, Allure, and Teen Vogue started writing about them. Their social media was inundated with questions and comments. 

The women knew this was their chance. Erin started at the top of the list of cosmetics labs she’d previously contacted. “I said, ‘Yeah we’re the creators of the magic wand makeup brushes,’ and they were like, ‘Please hold.’ They signed us on that day.” 

The brushes launched the brand, but there is a constant buzz around all of their products. 

“Honestly, we have a really loyal, awesome following.” she says. “Everything since then has been almost as successful.” So successful that they are now a multi-million dollar company. All from a $500 prototype.

Initial orders of brushes were shipped out of their mother’s living room in Omaha. Friends and family filled the house for three weeks during the Christmas season to help box products. Erin says it’s great being based in Omaha because it’s cheaper than if everything was based out of L.A., especially with the help of their extensive support system—the triples are three of six sisters. 

Roxane Cosgrove, a friend of their younger sister Erica, is not surprised by their success. The triplets’ interest in makeup was evident early on, as Cosgrove recalls going over to their house while she was in middle school. “The triplets lived in the basement and they would give us makeup tutorials.” She remembers looking up to them, and is quick to mention that their mom is also a “superstar.” “They were always really innovative: the whole family is,” she says. “They were always figuring something out and they were always hard workers.” Besides that, she adds, “the Maynards have always been nerds at heart.” 

While having their support system around is key, the fact that Missy lives out west has its advantages. The triplets’ work is often based on popular movies or books, such as their Mean Girls Burn Book Palette, and it’s much easier for her to set up and get to meetings. And, according to Erin, she’s the right person to have in those meetings. “Missy is our mouthpiece, basically. She gets us all of our licensing,” she says, later adding, “She’s like the licensing whisperer.”

Each of the girls brings something unique to the table. Mandy is the graphic designer and artist, so she handles the creative side. Erin says she is good at “the boring stuff,” dealing with logistics and manufacturing. “It’s very bizarre, but we like to say when we combine we make one normal superhuman.”

While the business is currently only online, they are working on funding to branch into retail. A bigger investor can help them get to the next level. Erin says they have stores that are interested, but currently they can’t fill the orders. “That’s kind of the hurdle that we’re at right now in our growth,” she says, adding that it’s “obviously a good hurdle to have.”  


To learn more, visit storybookcosmetics.com.

This article was printed in the August/September 2018 edition of B2B.

from left: Missy, Erin, and Mandy Maynard

Dressed to the Hilt in a Kilt

May 17, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Nick Moore has a specific and well-developed personal style—obvious when he wears a kilt on golf and hunting trips.

The 31-year-old clothing aficionado and professional clothier for Tom James Co. began cultivating what he calls his “British Town and Country” style aesthetic in high school. “I think in another life I was part of the English landed gentry; I would have loved to have lived in Downton Abbey, post-WWI in the English countryside,” he says.

Along with his appreciation for kilts, Moore admits to having a love affair with tweed jackets. For boots, he prefers Australian R.M. Williams. Belts are another obsession (his favorite is an alligator-leather Martin Dingman belt with a personalized brass monogram buckle).

But the Nebraska-born style consultant says he is just as comfortable in torn jeans and muddy boots as he is in black tie.

You’d be hard-pressed to find Moore in old, tattered denim, though. His elevated sense of style even translates to his active pursuits, including hunting, fishing, and golf.

He says he abhors much of the newer tech and sporting gear, so he wears clothing he would normally wear every day for his outdoor activities. And yes, that includes tweed jackets.

“It’s not like I have a completely separate wardrobe like most people do,” Moore says. “I don’t have one stitch of camouflage. I’d rather wear a tweed jacket than an Under Armour microfiber camo-techie sort of thing.”

His day-to-day and activewear wardrobe consists of an abundance of tweed and natural wool in the fall and winter, and cotton and linen pieces in the spring and summer.

The “master of it all,” Ralph Lauren, Moore says is a key inspiration for his style and was even the focus of his capstone during his MBA studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

“He [Ralph Lauren] is able to create his own narrative through clothing. He was a very active guy, being outdoors and doing fun sports,” Moore says. “He picked that medium and he sort of created a movable feast of self-expression. And I love guys—speaking of movable feast—like Hemingway; I loved the way guys could look good and be active.”

For special occasions in the field—such as the opening weekend for pheasant hunting in South Dakota—Moore breaks out a kilt. It started with Moore wearing a tie adorned with pheasants on one trip a few years ago. From that fashion statement, a competition of style-wits emerged between Moore and his hunting buddies.

Reaching back to his Scottish heritage on his father’s side, Moore decided to take his hunting attire to the next level. He surprised his companions one year after asking his grandmother to sew him a kilt for the hunt.

Since then, the sometimes tartan-clad hunter has expanded his wardrobe to three kilts (including a formal one for black-tie occasions).

“It’s an impractical thing to wear hunting, but it makes people happy,” he says. “It gives a little levity to something that a lot of people, I think, take too seriously.”

Moore says he enjoys having the right gear for the right moment. He appreciates the details of a custom fly rod, the grain of wood on a shotgun, or the hand-stitching in a garment.

“I just love the details. And I think that’s probably where I get most of my excitement in clothing,” he says. “In all elements of style and design, in life, are the details—the little things that maybe no one else will notice. But I will.”


Individuals wishing to contact Moore for style consultations can reach him by email at n.moore@tomjames.com. Visit tomjames.com for more information.

This article was printed in the May/June 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Kathy and Joe Italia

December 22, 2017 by and
Photography by Heather and Jameson Hooton

These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits.


Kathy Italia, 67

I was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. I’ve been in the beauty industry for the past 27 years and presently work at Creative Hair Design. I am a licensed esthetician and nail technician.

In my 50s, I went back to school while still working to become an esthetician. Skin care has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager. It was quite an accomplishment to train my brain to learn a new business, study, and take tests again. I love what I do and appreciate the relationship I have with many great clients whom I consider friends. I feel very grateful to work at the No. 1 salon in Omaha.

When I’m not working, I love to spend time at our lake house in the Ozarks.

My motto has always been to grab all the gusto of every day…and not to get old, but to fight it all the way! We have the choice to keep a young attitude and look our best at all times. There is no excuse not to.


Joe Italia, 69

I was born and raised in Omaha. I’ve been in the fashion industry for 42 years and presently work at Lindley’s Clothing.

After attending Benson High School and UNO, I served for four years in the United States Air Force. I am the proud father of two sons.

My family—especially my granddaughter, Lilly—brings me much happiness. Maintaining good health, playing golf, having good friends, good food, and good wine are other sources of joy in my life.

My advice for living life is to promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind, be too large for worry, too noble for anger, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

The key to growing old gracefully is to consider yourself advanced, but not old, and dress in modern fashion.

This article was printed in the January/February 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Mary Jochim

Photography by Heather and Jameson Hooton

These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits.


Mary Jochim, 67

I have joy in my heart. I am a very positive, can-do person. When nothing is going right, I’ll go left. I am 40 years old plus shipping and handling.

My favorite childhood book was The Little Engine That Could. I believe in possibilities not only for myself, but for others. Nothing is more gratifying than helping someone find options that make the impossible possible. If you aren’t happy where you are, move—you’re not a tree. I’ll be glad to help.

My career has been in the world of investments. I didn’t realize when I started that it was such a non-traditional career for women. It still is. Fewer than 30 percent of financial advisers are female, and less than 12 percent operate as I do, as registered investment advisers. After 19 years in the business, I started my own company, Sterling Financial Advisors. This year I will celebrate 40 years in the business and Sterling will celebrate 20 years.

I am very proud of the way my four brothers and I took care of our mother in her life. She raised us as a single parent against the odds. I’m proud that I do not cuss, ever. (Thanks, Mom!) Together with my favorite cousin, Linda Dorothy of Omaha, we have rejuvenated our annual Glesmann family reunions. Instead of 20 people, we have more than 80 relatives attending. We’ve had German luaus, Texas round-ups, “Vegas Baby,” and a road rally. In 2016, the reunion was called “Nacho Ordinary Reunion.” Last year, it was “Our Big Fat German Wedding.”  We’ve even held a Halloween-style picnic in our family cemetery. The reunions, along with social media, have helped us to build a close family feeling—the most important thing to us—that extends to both coasts.

I like to build community, whether it is in my neighborhood, at work, with people waiting in line to license their car, or one other person in an elevator. I want people to feel better about who they are after talking to me. I also like to entertain, especially with theme parties. I’ve even had a “20,000 Martinis Under the Sea Party.”  The total eclipse in 2017 was a phenomenal opportunity to gather friends. The entertainment was out of this world!

Begin with the end in mind (because no one gets out of life alive). I want to play the long game—the really long game: eternity. My desired destination is heaven. Making that commitment provides me the structure to work living my life backward. If I keep my destination in focus, then it is a matter of making good choices between now and then.

Negativity is like drinking poison. It will show in your face. The best makeup is a smile. Lastly, never cut your own bangs!

This article was printed in the January/February 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Les Zanotti

Photography by Heather and Jameson Hooton

These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits.


Les Zanotti, 81

I grew up in a small Iowa farming town with a population of 400.  I attended the University of Iowa on a baseball scholarship and graduated with a business degree. After serving in the military and working two sales jobs, I started an executive search business here in Omaha at age 31. After almost 34 years, I sold my business to one of my employees and retired.

At age 81, I don’t really feel any different from how I felt 20 years ago.

Our daughter and her husband have blessed us with three grandchildren, who are all honor students and have competed in various sports all through high school. What great fun and thrills for Grandpa and Grandma!

I am happiest when busy—whether alone, with great friends, or with our beautiful family. Food and wine are the common denominators with our best friends. Most of them have great cellars and all like sharing.

“You don’t look your age” is what I like to hear. I have a brother who is 12 years older and doesn’t look 93. Maybe it’s the genes.

I am the same weight as in high school. We eat out quite a lot, so it’s hard to eat healthy foods always; however, I do try to avoid fatty foods.

I suffered a heart attack in 1999. Ever since, I have taken a brisk two-mile walk every day, first thing in the morning.

If you want to look your very best at any age, I feel that you must be active and keep moving the best you can—and drink wine!

This article was printed in the January/February 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Kate Geiger

Photography by Heather and Jameson Hooton

These autobiographical pieces and corresponding photos are part of a special edition of 60PLUS featuring local residents who prove that fashion has no age limits.


Kate (Laux) Geiger, 80

I am proud of my Duchesne upbringing. It was part of my daily life as a student, and it continues to be part of my daily life to this day.

I married Jerry Geiger, an ophthalmologist, on Dec. 31, 1960. Jerry served two tours as a flight commander in Vietnam.

After his internship at the old Methodist hospital, we left for Pensacola, Florida. After that, we went to Newport, Rhode Island, and then Coronado, California. We moved to upstate New York for his residency in ophthalmology, and we moved back to Nebraska in 1975. We traveled a lot for medical meetings and spent many winters in Arizona.

During our time on the East Coast, we sometimes took weekends to drive around the historic mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. One was the Auchincloss Mansion, where Jackie Kennedy grew up. We once saw President John F. Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy playing golf. They waved and said, “Hi and welcome.” I held up our two boys and said, “We have a John-John also!” They were very gracious.

I love to cook. When the kids came home from school, they would open the refrigerator and ask who moved to town, was sick, or died. I always made twice what we needed. It became a running joke.

When I am cooking, I am the happiest. I’ve enjoyed hosting parties for 50-to-100-person crowds, friends, and people I love.

One time, I was cooking a beef tenderloin (the same way I had done for 30 years), and Jerry came in the kitchen three times. He asked, “Is this the way to do this?” I waved the knife in the air and said, “I’ll tell you what. I will go to surgery with you tomorrow and help you. Need I say more?”

I’m very proud of our four children—two boys and two girls—and nine grandchildren; they are all remarkable young adults.

Jerry and I have adjusted quite well to each other after 57 years. Love and faith help.

 

This article was printed in the January/February 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.