Greater Flint’s Best Dressed 2023 Elegant, dapper, sassy and sophisticated

0

Nominated by friends and family for inclusion in our Best Dressed feature, these Greater Flint professionals are certainly a stylish group! We invited them to take a moment in the spotlight and chose the fun and fabulous Sloan Museum of Discovery as the backdrop for our photo shoots. Enjoy!

Photography by Katy Kildee

Johnell Allen-Bey

Occupation
Executive Director of Community Engagement Genesee County Sheriff’s Office

My signature style is
Eclectic. I love to mix textures, colors and fabrics. Most people shy away from being bold; I embrace it.

When did fashion become important to you?
Fashion has always been important to me. When I was a child, my mother used to take my brother and me shopping in downtown Flint at Robert David Allen and Hughes & Hatcher.

Who is your favorite designer?
I love Tom Ford because of his distinguished looks, as well as local talent like James Green and Philip Loving.

What is your current fashion obsession?
My current obsession is my signature look – three-piece suits and turtlenecks.

Who is your “fashion hero”?
My heroes aren’t in the fashion world. When it comes to fashion, I am my hero.

Where do you like to shop?
I enjoy small, locally-owned boutiques in big cities like Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles. I love local flavors.

What is your go-to accessory?
My latest go-to pieces have been watches and hats.

Describe one of your all-time favorite outfits.
That is a hard decision because I enjoy all my looks. If I had to choose, it would be my wedding tux. It represented not only my favorite football team (University of Michigan GO BLUE!), but it also represented my wedding – the day I took my relationship to the next level.

Do you recall making a “fashion faux pas”?
Everything I do is intentional. Even when I make a mistake, I fall in love with it. Some of my greatest statements have been mistakes.


Sheldon Banks

Occupation
Mortician/Owner, Sheldon T. Banks Funeral Chapel

My signature style is
Professional – a two-button, single-breasted wool suit. I admire this style as it has character. Wearing high-quality, well-tailored clothing boosts one’s confidence. You could be having a bad day at work but, when you’re dressed for success, you can take on those challenges.

When did fashion become important to you?
Probably around 1990, when I started working in mortuary science and wanted to present myself as a professional. I’ve always believed first impressions are lasting impressions – a man in a suit projects success and reliability. Dressing meticulously portrays a person’s patience.

Who is your favorite designer?
Peter Nandwani, as he perfects custom tailored suits and is my personal suit designer. The fine fabrics he uses are imported and reasonably priced, all suits are hand-stitched. They have been in the custom business since 1969, servicing clients from around the world. I know each suit I get from Nandwani’s is a sound and solid investment.

What is your current fashion obsession?
I love a wool pinstripe suit because it gives me a distinguished look for my typical workday interacting with the public.

Who is your “fashion hero”?
Peter Nandwani, as he keeps me looking suave. He says, “Our talent and skills can be imitated but not duplicated.” Nandwani’s Custom Tailors are the only tailors in the world with a very comprehensive shopping service.

Where do you like to shop?
Nandwani Custom Tailors in Memphis, TN and Neiman Marcus. This organization has been operating for approximately 53 years, which gives me confidence that they know what they are doing.

What is your go-to accessory?
Tie pins, pocket squares and exotic shoes. (I can’t divulge all my go-to fashion secrets.)

Describe one of your all-time favorite outfits.
That would be a pinstripe double-breasted suit – a true classic and an enduring symbol of menswear. This style is considered a staple suiting option, so they never really go out of style. I prefer a dark color with a white shirt and at times, soft pastel-colored shirts with a nice Vitaliano Pancaldi tie.

Do you recall making a “fashion faux pas”?
I once put on a black dress shoe with a navy blue dress shoe, as I am color blind. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I had made this “fashion faux pas” until someone pointed it out to me!


Domonique Clemons

Occupation
Genesee County Clerk-Register

My signature style is
I tend to choose a more bold and colorful palette. I really enjoy challenging the standards of professional attire, choosing leather jackets or bomber jackets with shirts and ties over a suit coat, or incorporating tennis shoes and other exciting footwear into outfits. What I am most known for is my selection of colored eyeglasses with matching watch bands and cell phone cases.

When did fashion become important to you?
I started to gain a deeper appreciation for style and fashion about six years ago when I finished my undergraduate degree and entered the workforce.

Who is your favorite designer?
I like the classic and sophisticated designs by Giorgio Armani.

What is your current fashion obsession?
Lately, I have been really into jackets (bombers, leather jackets, zip-ups, etc) and colorful high-top tennis shoes.

Who is your “fashion hero”?
A lot of my personal style is influenced by that of Tan France. Also locally, I have always been inspired by the style of (Executive Director, Latinx Technology and Community Center) Asa Zuccaro.

Where do you like to shop?
My favorite stores are Zara, Express and Banana Republic. I also really like the INC line at Macy’s.

What is your go-to accessory?
My signature fashion statement is the trio of matching eyeglasses, watch band and phone case.

Describe one of your all-time favorite outfits.
I really like dressing in layers and love a good jacket. I have two favorite jackets – a light pink leather and a teal sport coat – and love to wear them paired with either jeans and a button down shirt, or a solid t-shirt and slacks.


Dwayne Clemons

Occupation
Servant of the Community

My signature style is
Professional, a three-piece suit with matching shoes

When did fashion become important to you?
My mother used to dress me up when I was a kid and it carried over into adulthood.

Who is your favorite designer?
Steve Harvey – he makes suits that are classic and culturally acceptable.

What is your current fashion obsession?
I love a double-breasted suit because not everyone wears them. The style allows you to be dressed to the nines while differentiating yourself from the crowd. It also works well with a long necktie or a bow tie.

Who is your “fashion hero”?
Steve Harvey

Where do you like to shop?
Anywhere I can find a good quality suit for a decent price.

What is your go-to accessory?
I don’t really have one; but I do like a nice pair of cufflinks.

Describe one of your all-time favorite outfits.
A plum three-piece suit worn with a lavender shirt and tie set and plum alligator shoes. I still have it.

Do you recall making a “fashion faux pas”?
I tried wearing a suit with no socks before it became popular – it was not the move to make at the time.


Lennetta Bradley Coney

Occupation
President, Foundation for Mott Community College

My signature style is
Contemporary Chic/On Trend

When did fashion become important to you?
During my teens, being tall always caused people to look at me and ask, “How tall are you?” It was in my early years when I realized that being tall would mean I should adorn my tall frame with clothing that would enhance rather than cause a spectacle. Plus at that time, I started doing a bit of modeling at local stores.

Who is your favorite designer?
I do not have a favorite designer, but I do favor various fashion brands such as Adrianna Papell, Rachel Zoe and INC, for example.

What is your current fashion obsession?
I really value a good sale and discount purchase! It is rare that I will buy an entire ready-to-wear outfit with all of the pieces pre-selected. I design my outfits and strongly believe in mixing items to create a look. Equally important, I rarely purchase clothing at the original price – the item must be on sale/clearance and I have been known to wait until an item goes on sale because I refuse to pay full price. I often pair a slightly more expensive “sale” item with a moderately priced item to create something unique. I also like to shop for other people in this way.

Who is your “fashion hero”?
Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez

Where do you like to shop?
I typically purchase my clothing from boutiques, online catalogs and some big box stores, like Macy’s.

What is your go-to accessory?
Belts, scarves and jewelry galore!

Describe one of your all-time favorite outfits.
I have a lavender leather dress that I absolutely adore that can be worn with an accent scarf of lavender, black and white or with boots and lavender jewelry.

Do you recall making a “fashion faux pas”?
I take great care to avoid fashion missteps. I will admit that I wore a black, one-shoulder asymmetrical top (really long on one side and short on the opposite side) and it exposed some skin on the short side. I do not like to show a lot of skin, so to compensate I kept pulling at the top throughout the day. Each time I wear that top, I now wear a black waistband scarf to conceal my skin. Clothes should be comfortable and not a nuisance!


Shane Jackson

Occupation
Nutrition Educator

My signature style is
Classy with a splash of BOUJEE – like an Hervé Léger dress layered with a peacoat and a pair of Christian Louboutin “So Kate” patent pumps. My main focus is to make sure my outfit makes an impactful first impression, and speaks without words.

When did fashion become important to you?
It really wasn’t important to me until the end of my 20s – that’s when I really started paying attention to what I wore and when I fell in love with fashion. I came to understand the phrase “when you look good, you feel good.” I am definitely over-the-top with everything I do when it comes to fashion. A friend told me that they looked forward to coming out to events in Flint knowing I would be there and to see what I would be wearing.

Who is your favorite designer?
Gucci! I am definitely a Gucci girl, for sure. The designs are classic, yet bold – they remind me so much of my personality. Gucci has even collaborated with Disney characters including Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, which is connected to my fun-loving side.

What is your current fashion obsession?
I am really obsessed with the Herve Leger bandage dresses. They are affordable and stretchy and they provide the best contouring to any body frame. They are definitely show-stoppers!

Who is your “fashion hero”?
There are many who I look up to when it comes to style. My favorites are R&B singers Mary J. Blige, Ciara, Monica and Ebony, and the first full-figured model D’Wanna Randolph from Detroit.

Where do you like to shop?
I love boutiques; however, my favorite stores are Nordstrom Rack, Saks OFF 5th, Zara, Fashion Nova and even Goodwill. I just love a good deal!

What is your go-to accessory?
I always love to have a great, high-end purse like a Gucci or Louis Vuitton tote bag because you can dress down and still elevate whatever you are wearing with a great purse.

Describe one of your all-time favorite outfits.
A jogging suit with a pair of Nike Air Max shoes and a baseball cap is my all-time favorite outfit. Since my childhood, I have loved wearing these outfits because they make me comfortable.

Do you recall making a “fashion faux pas”?
It can be funny sometimes when we look back and see the hilarious things we did while thinking we were giving the best. I remember being a teenager using black eyeliner to outline my lips followed by red mood-changing lipstick. I now see that was both hilarious and a total disaster at the same time!


Jennifer Lasco

Occupation
Real Estate Broker, Owner of Lasco Real Estate Group

My signature style is
Anything that makes me feel fun and wrapped like a gift is usually my favorite look.

When did fashion become important to you?
Fashion has been important to me since I was a child. It is the most incredible way to express yourself and how you are feeling to the world. In high school, I wore a uniform and always looked forward to days when we could wear street clothes. When we had dances at school, I’d always choose something crazy that my family couldn’t afford. My mother taught me to sew at a young age to create similar versions of the dresses I saw in the Neiman’s and Saks catalogs. I have a deep appreciation for the work and detail that it takes to create beautiful clothing..

Who is your favorite designer?
It’s easy to call out any of the big fashion houses: Tom Ford, YSL, Alexander McQueen, Fendi and Valentino are my favorites in that arena. When it comes to day-to-day, I love Cult Gaia, Alexis, Jonathan Simkhai, Re/Done and Jenni Kayne.

What is your current fashion obsession?
I love playing with proportions – big boyfriend sweater with pencil jeans and sweet trainers, OR a crop-top with “mom jeans” and sky-high heels.

Who is your “fashion hero”?
Iris Apfel, Olivia Palermo

Where do you like to shop?
Intermix, Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, Neiman Marcus

What is your go-to accessory?
GREAT shoes and incredible perfume.

Describe one of your all-time favorite outfits.
I love so many moments in clothing that I’ve had. Your clothing is your mood, it creates your vibe. I think that one of my favorite recent outfits is a Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini purple dress with pink flowers and puffed sleeves, paired with hot coral Louboutins.

Do you recall making a “fashion faux pas”?
The biggest fashion faux pas I ever made was dressing for other people. When I moved from Birmingham to Fenton after Jay and I were married, I tried to dress to fit into this area. Wearing neon patterns, red plaid matching family outfits, or trying to duplicate the typical American girl’s fall fashion Pinterest board isn’t for me. The only person you should ever dress for is YOU! Don’t let any mean girls tell you what you should be wearing, or that their opinions matter … Because they don’t.


Brittany Willingham

Occupation
Ministry

My signature style is
Cute and covered

When did fashion become important to you?
When I accepted a call to ministry, I wanted to be able to show women that we could express beauty and creativity and honor God at the same time.

Who is your favorite designer?
I have no favorite designers, specifically. I love a variety of clothing – as long as it’s cute, I’ll wear it!

What is your current fashion obsession?
Anything that sparkles! It screams “girly” and I love it.

Who are your “fashion heroes”?
My mom and my grandma – they’re the epitome of class.

Where do you like to shop?
Rainbow, Shein, Fashion Nova and thrift stores

What is your go-to accessory?
Raising R.U.T.H. “Rhonda’s Red” lipstick! It’s the perfect shade of red that goes well with anything I wear and instantly makes me look polished.

Describe one of your all-time favorite outfits.
I love, love my all-white evening dress accented with ostrich feathers on the sleeve and bottom of the dress! It fits perfectly and it was a steal price-wise. Instant DIVA!

Share.

Leave A Reply