At Modern Luxury, connection and community define who we are. We use cookies to improve the Modern Luxury experience - to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also may share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. We take your privacy seriously and want you to be aware that we have recently made changes to our Privacy Policy, which can be found here.

I AGREE
    

6 of Atlanta's Most Stylish Businesswomen

By The Editors | September 16, 2020 | People

Style is a state of mind, which is all the more important in our rapidly changing world. We check in with some of Atlanta’s sartorial stars and brightest businesswomen for words of wisdom.

Paula Wallace

president and founder, Savannah College of Art and Design

PSWAtlantanv23EZBG.jpg

Paula Wallace established Savannah College of Art and Design in 1978, which has since expanded to three campuses around the world, including Atlanta. Under her tutelage, three museums—SCAD Museum of Art, SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film and SCAD Retour en 1856—have also been founded. As one of the top fashion schools in the world, SCAD is consistently on the cutting edge of fashion, design and more. Wallace hopes the future holds “joy!” she says. “From our families to our communities to our world, let’s all practice the power of one: One person makes a difference, one day at a time.”

I feel best when I wear…

dynamic designs by SCAD alumni, from statement gowns by Christopher John Rogers and accessible ready-to-wear by Eleanor Turner to Jocelyn DeSisto’s aquatic-inspired cocktail rings and Libby Newell’s layered collage brooches.

The best wardrobe advice I’ve received is…

select vibrant hues—yellows, corals and pinks—to radiate warmth and cheer. After all, you don’t have to look at yourself, but others do!

My at-home look has consisted of…

a lot of Lululemon. As the sun rises, I’m usually on the treadmill. Then I switch to work attire—with sandals—for 8AM Zoom meetings. Pandemic or not, a daily regimen and professional look promote productivity and positivity.

My style in three words is…

classic, cool and collected (hopefully).

2020 has been…

transformational. This year has demanded our best. I’m continually impressed by the kindness, resilience and resourcefulness of our SCAD family—especially our students. They are awesome!

My favorite local small businesses to support are…

SCAD alumna Caroline Ruder’s Caroline Ann. Collection, home to vibrant, flowing fashions (think colorful, swishy dresses with statement sleeves), and Wish, Lauren Amos’ boutique that pairs international style with limited-edition footwear. For a petit piece of Provence, I relish the scents and artful arrangements at Le Jardin Français in Ponce City Market.

Dana Spinola

founder and chief visionary officer, Fab’rik

072120DANA15.jpg

The daughter of two entrepreneurs, Dana Spinola truly believes that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. At the helm of popular boutique fab’rik, Spinola also supports two charity endeavors, free fab’rik—which allows women in need to shop for free—and fab’rik’s own clothing line, Asher. Proceeds from the line support the adoption process for children in Africa. Each store that carries Asher is matched with an Asher Baby to pray for, share their story and fund their needs until they find a forever home. This mom to four—and head hen to 20 chickens—promises that if you follow her philosophy of “never stop dreaming,” you can achieve any goal.

I feel best when...
I wear a black tank top, my favorite pair of ripped jeans and sky-high heels.

The best wardrobe advice I’ve received is...
dress for yourself, not other people.

The best business advice I’ve received is...
trust your gut, then don’t be afraid to follow it!

My style in three words is...
black, white and denim.

The way I give back is...
through building dream boutiques, free shopping sprees and ensuring my extra time is spent mentoring young girls to find their purpose.

I can’t live without..
my morning run, worship music blaring.

I get it done by...
putting it on my calendar. 2020 has been humbling for this control freak!

The most cherished thing I own is...
my company, fab’rik. It is so much more than a business; it clothes women with the confidence to tackle their day... and the world!

Christa Huffstickler

owner and CEO, Engel & Völkers Atlanta

WOS20072720400Edit.jpg

Often cited as one of the most powerful people in real estate in the country, Christa Huffstickler specializes in both new construction and general luxury brokerage. She’s consistently breaking Atlanta real estate records and has been behind some of the city’s most notable sales. Her career résumé of transactions is just over a staggering billion dollars in sales, which is accomplished by her living by her motto: “Always do the right thing and success will follow.”

My power look is...
a sleek blazer, a pair of heels and my Chanel pearls.

The best wardrobe advice I’ve received is...
don’t worry about what other people think. Wear what makes you happy and what makes you feel good about yourself.

My philosophy in life is…
laugh as much as possible.

The most cherished thing I own is…
my grandmother’s wedding ring.

My at-home look has consisted of…
comfortable and easy, but always ready for someone to drop by at a moment’s notice.

I can’t live without my…
Balenciaga weekender bag.

I get it done by…being super organized and always having a plan.

2020 has been…
memorable.

Making a statement means…
inspiring others.

The biggest surprise of the year has been...
becoming a part-time elementary school teacher for my three kids during virtual learning!

My outlook has shifted by...
realizing how much we can accomplish by working together.

Z. Pressley Rice, MD, FAAD

Associate at Dermatology Associates of Georgia and adjunct clinical professor at Emory University department of dermatology (DERMGA.COM)

WOSDrZ20773EditEdit.jpg

While Dr. Z. Pressley Rice has an impressive curriculum vitae—she specializes in adult facial rejuvenation and pediatric dermatology and has clinical research interest in atopic dermatitis and hyperhidrosis—her most striking contributions include educational endeavors through the Pressley Rice Family Foundation, on top of being a dedicated wife and mother, of course. Whether supporting educational missions at Emory University School of Medicine, Princeton University, Pace Academy, Atlanta Speech School, Lakeside High School (her alma mater in Seattle) or in her office offering patients the best in skincare, Rice manages to balance it all.

My philosophy in life is…

empathy and kindness are foundational.

The way I give back is…
one person—patient, student, family member or friend—at a time.

I can’t live without my… brain!

Things I splurged on before included...
travel. I have traveled to all seven continents, and my favorite destinations include the Galapagos Islands; Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan; Koh Samet, Thailand; Madrid; and Whistler, British Columbia.

Things I splurge on now include…
books, until the pandemic ends (and it will end!).

I get it done by…
trusting in talented support teams both at work and home.

I hope the future holds…
progress and peace.

Jessica Whitley

artist and designer (jessicawhitleystudio.com)

JWretry.jpg

Athens is a flourishing and artistic town, as all Georgians know—and that includes artist and designer Jessica Whitley. Her business, Jessica Whitley Studio, sells original artwork and home offerings, with Whitley specializing in all subjects such as landscapes, figures and still lifes. This mother of two believes that making a statement means “being beautiful on the inside and out,” she says. “It’s not the clothes that make the person, it’s the person that make the clothes.”

The best wardrobe advice I’ve received is...

‘Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.’ My aunt used to say that to me all the time, and it’s always stuck, like her voice in the back of my mind whenever I am considering a big purchase.

My power look is...
a structured blazer with a high heel.

The most cherished thing I own is...
my wedding ring set from Universal Diamonds.

Some local small businesses I shop at are...
Huff Harrington and Boxwoods to find special pieces to have in my home. As far as fashion goes, I like to go to Range Boutique in Atlanta or Heery’s Clothes Closet in Athens. European Floral Design is another small business I love to support in Athens; she does all of my floral arrangements!

Three words to describe my style are...
elegant, chic and playful.

2020 has been...
challenging but also enlightening as so many people, including myself and my family, have learned to adapt and stay safe in these unprecedented times.

Alex Delotch Davis

founder, Gallerie 88 and manager of marketing, High Museum of Art

AlexxTheAtlantan0884.jpg

Alex Delotch Davis serves as both the manager of marketing for the High Museum of Art and the founder of Gallerie 88, a digital media company “dedicated to Black luxury fashion, fine art and design,” she explains, which also publishes a popular visual newsletter called The Digest. You’d think Delotch Davis would be exhausted. But this list-maker can accomplish anything “by making a list and checking it twice,” she says. “I love the satisfaction of checking things off my list!”

I feel best when I wear…
clothes that fit my body well. Tailoring is a must, and Gizzelle James is the best tailor in Atlanta.

The best wardrobe advice I’ve received is…
only buy what you love. That actually applies to everything except real estate.

The best business advice I’ve received is...
there is always something to do. If no one gives you an assignment, make one. Successful people create work and embrace responsibility.

Things I splurged on before included…
dinner with friends.

Things I splurge on now include…
Blue Bunny ice cream with my daughters.

2020 has been…
a gift and a curse. There is no doubt that this has been the toughest year in global history on all accounts. However, it has also ushered in a time of reckoning and reflection. We have been forced to reevaluate our values, our systems and our priorities globally, nationally and individually. 2020 has been a time of both thunderous and solemn introspection, calling us urgently to recognize and reinforce our inextricable connections to one another.

My favorite local Atlanta small businesses to support are…
Your Vitamin Lady on Auburn Avenue—she is a mind and body oracle. I also love Local Green in the West End. It’s cheat-day food, without the cheat.



Photography by: From top: photo by chia chong for scad; photo by kelly lane photography; photo by patrick heagney; photo by patrick heagney; photo by nicole bridwell; styling by nicole broadnax; PHoto by ahmad barber; styling by david duncan; makeup by kenya haynie; Skirt, crop top and blazer by Victor Glemaud at Saks Fifth Avenue, Phipps Plaza; Jewelry by KZ Noel at Tootsie