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Women of Style & Substance
Doremus and Rebecca Gibson | Photo: Katrina Wittkamp | Styling by Eric Himel | Hair by Anthony Cristiano | Makeup by Jenny Patankin | Shot on location at Arlington Design Center in Arlington Heights | October 3, 2013
For our first anniversary issue, we sought out the quintessential North Shore woman—defined not only by her style but also by her contributions to family, community and the world. And though it was hard to choose a final group from so many fabulous candidates, we selected six you should know (if you don’t already).
Kristin Cavallari, Winnetka
“Effortless and chic” is how Kristin Cavallari sums up her personal style. From wearing flip-flops and jean skirts as a Barrington High School student, Cavallari moved to L.A. where she “played with different looks—boho and edgier styles—until I found what I like, and I’m sticking with it.” Along with her style icon Kate Moss, Cavallari loves Balmain, Alexander Wang and most recently Rag & Bone. Our one celebrity in the group, Cavallari can truly be described as the girl next door, living in Winnetka with her new husband, Chicago Bears’ Jay Cutler, and their 1-year-old son, Camden. The former Laguna Beach star describes her current role as a stay-at-home mom. Most days, she is wearing a maxi dress or jeans, a T-shirt and a pair of flats. For her days downtown, you’ll find her wearing cute dresses or a blazer. “I love blazers; any look with a blazer is chic,” she says. “And shoes complete the outfit—you can take it to a new level with a pair of shoes.” She should know. Her own line of Chinese Laundry shoes debuted last year. Besides having one or two more children and expanding her personal brand, Cavallari is passionate about helping others. “I feel like my calling in life is to make an impact in the health world,” she says. “I’d like to bring awareness to how corrupt it is, with all the chemicals. I want to make healthy living more accessible to middle America.”
Erin Hoellerich, Lake Bluff
Erin Hoellerich, buyer for E Street Denim in Highland Park, knows a thing or two about traveling for work and how to maintain your style while doing so. “Since I spend a lot of time traveling between L.A., New York City and Chicago, I don’t have a regular Monday through Friday schedule,” she explains. “When I’m not on an airplane, I’m on the floor at my stores or taking care of my 10-year-old son; it’s really a seven-day-a-week job. I don’t have time for stilettos.” While her look varies day to day, it is clear that Hoellerich is a flower child at heart. Flowy maxi skirts, gold and silver bangles, cowboy boots and her favorite pair of beat-up jeans are just a few items you’re sure to find in this fashionista’s closet. For her, a great style icon is a strong, independent woman—think Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Coco Chanel and Sophia Loren, regardless of what their styles may be. A favorite part of her job at E Street is its year-round fundraising efforts for autism awareness. Hoellerich is proud that in the past three years, the store has raised about $800,000 for the developmental disorder. “I don’t have a bucket list,” she says. “Really, all I want is to be able to look back and have meaning in what I’ve done.”
Leslie Mendoza Temple, Glencoe
“Balance is the name of the game,” says physician Leslie Mendoza Temple. She certainly practices what she preaches. The wife, mother of three and director of NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Integrative Medicine program maintains a healthy and happy equilibrium between her personal life and her career. Though she leaves as much time as possible for family, Mendoza Temple’s job demands a close relationship with her overflowing inbox. It can be time-consuming and exhausting work, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “There is great satisfaction in caring for people in such a deep and personal way,” she says. “I am particularly proud of how my team at NorthShore has helped patients heal or cope from conditions that conventional Western medicine can’t solve.” While our minds instantly think of scrubs for a doctor’s wardrobe, Mendoza Temple is a fashionista both in her Glenview office and at home. A fan of North Shore favorites Anthropologie, SoShee Boutique and Michelle Burden, the marriage of practicality and fashion is a critical factor for her. Drawing inspirations from designer Calvin Tran and Asian-inspired prints and kimonos, her look is colorful, comfortable and unique. “I like floating between color stories depending on my mood and who I’m meeting that day,” she explains. And on her day off? “Lately, I have been wearing my favorite Madewell straw fedora. Paired with jeans, a flowy top and some Converse kicks, it is my summer uniform.”
Shauna Niequist, Barrington
“All or nothing” is how author Shauna Niequist describes her daily fashion choices. At home, she’s either writing or spending time with her sons—think pajamas or Lululemons; as a writer/speaker out on the road, she’s in dresses, heels and makeup. “There’s no in-between,” she laughs. But what’s more important to Niequist than fashion is “helping people connect, to feel known and seen,” she says. “That’s why I write, to invite people into conversation, and to remind people that they are not alone.” Niequist’s latest book, Bread and Wine ($19, Zondervan), does just that—using the medium of food to connect people. A beach girl at heart, though, Niequist describes her personal style as classical and nautical with a little twist—can you say calypso? “I love stripes, especially navy and white, and nautical details like anchors with little fun touches, like sequins or pops of neon or leopard,” she says. Lately, she’s loving the monogrammed Clare Vivier clutch a friend gave her as a gift, Alex and Ani bangles, and Michael Kors platform sandals. On her perfect day off, you’ll find Niequist on the water, playing on the beach or boating with her family. “I’d be wearing a Saint James Breton striped shirt, Von Zipper aviators and Havaianas flip-flops,” she says without a moment’s pause.
Jerri Hoffman, Winnetka
“Chanel is at the absolute top of the list,” says Jerri Hoffman of her favorite label. “They set the bar season after season and everyone else falls in line.” Describing her personal style as the classic look with a twist, “I might pair an off-the-charts Chanel blouse with a pair of favorite jeans and heels.” Married to husband Dave for 41 years, she describes her day-to-day life as “very different at this point in time... no more kids or mommy schedules to adhere to.” The mother of three grown children and “six of the sweetest grandchildren imaginable” spends her time traveling with her husband or in the backyard gardening and playing with her grandchildren, “in my Lululemons, of course!” That and shopping at her number one North Shore shopping destination: “Neiman Marcus, Neiman Marcus, Neiman Marcus!” On a more serious note, Hoffman says, “Both Dave and I feel it is our responsibility to pay it forward in a variety of philanthropic organizations. My very special connection is to Children’s Home + Aid.” As a board member for nearly 10 years, she says, “I am committed to their mission of going where the need is greatest to provide help, hope and opportunity to at-risk children and families.”
Adrienne Eckert Petersen, Lake Bluff
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot—the super classic, chic and French look from these fashion greats is what Adrienne Eckert Petersen, founder and president of Skirt PR, hopes to embody in her personal style. The North Shore native spends four days a week in the PR game at her Bucktown office and every other waking moment with her husband and daughter. “My goal each day is to be the best mom I can be and work hard to manage a successful business,” says Eckert Petersen. “I lead a double life between high fashion and casual mom.” Her go-to work style is understated elegance and sophisticated, polished and professional. Otherwise, you’ll find her in relaxed casual clothes, and “flats are a must!” for a family day in the park. Eckert Petersen and her team at Skirt PR are proud to be celebrating a decade in business this fall. “Being able to balance having a really healthy personal life with an amazing, fulfilling career is the dream,” she says. “I’m not trying to be the woman who’s doing it all, but enjoying the process along the way.” The North Shore is the place that allows her to do just that. When Eckert Petersen moved to New York City after graduating college, she always had a yearning to return to her roots. “There’s no place like the North Shore, which provides a peaceful, serene and supportive environment to grow and define yourself.”