Our annual Women of Style accolades are bestowed on these four Houston power females.
Long-sleeved crepe dress with heart collar, $750, by REDValentino and leopard print calf hair pumps, $950, by Francesco Russo, both at Tootsies, at Shops at Arrive; watch and ring, both Rachael’s own. Hair by Loris Fusi at Ceron; makeup by Tonya Riner.
Who runs the world? Rachael Volz. Or at least that’s how it seems in our corner of the world, and more specifically on Houston’s special events circuit. After graduating from Loyola, the fourth-generation Houstonian moved back to town and began working as a receptionist at catering company A Fare Extraordinaire (afehouston.com). That was 2005. Today, she is the company’s owner and CEO, and in addition to having the catering business of nearly every organization in town, last year she and her husband opened a 58,000-square-foot full-service catering facility and venue, The Revaire. “You wouldn’t imagine how productive you can be when you are kind to yourself and don’t second-guess every move you make,” says Volz. “I never second-guess my decisions, which allows me to keep my positive energy focused ahead.” And she’s quick to add she doesn’t do it alone: “I have an incredible support system—and the best nanny in the world,” says Volz, who has two “wild and fun” young sons. She describes her personal style as uberfeminine or rocker-chic—“often a mix of both,” she adds. “I am always in a dress because it makes me feel elegant and comfortable—bonus if it has pockets to carry my phone.” Busy girl.
Shadow hat, $230, thefreyabrand.com
Orleans Blinker in matte rose gold, $375, by Krewe at Neiman Marcus, in the Galleria
Signataire rose gold diamond bangle, $16,750 by de Boulle at Patek Philippe Showroom, River Oaks District
Triple Lipid Restore, $128, by SkinCeuticals at Adara Medical Spa, adarahouston.com
Pink crystal-embellished floral print slides, $945, Dolce & Gabbana, River Oaks District
Satin one-button jacket, $2,545, by Alexandre Vauthier and croc tall boots in blue, $795, by Paris Texas, both at Tootsies, at Shops at Arrive; separates and earrings, all Allie’s own. Shot on location at 2419 Del Monte Drive. Listed by Jeanine Kaminski-Ditzel, 832.494.7749, johndaugherty.com
Allie LaForce is a hard woman to pin down. “Wednesday, I fly to an NBA city for NBA on TNT’s Thursday night game; Friday, to Atlanta to host studio shows Friday and Saturday night; Sunday, fly home (or to whatever city Joe is in),” explains the Turner Sports reporter, who currently covers the NBA on TNT. The “Joe” she refers to is, of course, her hubby, Astros pitcher Joe Smith. For LaForce, sports is in her blood. Not only was she a college basketball player, but also her dad, mom and brother played college ball, and her aunt was a high school basketball coach. Her life now, albeit busy, is the exact life she chose for herself—“I love every bit of it,” she says. When it comes to personal style, she’s trend-forward, curating her wardrobe with designer pieces, and looks from local fave Alchemia boutique, but function is paramount, she admits: “[I wear my] Nike Cortez sneakers with everything.” Her “free time” is dedicated to the fight against Huntington’s disease through her and Smith’s charity, HelpCureHD Foundation (helpcurehd.org), which helps end the spread of HD through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis in-vitro fertilization—a process the couple is currently undergoing themselves. (Smith’s mother suffers from the disease.) “We are grateful to be able to afford [PGD-IVF], but so many can’t,” LaForce says. “We knew we had to use our platforms to make a difference.”
Muriel slit-sleeve coat, $264, Alice + Olivia, River Oaks District
Nudistsong sandal, $398, Stuart Weitzman, in the Galleria
Oil-free tinted moisturizer, $46, by Laura Mercier at Nordstrom, in the Galleria
Lipstick pencil in Pop Life, $27, by NARS at Nordstrom, in the Galleria
Web elastic belt with torchon Double G buckle, $460, Gucci, in the Galleria
Rib knit top with organza cuff, $895, and floral print patch midiskirt, $2,995, both by Chloé; nappa two-strap high heel mules, $595, by Malone Souliers; all at Tootsies, at Shops at Arrive; earrings and rings, all Lyndsey’s own. Makeup by Veronica Hurtado
Before Lyndsey Zorich penned the first post of her wildly successful fashion blog, L. Avenue, and before she subsequently launched e-commerce site The Avenue (onlyontheavenue.com), she worked in the corporate world. “I was never not in a suit,” says the fashion-minded 30-something, “and a bold pump, of course.” Somewhere between kids one and three, she ditched the button-up life, “assumed the role of stay-at-home mom”—and began curating and creating content on her blog, then Instagram and now for her online boutique. Her feminine, artisan-focused collection of fashion and lifestyle items—think Sleeper dresses, Lele Sadoughi’s embellished headbands, Mignonne Gavigan earrings, handpainted serveware, embroidered linens—reveals her personal aesthetic (and ability to find the perfect accessory). That’s what keeps the followers coming and her pieces consistently sold-out. Every order that’s sent out is packaged by Zorich—complete with handwritten note. (Pro tip: If you’re in Houston, items can be hand-delivered to your door upon request.) “I love having interface with our shoppers,” she says, teasing some version of a brick-and-mortar in the future. Until then, she’s building out her vintage shop, home and entertaining wares, and steadily adding newfound designers to her collection.
CC cream in light medium, $40, by It Cosmetics at Sephora, in the Galleria
Faye earring, by Jennifer Behr at onlytheavenue.com
Gables dress in Midblue California Wildflower, $318, shopdoen.com
Maureen 70 mm shoe in blue, $573, by Malone Souliers at Tootsies, at Shops at Arrive
Lipstick in Pink Dusk, Tom Ford, River Oaks District
Long-sleeved multiprint dress with slits, $2,900, by Oscar de la Renta; mesh slingback 85 mm high heels, $890, by Fendi; Eloise earrings, $230, by Lizzie Fortunato; all at Tootsies, at Shops at Arrive.
“The diversity is simply astounding and the talent level is sneakily world-caliber,” says June Rodil of Houston’s food scene. She’s new here, having moved from Austin in the spring to become the newest partner at Goodnight Hospitality (goodnighthospitality.com). Last month, they opened two of their three hotly anticipated concepts: Montrose Cheese & Wine, a retail shop and cafe, and European-style pizzeria and resto Rosie Cannonball. “These are the 15th and 16th concepts I’ve opened in my career,” says Rodil, who was previously vice president of operations at Austin’s McGuire Moorman Hospitality. Her specialty? Wine. She’s a master sommelier and even has her own private label of rosé (June’s Rosé), which will be exclusively retailed at Montrose Cheese & Wine—her seemingly favorite child. “It combines drinking, cheese and shopping,” she says. “A dangerous combo.” Her style reflects that of a former Austinite: chic shapeless frocks (“My husband calls them fancy muumuus,” she says with a laugh.) with a red lip, statement earrings and either “fun shoes”—like the Fendis in her portrait—or Birkenstocks. “Comfortable above all else,” she says.
Highlighter in Golden Bronze, $26, by Benefit Cosmetics at Sephora, in the Galleria
Everyday dress in natural, $285, shopmirandabennett.com
Sphere drop earrings, $380, vadajewelry.com
Taccone mule, $340, by Marsèll at farfetch.com
Lipstick in Heyday, $38, by RODIN at Neiman Marcus, in the Galleria
Photography Courtesy Of: Julie Soefer; Styled by Craig Lidji; product photos courtesy of the brands