These Houston gents prove that success also comes with an eye for the art of fashion.
Photo by Bonetta/Getty Images.
Sam Windsor photo by Michael Ma.
Fly-half, Houston SaberCats (houstonsabercats.com)
Whether you’ve seen him charging down the field alongside his fellow teammates or enjoying a quiet cup of Joe around town, Australian-born Sam Windsor approaches everything wholeheartedly. Having been a dominant player for the Houston rugby union, the SaberCats, where he plays fly-half, for over four years now, Windsor (@rookwindsor) is constantly striving to be his best self. He attributes his inspiration to his supportive family—who too are no strangers to the sport.
When did you first develop a love for the game of rugby? I was 7 years old—followed in my dad’s footsteps.
Favorite memory as it pertains to the sport? Getting to play alongside my brother as a junior and again as adults in Canberra and in England.
What keeps you in good spirits when facing competition... do you have a hype song? It’s hard to beat AC/DC.
Who inspires you to strive better and work harder? My family. They have supported me in all aspects and pushed me to achieve all I can in the sport, regardless of whether it kept me away from them.
Favorite movie? Anything Marvel... all day
What would be your alternative career of choice? On the PGA tour (I wish)
Favorite sports team to watch? The Bristol Bears—they are enterprising, exciting and have loads of talent.
Hidden talent? Making and brewing my own coffee
Favorite thing about calling Houston home? The food, culture and SaberCats fans!
Steven Reineke photo by Claire McAdams Photography.
Principal POPS Conductor, Houston Symphony (houstonsymphony.org)
Pouring his passion into his natural talent as a musician, composer, educator and entertainer, Steven Reineke has had an incredible career thus far. “This gift that I’ve been given is not for me to keep,” says Reineke. “It is for me to share with other people in the hopes of bringing enjoyment to their lives.” With a sure hand and generous spirit, the principal POPS conductor for the Houston Symphony (houstonsymphony.org) is helping spread the joy of the arts throughout our city and beyond.
Favorite part of working with the symphony? Honestly, it’s the people. I love the incredible enthusiasm and support that our faithful audiences bring to the symphony. I have enjoyed getting to know so many of them and saying hello to them before and after our performances.
Three words to describe your style... Energetic, polished and inviting
Idea of the perfect day... Lying on the beach of a tropical island with my husband, spending time with my dog, and ending the day with a delicious meal and then some live entertainment.
Best advice you ever received... The words I strive to live by came from my mentor, Erich Kunzel. His final words to me just a few days before he passed away were, ‘Always make me proud of you.’
Anything exciting on the horizon in terms of programming? We’ve put together another thrilling and entertaining Pops season for this year. In November we pay tribute to the incredible Louis Armstrong with trumpet legend Byron Stripling. December brings us the ever-popular Very Merry Pops concert. Audience favorites Pink Martini return in January, and in February we celebrate Classic Rock: The Sound of a Generation. In the spring, we’ll present concerts celebrating the great Aretha Franklin as well as music by master film composer John Williams.
What do you want your legacy to be? That I brought as much joy as possible to as many people as I could reach through music and live performances. Also, that I may have inspired a few young musicians along the way to realize that they too can follow their dreams of forging a career in the arts.
Amir Taghi photo by Griff Lipson.
Designer and founder, Amir Taghi (amirtaghi.com)
Design mind Amir Taghi (@the_taghi) continues to dazzle us with his colorful creations and bold looks. The Houston native has dressed some of our favorite social swans, and he’s just getting started.
Tell us how you first developed a love for fashion. Design has always been in me. When I was a child, I was either at the construction site discovering my father’s newest work; at A. Taghi, my grandfather’s menswear boutique, giving my opinion on the windows and merchandising; or I was glued to my sketchbook coming up with new silhouettes. At 15, I had the idea that I should start my own brand, and with the help of my parents, I did. I remember showing my first collection on a stage made over my parents’ pool. Soon after, I had my first trunk show at Tootsies, showed my collection at NYFW and dressed one my favorites celebrities, Emily Ratajkowski, all before I had graduated from Episcopal High School. Once I had graduated high school, I was off to London to attend Central Saint Martins and soon after Parsons the New School, all while also working with some of New York’s best, including Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler, Monse and Adam Lippes. In 2018, I relaunched my label in New York with the drive to create women’s fashion inspired by my heritage and the modern women around me.
Three words to describe your style... Bold, dynamic and easy
The best advice ever received? Never give up.
If you were granted three wishes... I would love to have my family here with me in NYC, more hours in a day, and to travel back in time to Studio 54.
Favorite places to shop? The Webster in Houston, but I’m a Bergdorf Goodman lover.
Must-stops in Houston? When I’m in Houston, my two first stops are honestly Sage 400 and Escalante’s.
What do you want your legacy to be? I want people to look back and feel the bold beauty and emotions from my collections.
Anything exciting on the horizon? We are excited to launch our fall/winter 2021 collection with amazing new suiting and some bright and bold dresses and tops. We also have a secret project that everyone should be on the lookout for debuting in November.
Cecil Shorts photo provided by the Houston Texans.
Former NFL player, American Cancer Society ambassador (acs.org)
Dean of students, football coach, sports radio guest and game day host for the Houston Texans are merely a few words that best describe Cecil Shorts. If you don’t know him already, might we suggest that you take a page out of his book? The Houston Texans alum, father of seven and loving husband is truly an ambassador for this city. Always finding a way to lend a hand in the community and going above and beyond while doing so, Shorts undoubtedly sets a style of his own.
Greatest achievement? Being a father. My kids mean the world to me, I try my best to be a good father to them. It’s a different love you have when it comes to your children. Not too many things can compare.
Best advice ever received? Be comfortable with being uncomfortable; that’s how you grow as a person.
Craziest thing you’ve ever done? Play in the NFL.
I know that you have a heavy hand in philanthropy. Can you expand? Nothing warms my heart more than to be in the community giving back. Before COVID I hosted a free kids football camp every year back in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and here in Houston. I can’t wait until this summer where we are looking to host a few camps for high school kids and younger. I’ve teamed up with multiple organizations like United Way and American Cancer Society to just bring joy to people and find different ways to make an impact to people in need.
What do you want your legacy to be? I want my people to remember me as a God-fearing man, someone that loved his wife unconditionally, was a great father and friend. A man who cared and gave back to his community and the people in it. I just want to impact adults and kids in a powerful way.