The next wave of innovators has arrived, bringing a flood of fresh energy to the Dallas market.
LIZZIE MEANS DUPLANTIS & SARAH MEANS PHOTO BY KRISTEN KILPATRICK
Founders, Miron Crosby mironcrosby.com
Blazing a new trail in style trends are sisters Lizzie Means Duplantis and Sarah Means, also known as the brains behind Miron Crosby. Marrying high fashion with traditional Westernwear, these modern-day cowgirls have without a doubt made their mark on the industry. Take one step inside their jewel box boutique in Highland Park Village and you’ll be hooked—and not because of the signature Ranch Water cocktails offered upon arrival, but the colorfully curated selection of artisanal boots. Presenting a whimsical mix of playful designs and vibrant colors, Miron Crosby—and the dynamic duo behind the brand—is truly a breath of fresh air. From this month’s collaboration with local painter Stephanie Johnson to a forthcoming exclusive collab with Copenhagen’s Holly Golightly, these gals are gearing up for a busy year ahead.
What is the most amazing thing to happen since launching Miron Crosby? LMD: Taking June, my 6-year-old daughter, along to our Vogue photo shoot at the ranch was a really proud moment. I’ll cherish the pictures from the shoot always, and having my daughter in on the action of something I was so excited for and proud to do, something we’ve worked toward for so long, was certainly a mountaintop experience for me. SM: The celebration of our Prabal Gurung collaboration comes to mind: rodeo girls on horseback, wonderful (and chic!) friends from near and far, Ranch Waters and a runway show. It was a magical night.
What is the best part of your job? SM: The relationships. Whether it’s with clients, other designers or even my sister, the best part of my job is getting to work with amazing people.
When did your love of fashion begin? LMD: My first trip to NYC. I was taken with the city from the moment our plane touched down, and to this day nothing makes my heart skip a beat like the New York City skyline. But it all began with a pair of cherry-patterned platforms I just had to have. I think of that experience as the first time I started expressing my style.
In 2021, what is style all about? LMD: Sparkle! I hosted a small girls’ party not all that long ago and insisted everyone wear something shiny. I’m excited for a year of promise and the opportunity to celebrate together again.
Favorite party trick? SM: A good toast... I love a microphone!
What are some of your favorite local organizations to support? LMD: I’m so impressed by the generation of girls coming up behind us. Just recently, I read an article on Caroline Ballard, a high schooler who lives near me and has created a ready-to-wear business. All in her teens! Sarah Cummings has the coolest embroidery line, Sewn by Sarah, and I am inspired by Lizzie Chenault who launched Generation Denim. These are take-charge, up-and-coming entrepreneurs, and I can’t wait to see what the next generation accomplishes, who they are and what they stand for. SM: I’m a CASA advocate and I sit on a committee for Elizabeth Toon, which benefits local children’s charities.
JONATHAN HODGES PHOTO BY BARBARA BRANDS
Do you ever listen to music that immediately transports you to a memory in time? A sound or lyric that sends you soaring to a magnificent state of mind? This is precisely what Jonathan Hodges, the multi-instrumentalist behind Bomethius, embodies with his unique sound and tender aesthetic. Hodges, who studied violin performance at SMU, recently debuted his latest album, Seasons of Limbo. “Seasons of Limbo is a record that seeks to bring hope to people,” says Hodges. “But to be honest, I wrote it to bring hope to myself.” Through his music, Hodges is unapologetically raw—and his lyrics help reflect the beautiful wonders and melancholic woes we all experience as a collective.
Who keeps you motivated each day? Cynthia, my wife. She has so much drive, and she’s so intentional.
2020 brought... Time. 2020 was frightening, frustrating, confusing and tragic, but at the risk of sounding indifferent to the suffering of others, I suppose one of the blessings for me was the time it gave me. I got to spend so much time with my wife—we got married in May of 2020, in a smaller, more intimate, and probably more enjoyable, wedding than we had originally planned—and I was able to carefully record and finish my new album, Seasons of Limbo. It was a dreadfully disappointing year in many ways, one that seemed intent on squeezing the joy out of everyone up to its very last week. But there were good things even in the midst of all that. Perhaps not very many, but they were there.
What is your hope for the future? Probably the same as every other artist: that we can please get back to being able to perform live again. I miss playing shows, meeting other artists and being able to share my music with new people.
What’s next on the horizon for you? More (and hopefully better) music! For the first time ever, I have music videos for this album release. So, hopefully I’ll be able to continue putting out more diverse content—maybe more collaborative projects as opposed to just a solo album every year. I’d really like to tour, too, but those plans are indefinitely on hold for now. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
JALEN BRUNSON PHOTO BY BRANDON COLSTON
Guard, Dallas Mavericks mavs.com
Spend five minutes with Jalen Brunson and you’ll immediately want to be his friend. As one of the newer players to join the Dallas Mavericks roster (the Villanova alumnus was draft ed by the Mavs in 2018), Brunson is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with—and he’s just getting started. “I am motivated to always be the best that I can be,” says the athlete. Brunson notes that this is a trait he learned from his parents, who are both his mentors and best friends. “I challenge myself mentally and physically. That has always been my mindset, whether it was on the high school, college or professional level.” In addition to basketball, Brunson is passionate about lending a helping hand in the community—making him an all-star both on and off the court.
What first sparked your love for the game? My dad [Rick Brunson] playing in the NBA is what first sparked my love of basketball. By the time I could walk, I was hanging out in the New York Knicks locker room, bouncing a basketball and following my dad around. I know how fortunate I was to have that access—to observe him and his teammates working so hard, and learn what it took to make it in the NBA. I saw firsthand the passion that my dad had for the sport and how his work ethic allowed him to play basketball for a living.
What is the best part of your job? Having the opportunity to do something that I love. There are only 30 teams in the NBA, so your chances of making it into the league are not very high. I worked extremely hard to make it into the NBA, so, to me, it’s truly gratifying to see my hard work pay off.
What’s something we might not know about you? I adopted a dog last year. Her name is Kona, and she’s a mini goldendoodle. I could never have imagined she’d bring me and my family so much joy.
Can you expand on ways you involve yourself within the community? I am very passionate about helping the communities where I grew up. Locally, I have also had the opportunity to do some work with Children’s Health and Klyde Warren Park.
ERIN CLULEY PHOTO BY ZACK PHILLIPS
Owner/Director, Erin Cluley Gallery erincluley.com
With an ever-evolving game plan, Erin Cluley seems to always be one step ahead of the curve. Since founding her eponymous gallery in 2014, Cluley has shined a light on contemporary artists including Zeke Williams, Nic Nicosia, Mike Carney and many more. Currently, this vanguardist is preparing to open a new satellite space at the end of the month. Cluley Projects, located in West Dallas, will feature Dallas-based artist Xxavier Carter in its inaugural exhibition. “Nell Potasznik-Langford, who will be the director for the space, and I will work to establish a program to include unrepresented artists in the region as well as give Erin Cluley Gallery’s main roster of artists a chance to present transitional or more experimental bodies of work,” says Cluley. “We also hope to engage independent curators a couple of times a year, in particular women and BIPOC curators.” Considering Cluley’s sharp eye and knack for engaging innovative artists, we have no doubt this new endeavor will be a success. We’ll see you there for opening night!
What is the best thing to happen since you first opened the gallery? Nic Nicosia’s sculpture acquisition and unveiling in the Nasher Sculpture Center garden in the fall of 2020 is something I am incredibly proud of— an accomplishment I would have only dreamed about six-plus years ago when I opened the gallery.
Can you tell us more about Cluley Projects? During the past year I had been thinking about what was next for Erin Cluley Gallery—I felt there was a need for innovation at this point in the life of the gallery. The now-director of Cluley Projects, Nell Potasznik-Langford, came to me with the idea of creating a space where we can tap further into the rich talent we have right here in our region. Aft er a few coffee meetings and much brainstorming, too many stars had aligned to not give this idea a shot.
Who keeps you motivated? My 3-year-old-son, Lachlan. If I can approach the day with the same joy and energy he does, I know I can do anything!
In 2021, what is creation all about? Discovery, innovation and, above all else, flexibility.
KEVIN LILLIS PHOTO COURTESY OF HOSPITALITY ALLIANCE
Co-Founder, Hospitality Alliance hospitalityalliance.co
With his finger on the pulse of the service industry, Kevin Lillis is constantly on the move yet never seems to tire. A true force of nature, Lillis has been working in real estate and hospitality for nearly 30 years. Leading the charge in the development and operations of AT&T Discovery District’s Jaxon Texas Kitchen & Beer Garden, The Exchange Hall and Rise + Thyme, Lillis is constantly looking for ways to give back. Always eager to step up to the plate, he maintains an active role in the community and, most recently, launched the Hospitality Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “While delivering meals to Cook Children’s hospital, our eyes were opened to the sharp increase in domestic violence incidents under all the stress of 2020,” shares Lillis. “It made me realize there’s an epidemic I was completely unaware of. With that in mind, this program uses a series of procedures (in place at each of our operations) that enable a woman who feels uncomfortable to text the host stand, say a catch phrase to any team member or connect directly with a domestic abuse shelter.”
What trends do you forecast for your industry in 2021? The Roaring ’20s, version 2.0. A celebration of life, with some bittersweet mourning and acknowledgement of what we’ve all lost, but largely a celebration of survival and what we didn’t lose—and a whole lot of carpe diem. More than ever, in my opinion, 2021 will be a year where restaurants that provide our communities with what they need will find themselves wildly rewarded. People need to connect with and share experiences with other people. Regardless of the price point or style of operation—fine dining, casual, bar, nightclub—the focus will be facilitating the safe reconnection of people and providing that opportunity for them to reconnect and start making new memories together.
What keeps you motivated each day? Providing an environment for our teams where they are challenged, empowered and oft en finding themselves surprised by how creative and capable they are.
What is your hope for the future? That the pendulum swings back from this pandemic and creates an environment that not only reconnects people but also makes up for some of the isolating trends that were already far in development over the last decade.
KELLY CORNELL PHOTO BY EXPLOREDINARY
Director, Dallas Art Fair dallasartfair.com
“I have always loved art and creating for as long as I can remember,” says Kelly Cornell. “I love visiting museums and experiencing art.” In her role as director of the Dallas Art Fair, Cornell’s free-spirited demeanor and passion for the industry are vital assets. Having worked with galleries both near and far, Cornell brings a delightful zest to the local arts scene. She is constantly breaking new ground and looking for ways to further expand DAF’s engagement within the community—and through clever programming, carefully curated exhibits and educational opportunities, she has done so in spades. In fact, she is going full steam ahead preparing for DAF’s Gallery Day on April 17—a citywide celebration of Dallas’ abounding art galleries. Cornell credits her two daughters, Frances and Lillian, as the driving force behind her hard work. “I want them to grow up in a creative, loving environment where they can find success in small moments and big accomplishments,” she shares. What’s next for this innovator? “The fair is coming back in real life!” Ladies and gents, mark your calendars for Nov. 11 to 13, when DAF will no doubt be back with a bang.
What is the best part of your job? Hands down, the people. Everyone is in this business because they are truly passionate about the art and the community. It is so inspiring to work with people who believe in what they’re doing.
2020 brought... A fresh perspective. Staying in place allowed me to focus on highlighting our local art community. We created Culture Place, a digital marketplace for art, and have really focused our energy on bringing programming to our local community via Dallas Art Fair Projects.
What is the best thing to happen since joining DAF? The Dallas Art Fair Foundation Acquisition Program is pretty incredible. The foundation started this fund in order to purchase artwork from the Dallas Art Fair for the Dallas Museum of Art’s permanent collection. It is an honor to work on a project that makes a positive impact on an artist’s career and helps build the DMA’s collection.
Favorite party trick? I make an excellent martini. My preference is Tito’s, slightly dirty, three olives.
In 2021, what is creation all about? For myself, I have set intentions on pushing my boundaries and exploring new things, but mostly making time for myself to create. Don’t waste time and just do it!
Photography by: Kristen Kilpatrick, Barbara Brands,Brandon Colston, Zack Phillips, Hospitality Alliance, Exploredinary