Sophisticated with a dash of swagger: These Bay Area trendsetters prove that style is indeed a state of mind.
Moanalani Jeffrey, a San Francisco transplant by way of the Big Island of Hawaii, has a diverse background in fashion design, broadcast marketing and the visual arts—all aligning perfectly when she works with luxury brands, celebrities and dignitaries in the Bay Area and beyond. Her eponymous photo agency has been a springboard for her endless talent.
My big news is… we’re launching lifestyle consulting services to allow people access to my style and branding advice.
Style is... underestimated. It’s a powerful language that’s accessible to everyone. Style is a way to express who you are without saying a word. You can inspire, instill confidence, project a mindset and impact your future based on [what] you wear every day.
My favorite designers are… hard-to-find lines that represent all aspects of me and sum up what I’m looking for. That’s why styling what I buy is so important. One day I’ll finally design my own line.
When I want to look my best for a chic night out, some of my go-to looks are... something unexpected— and something with edge or sex appeal is always good. I learned a long time ago that a person with style can be sexy without being revealing. During a [recent] fun night out with my extraordinary girlfriends, I wore a long, tailored blue blazer cinched with a thin neon green belt bag, sheer black bike shorts with lace trim, a strapless lace crop top and black stiletto slides with a thin black leather strap over the toe and an extra-wide clear band.
When I was younger, my fashion icons were... Tom Ford in his Gucci and YSL years and Alexander McQueen for his theatrical, unapologetic marvels. It was everything. Ford made you feel like the ‘it’ girl, and McQueen made you feel like a dream. They would simply ignite me.
I always love to see... what Kahlana Barfield Brown (@kahlanabarfield) is wearing. I’m also inspired by passersby—I’ve been known to stop people in their tracks and find out where to get the literal clothes on their backs.
My go-to accessory is… nail polish. I have been doing my own nails for decades. I’m always polished! Manicured nails, whether you like a natural approach or color, are one of the small details that can perfect an entire look.
When I host friends for dinner at home, I think about… how the effort I put in is one way to show people how much I value them and the experience. My outfit will be bold—no one will be surprised if I’m wearing some type of giant bow or gold lamé.
Nancy Evars, the mind behind award-winning chic spaces in the Bay Area and now a new showroom, Evars Collective, has developed a reputation for designing gorgeous homes with the most compelling furnishings, objects and materials in a timeless and engaging way.
My big news is… kicking off 2021, I launched my own business, Evars Collective—a trade-only showroom and the Peninsula’s first design center in San Carlos—and I turned 50, all within a matter of months! The new space is a shoppable multivignette showroom, which includes a custom furniture line and a membership club for today’s creative interior design community.
Style is… first and foremost, confidence. The older I get, the more confident I feel in my fashion choices. Clothes are clothes, but it’s how you wear them—and what you wear them with—that’s style to me.
When I want to look my best for a cocktail party, my go-to looks are... a statement top from Kika Vargas or Jacquemus, or a bold dress from La DoubleJ or Farm Rio. My go-to the past couple of years has been a twopiece coordinated outfit like A.L.C. or Mara Hoffman.
When I was younger, my fashion icons were... Jenna Lyons through her J.Crew years. I started out pretty preppy in my New York City public relations days, but the older I got, the more risks I felt comfortable taking. And Sarah Jessica Parker—I wanted to be that brave in my fashion choices.
I always love to see... what Tracee Ellis Ross and Sarah Paulson are wearing—I’m obsessed with both of them!
My go-to accessory is… a fabulous clutch by Bottega or Gucci.
Corinna Hernandez is all about perfect locks. As the owner of multiple Bay Area salons (Pony Studios Salons, pony.salon), she’s been in the business for more than 20 years. She’s also an educator, has worked backstage at New York Fashion Week for more than a decade and on runway shows, including Dior in Paris and Dolce & Gabbana in Milan. Hernandez, ever the entrepreneur, has even developed an e-learning app for hairdressers as she makes the world a prettier place— one salon visit at a time.
Style is… the ability to throw an outfit together that sparks interest.
When I was younger, my fashion icons were… Jody Watley, Alyssa Milano, Drew Barrymore and Lisa Bonet. I’ve always loved their hair, jewelry and unique sense of style.
I always love to see what… Zoë Kravitz, Charlotte Gainsbourg and my co-workers are wearing. I love them all because they always look cool and have a chic style that evokes confidence and freedom from the norm.
My go-to accessory is… a huge pair of amazing earrings!
My fashion secret weapon is... a vintage black tapered oversized blazer that my mom wore in the ’80s. My favorite thing about it is the shoulder pads. I can throw that on—over anything—and feel sexy and important.
When I host friends for dinner at home, I’m most comfortable… always wearing a dress—something loose, flowy and easy. And zero makeup except red lips.
Cecilia Caparas Apelin, CEO and co-founder of Ciel Creative Space in Berkeley, brings together innovators in art, fashion, tech and entertainment in nine spaces—ranging from 1,000 to 3,700 square feet and available for the day or by the hour—to collaborate, produce and entertain. Ciel also features a workspace known as the Atelier and a cafe. The new venture is the culmination of Apelin’s impressive background in music, fashion, tech, radio and advertising.
My big news is… I’ve expanded Ciel by increasing the variety of studios we’re now able to offer, including Studio X, our first-ever sound studio. In honor of our expansion, my team launched our industryexclusive event, REBIRTH, in June. We partnered with talented artists and vendors from the Bay Area and came together to highlight art, fashion, music and tech.
One of my main goals with any of the work that I create is… to highlight BIPOC female creatives. It’s my mission to continue making space for such important voices, which is why we have partnered with internationally acclaimed artist and East Bay native Hueman (@hueman_) to host Homebody at Ciel. This immersive art installation will be the largest in the Bay Area, spanning more than 20,000 square feet. It runs through Sept. 12.
My favorite designers are… Chanel and Prada for timeless pieces, but my current faves are Cynthia Rowley, Farm Rio, Cinq a Sept and Yohji Yamamoto. I’m also tapping into my Philippine culture more and finding amazing designers like Vinta Gallery and Maaari.
For cocktail parties, I’m apt to wear… a sensual black lace or organza top and either a black leather jacket or a cropped blazer to add structure. I typically love a flowy skirt or wide-leg pants with pointy heels or my Prada super white sneakers, depending on how much walking will be involved. And the cherry on top is always a red lip color from NARS or MAC.
When I was younger, my fashion icons were… Audrey Hepburn. She was the epitome of 1960s chic, and I was so inspired by her grace. My parents also were a major influence on my stylistic expression. I looked up to their ’70s bold and eclectic style. So, a mix between the 1960s chic and 1970s punk-rock fashion set [my style] foundation.
When I host friends for dinner at home, I wear… a silk lace camisole with silk pants and a nice, comfy cardigan. As for accessories, I’ll most likely wear rings and a necklace—and I’ll be holding a glass of 2005 Bordeaux.
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHED BY BRENDAN MAININI