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Men of Style
The Editors | Photo: Julie Soefer | March 31, 2014
Talk about leading men! These sartorially marvelous males—from father-and-son actors and an ingenious inventor to an audacious author and a musician with moxie—are stepping into the spotlight.
Model Made Over
If Brazil-born, Houston-raised entrepreneur Joe Pachioli, 42—the Tom Ford-wearing embodiment of tall, dark and handsome—reminds you of a model on the runway as he strides across the huge events space he and his biz partners are carving out of a historic paint factory on the railroad tracks off the Washington Corridor, there’s a good reason why. Having been spotted in a mall as a teenager by modeling mogul Page Parkes herself, he spent nearly two decades cruising catwalks and posing for shutterbugs from Miami to Milan, living the glam life. “I went to a New Year’s Eve party at Gianni Versace’s house once,” he recalls. “I met Bruce Weber. And Cher. It was pretty cool.” But for the bachelor—who went on to study business at UH and try his hand in several different industries—the thrill of those too-sexy glory days pales in comparison to his pride in The Vanderbilt, the third-floor, 14,000-square-foot events facility he hopes to have open by June, renovated to favor a 19th century men’s lounge with soaring ceilings and panoramic views on three sides. “This is much more gratifying. [Being good-looking and] having a chance to model is really something your parents get credit for, not something you accomplish for yourself,” he says. “But this comes from hard work. It took focused effort to make it happen.”
Father of Invention
Daniel Hashim, 27, has been an innovator since he was a kid growing up on Long Island. “I was always inquisitive, and remember constructing things in the backyard with pieces of wood, with my grandfather,” he says. “It was my childhood.” It’s also his future. Hashim, who finished his Ph.D. in materials science and nano-engineering at Rice last month, is the founder of CSS Nanotech, Inc., the CSS for “carbon sponge solutions.” Hashim’s patented inventions—reusable sponges made of carbon, and infused with the element boron—have been proven to absorb oil spills from water with unprecedented success. His biz landed him a coveted spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in January, and a pending partnership with a major Houston-based oil company. An avid golfer who frequents Stogie’s cigar lounge on Westheimer, the modest Hashim—he’s rather reserved until he gets to talking about science—feels as though he’s landed in the right city to pursue his dreams and explore his unique interests. “I always had a passion for business, and at the same time, a passion for engineering. So this company is a way to satisfy both parts of my being.” By the way, he’ll look darn good taking over the world! The bachelor has a sexy, appropriately youthful fashion sense, often sporting v-neck tees under fitted leather jackets, and favoring sleek suiting from the likes of Hugo Boss.
In-demand marketeer Paul Pettie, tall and suavely salt-and-peppered at 35, has added much to his list of accomplishments in the last 12 months. The Dallas native parlayed years of experience partnering with philanthropic and civic groups on behalf of past employer Capital One and its sponsorships department into a string of successes working directly with nonprofits. He helped establish the East End Chamber of Commerce’s year-old East End Street Festival in the fall, for example—and he’s been integral in pushing the AIDS-services group Bering Omega, on whose board he sits, to new heights of fundraising and volunteerism. And two months ago he signed on with the fast-growing MMI firm, whose clients include M.D. Anderson. But he’s most proud not of what he’s added, but rather something he’s lost: more than 150 pounds. Following bariatric surgery, he has hit—and maintained—his weight-loss goal. “I felt like an active person, but I was not living in an active person’s body,” he says. “It was holding me back.” Pettie, a bachelor with a pet pooch named Henry, has always loved fashion—stocky or lean—calling out designers like Thom Browne and Ralph Lauren as favorites. But sartorial pursuits are even more fun now. “I love a good pair of well-fitting jeans,” he says. “I love blazers, slim-cut dress shirts and anything to show off my weight loss. I spent many years wearing bulky clothing to hide my weight, so it’s been such a pleasure to go shopping!”
Toned and tan, Scott Brogan, 44, is quintessentially well informed and well groomed—attributes that serve him well as the founder and face of Houston’s hugely successful, 9-year-old Brilliant Lecture Series, a forum for interview-format presentations with famous guests such as George Clooney in 2012, and, coming up April 29, Bette Midler. “She’s definitely giving us a little divine inspiration,” he cheekily notes. The bachelor grew up in West Virginia and spent time in London and Paris studying business, economics and political science before hanging his hat in Houston. “I’m a Texan by choice.” He started a political consulting firm here, heading up strategy for campaigns for more than 12 years, but he saw a different need in his adopted town. “Nearly a decade ago there was no programming in Houston that brought the most iconic, influential and inspiring people to the city to share their talents,” he says of his decision to create the Brilliant series, in which celebs and newsmakers such as former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev describe their journeys to success. “I saw a need in the community, and we filled it.”
Two for the Show
Thespian Justin Doran, 40, has moved from stage to director’s chair to classroom with agility befitting his lithe 6-foot-4 frame and professional drive. After growing up back East and doing his time in Hollywood, he relocated to Houston nine years ago, where his now late mom was undergoing cancer treatment. His counselor wife, Robin, and their three kids made a home, and Justin got acting work at the Alley Theatre, embracing the theater community. “There are more theater opportunities here than in any other city outside New York,” he says. “But there’s a way to have a personal connection with an audience that you can’t have in New York.” The gregarious Doran—a J.Crew devotee who describes his style as “comfortable, dressy-casual”—eventually began directing, joining the new Black Lab Theater as resident director, and managing the theater at the Kinkaid School. The latter, not coincidentally, is where son Ty, 16, is a sophomore, and also an actor. Ty, who enjoys video games and basketball, and favors an eclectic approach to fashion, has appeared in school and Alley productions, making the Houston Press’ Top 100 “Creatives” list. For Dad, it’s serendipity. “When you’re an actor, you’re playing on nights and weekends, when your family is together,” Justin explains. “When the professional and the personal overlap, those are my finest theatrical experiences.” And Ty appreciates it too, noting, “It makes it a heck of a lot easier ’cause we’re all going to rehearsal together.”
Joel Camey, a full-time guitarist for the worship band at TV preacher Joel Osteen’s world-famous Lakewood Church, treats a Sunday morning like any seasoned musician treats a big gig. He warms up, goes over his music—and makes sure he looks sharp. “Pastor Joel talks about bringing excellence and being your best,” says the HSPVA grad, 30, “so every week I try to look my best and be the best that I can.” For Camey—who’s traveled the globe with Osteen and the band, which also includes his twin brother, Jonathan, on drums—that means wearing fitted suits with unique accessories. “I’m a type of guy who likes to find affordable clothing and make it look like a million bucks with the right tailoring,” says Camey, who this month, with the support of pretty blond wife Lacy, launches a line of men’s accessories called K-ME Wear. Think skinny ties, bow ties and lapel flowers. “I got to the point where I appreciated all these really great brands. But it was really expensive, so I started making stuff for myself. I’m a firm believer that it’s not about who you wear, but how you wear it.” Cool clothes and jewelry—“I never leave the house without a watch”—aren’t all he’s got up his sleeve. The social-media star—his thousands of followers watch out for his hashtag, #freshforthelord—will soon hit the studio to record his first solo album.
For a good ol’ boy from Montgomery, Ala., a career in couture and retail fashion may not seem an obvious choice. It didn’t for Bobby Dees, 62, who was headed for a career in juvenile corrections after studying criminal justice at Auburn. But then a stint as an assistant manager at a men’s store in his hometown that was intended as a career pit stop changed everything. “I loved going to market, picking the product and seeing it in-store being sold,” he says. Then things really picked up. After spending more than a decade in the Southeast, the genteel Dees hitched up his wife, Weezie, and their belongings and headed to sunny California to become general manager of the Saks Fifth Avenue in Costa Mesa. “We were literally like the Beverly Hillbillies,” laughs Dees, a serious animal-lover whose home in the suburb of Missouri City is filled with 10 rescue dogs. After building a rapport with the company, the 6-foot-5 Dees went on to San Antonio, and then to Houston last year. “Houston represents a much larger volume and a dynamic shopper,” he says, as he preps for Saks’ much-ballyhooed relocation and expansion, set for 2015. The platinum-maned Dees has settled nicely into Houston’s social scene, attending parties, celebrating the diversity here and taking in the art and culture. Turns out that the one-time hillbilly has quite a bit in common with his new city-slicker neighbors. “As big as this city is, the people are so genuine and sincere. It almost surprised us.”
Self-expression is both an enthusiasm and an occupation for UH American lit professor Michael Snediker, 37, who moved to Houston from Fairfield, Conn., by way of Ontario last year. “I came out of the closet late in life,” he says, “so having the chance to honestly express myself is not something I take for granted.” He has quite a flair for fashion—and has had great success as a poet and literary theorist, with two books already published and two more on the way, including an ambitious effort that translates the novels of Henry James into lyric poems. (“James is my favorite novelist, and this is a way of getting closer to him.”) He’s most comfortable when attired impeccably in edgy designer duds a la Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf, often paired with high-heeled Gianni Barbato ankle boots and locks coiffed skyward, emphasizing his already substantial height of 6-foot-3. “My pompadour has become something of a trademark,” he notes. The high hair matches his energy on the party circuit—and in the classroom, where students have described him as something akin to Ethel Merman on crack. “I love teaching. The toughest part for me is conserving energy. It’s a little like sex; if I don’t leave the classroom feeling somewhat depleted, I don’t think I’m doing it right.”
Go, go, go. That seems to be the mantra for personal trainer and gym owner Deon Johnson, 43. “It’s really all about discipline with me,” says the native Houstonian, citing boxing, weight training and yoga as part of his own ambitious workout regimen. When he’s not training for triathlons, the 5-foot-9 bachelor, who attended Lamar University in Beaumont on a full-ride football scholarship, is training an affluent clientele at his brand-new gym, The One Fitness, in Tanglewood—of whose friendly atmosphere he’s quick to boast. “It’s really all about family here,” he says. “It’s like Cheers: Everybody knows your name.” Johnson walks with a bounce in his step and his chest out, ever the athlete—but there’s more to him style-wise than gym clothes. “I’m in sweats all day, so it’s nice to get the chance to look good and dress up once in a while.” And dress up he does. “For me it’s more important how clothes make me feel and that they express that feeling. And when I’m at the Tom Ford boutique at Neiman Marcus, I feel like the most important man on the planet.”
With a cool gaze, a nicely molded head of hair and a streamlined take on masculinity a la the Mad Men wardrobe department, Adam Chudy, 28, looks the part of a young Wall Street wolf. In fact, the Arkansas native had plans to work in stocks after an internship with Goldman Sachs in New York and graduating from the University of Arkansas in 2008. But then the economy bottomed out, and his career course shifted. Chudy made the switch to oil and gas—a wise choice that eventually brought him to Houston in 2012. He’s quickly moved up the ladder at BHP Billiton, first plugging away as a financial analyst, and now a one-man operation for the company’s U.K. accounts, budgeting and forecasting all assets. “I was excited to try something new,” says the jet-setting young exec, who shares his Galleria-area house with his longtime girlfriend and two pups. “I’m always looking to expand my skill set and be put in a position to stretch myself. And when I found out [my U.K. management post] came with some international travel, that was definitely a plus.”
With assistance by Claudia Casbarian and Harry Dearing III
Styling by Todd Ramos
With looks from Saks Fifth Avenue
Grooming by Charlene Dique, Bryan Jackson and Becky Pederson for Solution for Hair & Makeup
Shot on location at Hotel Icon, Little Dipper, Okra Charity Saloon and Pastry War