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slides: Worcester’s 10 Most Fashionable Women

Monday, September 02, 2013


With spring fashion all around us, what better time to name Worcester's 10 Most Fashionable Women? It was a delightful challenge, and what emerged is a fabulous collection of women who bring  beauty not only to how they dress, but to how they live their lives. Get to know them as well as some of their inside beauty/fashion secrets, right here.

And don't miss Worcester's 10 Most Stylish Men, coming Tuesday.

Jennifer Roy is President and CEO of Jen Roy PR, a boutique public relations firm in Worcester. She is also an advocate of women's issues and co-founded the Young Professional Women's Assocation. For the past five years, Roy has helped raise $85,000 for pancreatic cancer treatment and research through her fundraiser Karaoke for a Cure. A former News Anchor for Worcester News Tonight, Roy's fashion favorites are Nic and Zoe, Betsey Johnson, t-shirts and jeans, and hand-me-downs from friends!

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Karon Shea

Karon Shea Model Management

Karon Shea of Worcester knows fashion.  For years she has been teaching women and men what to wear and how to wear it at her modeling school, Karon Shea Model Management in Worcester. Originally a California girl, Shea’s love for fashion developed at an early age when a modeling school talked about their program at her high school. After signing up, Shea went from student to teacher in a short time, and eventually went into business for herself in Worcester.  Shea recently brought some of her models for runway shows in Paris, and says about her trip, “Paris was the most amazing trip and I will go again in 2014.  I found that the women in Paris wear the classic styles.  I also have learned to buy less but by the best; they shop smart and a must is THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS.” Shea also spends time at Girls Incorporated of Worcester teaching young ladies how to look their best on a budget.

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Karon Shea Q+A

Describe your style. My style is classic, simple and elegant; not trendy.  I love beautiful rich colors, classic fitting suits, pants, skirts and I love that little black dress.

Who are your favorite designers? I love Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Max Mara.

What is your definition of fashionable?  My definition is someone who knows how to look at fashion and make it her own; not a carbon copy. You first need to know your style. I only shop for what looks good on me, not what they say you should wear.  Fashion is individual and you must find it, that's what’s fun about shopping.

Do you feel Worcester is a fashionable city? Yes, I feel Worcester is a fashionable city and I see it changing. I’m seeing more fashion out at night, people dressing for the theatre. Worcester is paying more attention to fashion and it is showing. With stores like Adore Boutique, French Twist, Treasure Chest and Ike’s Den we have style options! And Worcester has its own designer, James Hogan!  We still need to change some who feel we are not fashionable. I’d like to invite all to “This is Style Worcester” – a fashion show that will feature styles from Treasure Chest, Adore Boutique, Bellisimo European Day Spa Boutique, Ike’s Den and Haberdash Vintage.  Models will be provided by Karon Shea and there will be raffle prizes to benefit the Boys and Girls Club.  The show will take place at Ceres Bistro on May 17th 5-7pm.

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Iva Nicole

Fashion Show Producer, Boston Fashion Awards, model

A graduate of Anna Maria College, Iva Nicole of Worcester entered the work world with a strong desire to become involved in the modeling industry. Nicole bought the rights to Miss Central Massachusetts (a preliminary for Miss MA USA) and produced last year’s winner, Sarah Kidd, who will be competing for Miss USA in June!  In addition to this success, Nicole was recruited to direct the prestigious Boston Fashion Awards May 19th at Royale in Boston. This fashion enthusiast will be using her experience as backstage director for New York Couture Fashion Week to deliver the goods at the BFA’s.  In her “spare time” Nicole runs a clothing store called “Exclusives” in Worcester where music meets fashion.  Nicole attributes her success to her passion for her work. She says, “I love what I do especially giving inspirations to my girls for the pageant.  Anything and everything is possible! So far they have all been success stories, and I only wish them the best. I would love for Worcester to be its own fashion city being the second largest city in Massachusetts!”

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Iva Nicole Q+A

Describe your style. My style ranges from day-to-day, it depends what I’m doing for the day. I love dressing up for every type of occasion from business, to going out, or just being casual. No matter what, I love to experiment. I love to dress sexy but with class, as well vintage. I have my edgy look.

Who are your favorite designers? I have so many designer friends they are so talented. My favorite local designer is Isabel Originals based out of Boston. She makes all her clothes hand-made and they are just amazing. She also has a boutique in Revere, MA.  Of course, I love all brand names from expensive brands as well as affordable clothing. You just never know what you may find and turn it around into your style. I love bargain shopping and hitting those clearance racks.

How would you define "fashionable"? What’s fashionable to me is what describes your personality. You can be into punk rock and your style describes your personality. It may take time to develop. I also love anything that is chic, smart, modish, voguish, elegant.

Is Worcester a fashionable city? It is definitely a fashionable city. Being in Worcester you see so many different people that just have their own style and I think it’s cute. It’s just hard to see day to day, but when I run into people I immediately give them a compliment from kids to senior citizens. I love when people have their own style and put it so well together. I just can't help but give credit where credit's due!

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Tina Zlody

Program and Events Coordinator, Clark University

Tina Zlody of Worcester is Director and Co-Founder of the city’s most popular festival “stART on the Street” and GoLocalWorcester thinks she’s also one of Worcester’s most fashionable women.  Zlody is engrained in the local arts scene; she serves as the Program and Events Coordinator of Clark University’s Visual and Performing Arts Department, and is involved with the Worcester Arts Council.  While many may consider this a “hipster scene” Zlody does not consider herself a hipster (which she refers to as a person around age 20’s).  Perhaps we can coin Zlody’s style “hipster glam”. She loves polka dots and got married in a green and white polka dotted dress!  Zlody walks the walk when it comes to fashion!  She lives her fashion motto:  Be true to your sense of style and own it!”

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Tina Zlody Q+A

Describe your style. These days my style is a lot tamer than in the past, but I would say I'm a little funky, edgy and casual, not super high fashion. I adore accessories and have a considerable amount of them. And as an athlete, I'm in sports attire far too often.

Who are your favorite designers? For work I like Eileen Fisher, the clothes are professional and beautifully designed. I absolutely love the Boden line, it's out of London, super fun. I have a thing for polka dots, and they carry a great selection of dots! My new favorite thing for fashion is clothing swaps; you can recycle your fun items and get someone else's, it's a lot of fun!

What's your definition of "fashionable"?  Contemporary style, with some funk. I love creating a fun look with my ever changing hair color and style. 

Is Worcester a fashionable city? I think Worcester has very fashionable people in it, but overall, we certainly aren't Milan.  But yes, there are areas of fashion and I think we’re moving ahead in that area.

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Danielle Thornton

Realtor, CBR at Pierce Property Consultants

Danielle Thornton of Holden is a Realtor, CBR specializing in corporate relocation as a member of the Pierce Property Consultant team with offices in Worcester and Shrewsbury MA.  Whether she’s running around helping new businesses acclimate to Central MA or picking her two daughters up from school, Thornton always puts her best fashionable foot forward.  Her mother was a bridal gown designer in Holden and Thornton attributes her fashion sense to her mom.  She notes, “I definitely learned how to dress for my body type. There have always been fad styles out there that I could not and should not wear. With my mom's help my curves were not hidden but they were also not the centerpiece. I learned to keep it classy with a little interest.  She also taught me color choices and never be afraid of a tailor because at the end of the day off the rack doesn't really work for everyone.”

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Danielle Thornton Q+A

Describe your style. I would say my style is classic. I will make my bigger pieces a staple. I like to think what would Audery Hepburn do? I do love a fun shoe or bag though. That is where I will get to throw in some spice.

Who are your favorite designers? I do like Vera Wang but I also enjoy new designers which is why I like to look on sites like mod cloth.

What is your definition of fashionable? The definition of fashionable throws around the word "trendy" but I really believe it is wearing clothes that fit you. Clothes that are age appropriate and in the end make you feel confident sexy and happy.

Do you feel Worcester is a fashionable city?  Worcester is full of surprises. There are pockets of the city that come together and you see that glimpse of fashion. I would love to see more people diving in but I think we are more of a casual city.

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Olga Kwasniewski

Owner, Thai Island Restaurant

Olga Kwasniewski is no stranger to GoLocalWorcester.  She was featured in Go Local in March when she was crowned Miss Massachusetts Globe, and before that, as an outstanding business woman (she owns Thai Island Restaurant in Holden).  When considering our list of Most Fashionable Women, we had to include the Uzbekistan born model.  A fourth-generation Russian Korean, Kwasniewski appears in fashion shows and does print modeling through her agencies, Model Club Inc in Boston and Excell Agency in New York.  Her most exciting fashion show to date was for E! Entertainment with celebrity stylist Marcell Reynolds.  Kwasniewski says of her work “modeling for different styles of clothing gives you a new feeling and makes you experiment with different poses, movements.”

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Olga Kwasniewski Q+A

Describe your style. My style is one that makes me feel confident and beautiful. I like to experiment with different styles and mix and match to create my own unique look. I prefer to choose clothing that fits each situation; and then that outfit makes me feel powerful.

Who are your favorite designers? My favorite designer is Alexander McQueen and Versace. They both have a unique approach to fashion, style and color. My favorite new Boston designer is Polina Pantyushina. She is an incredibly talented and gifted designer. I was honored to model for her and now she's the designer for the evening gown competition for my upcoming beauty pageant.

What's your definition of "fashionable"? My definition of fashionable is having your own sense of style and being fearless about expressing it. Being "fashionable" is not about being a carrier of  high-end labels/brands and expensive price tags.

Is Worcester a fashionable city? I would describe Worcester style as classy and conservative. But lately, I see a lot of stylish people on the streets. The appearance of new boutiques in the city is evidence that Worcester is getting closer to become a fashionable city.

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Dr. Jean King

Vice-Chair of Research, Director, Center for Comparative NeuroImaging (CCNI), Director, Career Development and Research Office, UMass Medical School

Dr. King began her UMass Medical School career in 1994 as an assistant professor and became full professor in 2007. In the mean-time, the Aruban native has published over 60 original scientific papers and review articles in major neurophysiology journals, and is an editor of New York Academy of Sciences Publication-Roots of Mental Illness in Children. Dr. King has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, Center for Disease Control, Worcester Foundation and National Institutes of Health among others. In addition to all of this, her community thinks she’s one of Worcester’s most fashionable women!  Dr. King has volunteered her time to organizations like Girls Incorporated of Worcester where she was recognized as one of their 2009 Advocates for Girls.  Former Girls Inc. Executive Director Cathy Coridan says of Dr. King’s style, “Dr. Jean King has a style all her own - blending her Caribbean beauty and charisma with a strong fashion sense.”

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Dr. Jean King Q+A

Describe your style. I would like to think it is original, simple and elegant. I do like the splash of color for accent – but rarely trendy. After going to college at NYU in the village I do think my approach to style is very urban and comfortable too.

Who are your favorite designers? My favorite designers are Vera Wang and Tracy Reese.

How would you define “fashionable”?  Fashionable is a unique expression of an individual’s style that can be formal or informal, urban or country. It is an external statement of an internal state of being.

Is Worcester a fashionable city?  In general the city has a low key approach to fashion.  I would like to see people express themselves more and conform less. I know several fashion-istas in Worcester that would turn heads anywhere.

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Kristen Rawan


Residents in Central MA might know Kristen Rawan best by the financial radio show she produces with her husband, Douglas Rawan, called the Drew Mortgage Show which airs live on WCRN radio 830 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am-12pm. Rawan has enjoyed a successful marketing career which began at the Worcester Business Journal.  The Worcester native eventually worked for Carnival Cruise Lines showing ships in Miami. Since then, Rawan returned to Central MA and opened a company in Worcester called Market Connections, a fully integrated marketing company that is aligned with a team of top marketing and advertising professionals. She will soon be producing The Drew Mortage show for television to be aired on Charter TV 3 and channels 4 and 38. In her spare time, Rawan raises her 6 year old son and works hard to stay in shape and keep up a healthy lifestyle. Of her hometown, Rawan says “My dream has always been to create more opportunities for others to feel proud of Central Massachusetts as I do and to make the choice to stay here, raise families and make their living.” As for her fashion sense, Kristen notes, “I learned at a very early age about fashion from my mom (pictured here) who gave my sister and I a very sophisticated style to emulate and as the years go by I have added a more contemporary flair.”

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Kristen Rawan Q+A

Describe your style. Contemporary, clean lines, fitted clothing to achieve a simple and sophisticated look with a bit of glamour

Who are your favorite designers? Milly, Thread Social and Pink Tartan.

How would you define fashionable? To me, fashionable means non-traditional and not afraid to try the current trends to make a bold statement without appearing pretentious.

Do you think Worcester is a fashionable city? I do think that Worcester is a fashionable city with its unique museums, cosmopolitan restaurants and deep rooted history. Since the days that my Irish Grandfather who was a Worcester policeman directing traffic downtown Worcester had to elope with my Syrian grandmother, we have come a long way.

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Elaine Evans


When Elaine Evans is not busy selling real estate or hosting wine tastings, she is checking out the latest in fashion, beauty and cosmetics!  Elaine encompasses elegance and grace in all she does, including waltzing her way into first place in “Dancing With The Stars” in 2008, a city-wide fundraiser for Preservation Worcester.  Evans supports Preservation Worcester because she values the beauty and architecture in Worcester’s historical homes.  Her appreciation for beauty and art can be seen in her fashion sense.

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Elaine Evans Q+A

Describe your style. My style is easy and laid back.

Who are your favorite designers? I love designers Carolina Hererra, Rachel Roy, and I love Free People as a brand.

What's your definition of "fashionable"? To me fashionable means how you wear something, it can be as simple as attitude.

Is Worcester a fashionable city? It depends where you go, so sometimes, but mostly no.

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Amy Lynn Chase

Amy Lynn Chase is so interested in fashion she has a blog where she describes her personal fashion choices every day!  Here is a description of Chase’s love for style in her own words from her blog, “Punky Style”:

My obsession with fashion started at an early age, bringing with it my very fitting nickname — Punky.

I created the style blog PunkyStyle.com in August of 2005. My love for rummaging through estate sales, thrift stores, and yard sales lead to the 2009 opening of The Haberdash, America’s first mobile vintage shop. That same year I also had the pleasure of co-founding The Swapaholics an event company responsible for bringing sustainable style and a fun sense of reusing to fashion lovers everywhere. In my spare time (wink wink), I moonlight as the owner of a Worcester antique shop called Crompton Collective.

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Amy Lynn Chase Q+A

Describe your style. Funky, effortless, bohemian, green.

Who are your favorite designers? I'll wear your granddad’s clothes, I’ll look incredible. Goodwill is my favorite designer! If you asked me this question a few years ago I would have had a list a mile long. My interests have changed so much since my Style Blogging/Fashion Director days. All I really wear is thrifted, vintage and local designers. Nicole Lebreux is a current favorite!

What's your definition of "fashionable"? I guess it would be someone who follows fashion? Honestly it’s not hard to be fashionable, anyone can buy designer clothes. Personal style can't be bought. I would much rather have style than be fashionable!

Is Worcester a fashionable city? I think Worcester is a stylish city! It's filled with creative types and that unique personal style that comes along with them. Do the majority of us have the "new it bag"? No. But, no one will be judging you by your purse around here. OK... except me.

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Three Hip Chicks

Christine Forte, Heather Berube, and Christine Wehmann (Owners, Three Hip Chicks)

Three Hip Chicks consists of sisters Christine Forte and Heather Berube and their mom, Christine Wehmann.  Their trendy business began when Christine and Heather purchased a monogrammed bracelet for Christine for mother’s day.  The sisters each bought one for themselves and after receiving numerous compliments decided to open their own on-line monogram boutique. Now they sell monogrammed jewelry, handbags, and other accessories all over the world. While all three fashionable ladies have their own style, they agree on one thing: style doesn’t end with what you wear, it can also extend to your cell phone case and your office supplies (so long as their monogrammed, of course!)

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Three Hip Chicks Q+A

Describe your style. We all have a different style but one thing we all have in common is that we LOVE trendy accessories and if it is monogrammed we LOVE, LOVE it. We all love to add color to our outfits. Sometimes it is an acrylic monogram necklace, sometimes a great scarf, sometimes both. We get carried away with obsessions we develop. We love anchors and just found new anchor belts at the Gap, and an anchor bracelet and necklace at J Crew. We all ended up with these items and had quite the laugh when we all wore them at the same time! We obsess over a trendy color. This season it is mint and we cannot get enough of this color. This year we also LOVE stacking bracelets and we encourage our customers to have an arm party (you can see this on our blog). We wear gold bracelets this season and sell scads of them to our customers. If there is an anchor on one of the bracelets, we LOVE, LOVE it even more.

Who are your favorite designers? Tory Burch shoes and bags, we can't get enough of her designs. We also love Madewell, the Gap, and J. Crew.

How would you define fashionable? I believe that fashionable is modern, trendy and stylish dressing. It can also be elegant when needed but the key is understanding what is hot and what is not. We like to have a basic wardrobe that suits us and then add several pieces that express current trends in color, add accessories to glam it up a bit. We also love to research the Pantone colors to try to get a little ahead of the color trends if we can!

Is Worcester a fashionable city? We think that Worcester has loads of fashionable modern girls on the go! We see them all the time. The gals we know are trendy and Hip Chicks. We had a huge party at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester in the fall for the launch of our new website and we have never seen so many gorgeous hipchicks in our lives. The ladies of the Worcester Area know how to dress in modern style and they blew us away!


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