Talk is chic: Our featured designers and entrepreneurs

Words from gurus showcased in the 2011 Style Issue.

click to enlarge Kimberly Hendrix/K.Hendrix - Brian James
Brian James
Kimberly Hendrix/K.Hendrix

Kimberly Hendrix: k.hendrix designs

Inspiration: "Like most designers I like to think I began designing and sewing straight out of the womb, but in reality I didn't dedicate myself to designing clothing until 2007."

What she does best: Eco-friendly items are made from 100-percent reclaimed and recycled materials — sequins, dyed leathers, knits and color-washed silks.

Worst thing she's worn in public: "The 4-inch-over-the-knee style boots are probably the most inappropriate at 8 a.m."

Would never be caught dead wearing: "The '80s-style frizz perm I rocked in high school."

Favorite cartoon style: "Spongebob definitely has the best attitude ... To me, attitude is the most important aspect of personal style."

Sara Stonecipher: MISRED Outfitters

Inspiration: "About 20 years ago my mom (Patti Rondolino; she established the Designers Consigner when it was on Beach Drive) created the first high end consignment shop in downtown St. Petersburg. ... In 2008 I was fortunate enough to study under one of the best vintage fashion stylists in the industry, Marjorie Harper of theURBANcollection/ It was through my work with her that I refined my love of vintage and realized that it was very much a viable industry."

If she had a time machine, Sara would go back to... the '70s. "There is something magical about the silhouettes from Halston's Studio 54 days, inspired by muses like Bianca Jagger."

Welcome praise: "When a customer has been in our store for 5 or 10 minutes before they realize we are a secondhand establishment ... We present ourselves as if we are selling garments for hundreds of dollars, yet here you will spend closer to $20."

Ivanka Ska: House of Ska

Inspiration: "An amazing opportunity to work with actress Leven Rambin — soon to be seen on the big screen playing Glimmer in Hunger Games — who back then was a star on All My Children and styling her was extra fun since she loves vintage and already had a well-established style of her own."

Favorite cartoon style: Jessica Rabbit.

Would never be caught dead wearing: Plastic shoes.

Worst thing she's worn in public: "No way, I am not telling — ha ha — well, okay, this could have to do with back in a day when low-rise jeans were way too low."

If she had a time machine: "Currently my sweet obsession is with Dutch and Flemish art: Rembrandt, etc., as well as 17th century French baroque."

Welcome praise: "Being named the official designer to the royal family of Prince Mario Max Schaumburg-Lippe of Austria was a pretty nice compliment."

Scott Moore: Urban Body

Inspiration: "As a former bodybuilder I could never find clothing at the mall that fit my physique. And, as a guy I hated shopping in women's stores to find fashion-forward clothing. My solution was to create Urban Body Clothing in March 2000 ... We moved into a new location and launched women's fashions in April this year."

Wouldn't be caught dead wearing: "Skinny jeans. Nope, not gonna happen, ever!"

Favorite cartoon style: "Freddie, from Scooby Doo — hands down! I mean, really, the dude was buff, wore stylin' boot-cut denim with a white shirt and opposing fabric collar! The scarf was a bit much, but at least it changed colors from time to time."

Welcome praise: "I dressed a customer for his return to California for his 10th high school reunion... We worked with his high waist and short stature to give an optical illusion to his body type. He bought five outfits. He came back a few weeks later and cried as he told me how much the wardrobe transformation had changed his perception of himself..."

Dali Hernandez: House of Dali

Inspiration: "I had an early childhood's obsession with fashion magazines, and with the help of a pair of scissors I would cut various designs to mix and match and ultimately transform my bedroom walls into the latest fashion show. The days I went fabric shopping with my mother gave me an early perspective on quality variation and how the same design can be completely altered due to fabric choice. I formalized my education at the International Academy of Design & Technology."

Would never be caught dead wearing: Spandex.

If she had a time machine, she would travel back to... "The '20s. I would be a flapper girl. I have been a flapper girl for Halloween three years in a row! Different versions, of course. I would rock the short black hair, I love the sequins and fringe dresses, and also love the jewelry."

Leigh Anne Balzekas: Disco Dolls

Inspiration: "Vintage movies were my first influence. Costume designer Edith Head was amazing! I would watch AMC every afternoon and soak it up."

The Disco Dolls team: "Kristine [Bush, her sister] and Max [Maisano] have worked together for years so when I moved here from Chicago we all started working together on photo shoots and events. It was just a natural evolution into The Disco Dolls Studio. Our mission is to create an environment where people can be comfortable, relax and create their image with our help."

Favorite TV style: The cast of Mad Men.

Would never be caught dead wearing: Overalls.

If she had a time machine, she would travel back to... the '50s. "Loved the exaggeration of the female figure, and then I would be able to live through the '60s and '70s... the '70s were exaggerated in a whole different way."