With stellar style perspectives and fresh takes on fashion, these Chicago power pairings are making us look twice.
Stephen and Chelsea Naparstek
Husband-and-wife team Chelsea and Stephen Naparstek bring an avant-garde vibe to Gallery Aesthete. Chelsea wears a cropped sweater and pants, both by Rick Owens.
Whether hitting Paris Fashion Week or working out of their Wicker Park store and temple to avant-garde Gallery Aesthete, for husband-and-wife team Stephen and Chelsea Naparstek, every day is a runway. Both style icons in their own right (Stephen as the store’s founder and director, and Chelsea, a Ford model and the store’s womenswear buyer and social media mastermind), this envelope-pushing pair share a passion for fashion as fine art.
“My strongest style memory of Chelsea is from our wedding day,” Stephen recalls. “She wore this absolutely stunning antique-white Inbal Dror gown with beautiful, intricate lace. Her incredible attention to detail is always present, but on that day she exuded perfection.”
“We met at the Art Institute for our first date. Chelsea was a little aloof and very Rebel Without a Cause. I was smitten. She has this emo, Gemini, elevated rocker-chic look going on, showing strength through her femininity, which I really admire. She’s helped me embrace my inner Jeff Goldblum—to feel comfortable about getting older but still be adventurous with my style.”
Jewelry at Gallery Aesthete
“From the minute we met, I knew he’d be the love of my life. Stephen really knows himself—it’s magnetizing. We share a brain when it comes to aesthetics, be it fashion, art or architecture. He’s taught me so much about avant-garde design, which has really helped me evolve my style, exploring different silhouettes and taking more risks.”
“Getting dressed in Azeeza’s showroom is like the Clueless closet of dreams,” says Fanning Andrews. “Full of silks and crystals.”
Consider them sartorial soulmates. A fortuitous brunch party led to instant connection between beauty and fashion editor Arden Fanning Andrews and fashion designer Azeeza Khan (whose clients include Barbra Streisand), as they bonded over red lipstick and their mutual style appreciation. Paving the way to become firm BFFs (including Khan’s 3-year-old daughter Kamilla too), this dynamite duo shares a flair for style that transcends the trends.
Azeeza Khan in a dress of her own design
“I ran into Azeeza and thought, ‘Who’s this babe with the incredible style?’ Her look is always so fresh. She’ll wear a floaty dress with chunky Nikes, or pull a hoodie over a gown. It’s street goddess style that really works. I’m a little more androgynous; she’s a little more femme, but we meet perfectly in the middle with Kamilla’s style.”
Getting glam in Azeeza's Michigan Avenue boutique.
“I noticed Arden immediately; I was drawn to her superchill vibes. She’s so effortless, fashion-forward a la Tokyo but vintage like her Texan roots. She calls it ‘retrofuturistic.’ I love how she puts unexpected elements together: glitter barrettes, gummy-bear earrings and her signature blue eyeliner. She’s a breath of fresh air and a constant inspiration for me and Kamilla.”
On Charles: Cotton buttondown shirt, mini houndstoothprint knit sportcoat, camel gray pinstripe one-pleat trousers and tan wingtip oxfords, all by Brunello Cucinelli; belt by Magnini. On Paolo: Suit and shoes by Lanvin, his own.
It was love at first sight for superstylish couple Charles and Paolo Montorio-Archer, who met four years ago at a party in NYC, drawn to each other’s energy (and unintentionally matchy-matchy outfits) and married 10 months later. With Charles having been recently appointed president and CEO of nonprofit One Hope United in Chicago, and Paolo a VP of iconic fashion house Lanvin in New York, complementing and compromise is the secret to this twosome’s sartorially solid partnership.
“Style is more important than fashion,” says Paolo (left). “Style is the external representation of who we are inside—it’s not about clothes or objects, but energy and vibe.”
“We met in a New York disco and immediately connected. Paolo has this style confidence that’s so attractive. He’s into anything that’s cutting-edge, bold and runway-inspired. I dress for the corporate world during the weekdays, but in our downtime he encourages me to have fun with fashion. I love his take on things, but also appreciate the moments of difference between us. That’s the balance of who we are together.”
Getting shady at Saks
“We were both wearing a black T-shirt, baseball hat and jeans when we first met—it was instant love. Our style is often in sync and when it’s not, we still want to complement each other. I’ve definitely influenced Charles’ style—his suits have become more tailored, his jeans are skinnier, and he’s invested much more in his wardrobe. For us, fashion is about creativity.”
Photography by: Stephen & Chelsea Naparstek Photos Shot on Location at Gallery Aesthete; Charles and Paolo Montorio-Archer STYLING BY CHINH HUYNH/SAKS FIFTH AVENUE CHICAGO; SHOT ON LOCATION AT SAKS FIFTH AVENUE CHICAGO; Azeez Khan and Arden Fanning Andrews Photos SHOT ON LOCATION AT AZEEZA; HAIR & MAKEUP BY THE MARIO TRICOCI CREATIVE TEAM