Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Real Style

For company president, even casual is classy

By Joy Kraft jkraft@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Sonya Wilson wears one of her signature color sweaters and earrings.
(Joseph Fuqua II photo)
| ZOOM |
        Sonya Wilson of Anderson Township has a dirty job. The 63-year-old president of Rainbow Environmental Services in Linwood tramps around buildings ready for demolition, industrial and commercial sites, and burned-out structures to evaluate asbestos, lead and mold removal. But, she says, “I don't do crawl spaces” — and you definitely won't find her “looking like a rag-picker.”

        Her jeans often are spruced up with appliques and trims. And she always tops them off with a fancy sweater and a pair of earrings from her collection of more than 1,000.

        Describe your style: You seldom see me in anything dull. I like colorful, bright, unique. Today, I have on fuchsia and white polka-dot pants with a fuchsia sweater with butterflies.

        You can be found shopping at: I buy what I like, and outfits just start to come together — Dillard's at Kenwood, Jacobson's in Louisville and Sarasota. And I do a lot of catalog shopping from Draper & Damon, Casual Living. A lot of stores around here carry drab things. I have a hard time finding color. And I have become a plus size, which makes it difficult.

        You are never without: My earrings. I lost track of how many I have about five years ago. I save all the cards and categorize them — and I divide them by season. Then I have a huge jewelry armoire with my crystal and other unique earrings. I separate papier-mache in a box, hand-painted earrings in another, holidays in another.

        Earliest fashion memory: I can remember wearing a red Dalton cashmere sweater and matching wool skirt down the steps to a party when I was about 20. It was very simple and elegant-looking. I had the same outfit in green.

        You wouldn't be caught dead in: Dirty or tattered clothes. Even if I was painting or doing chores, I'd have on a cute T-shirt. Even my jeans have special trim or applique.

        Favorite designers: I love Storybook knit sweaters from the Home Shopping Network and Michael Simon sweaters. Each and every one is unique, all handmade. I like Quacker Factory from QVC and, locally, Susan Bristol and Marissa Christina.

        Pet peeve: The total disregard young people — and many older people — have today of the way they dress and the way they look. I see people at the Aronoff in jeans instead of a dress or a jacket and some normal shoes. I grew up wearing a hat and gloves to go downtown.

        You splurge on: My earrings. Exclusive of diamonds, I have a pair of $300 Lunch at the Ritz and a pair I bought for $5.99 at Shillito's (now Lazarus).

        Signature style: Hand-painted tops, anything with color and geometric designs.

        Send nominations to Joy Kraft at jkraft@enquirer.com by mail: c/o Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; fax; 768-8330. Include the person's name, age, daytime phone and why they should be featured.


Scots sweep romance readers off their feet
Love stories with suspense, humor top charts
Rosenthal winner set in Cold War
KNIPPENBERG: Donate to film and watch the credits roll
Get to it
- For company president, even casual is classy
Big-name stores plan openings
Burke has perfected art of crime-writing
If it's summer, Harris has a new sizzler
Tristate Best Sellers List
What Tristaters Are Reading
Welcome House gala nets $60,000