Monday, May 21, 2012

Dallas Dweller: John Piermarini

Dallas is full of colorful characters. There are those you see monthly in the society pages, whose stories are legendary in this town. But, this feature is inspired by the people that I think you should know more about because of their fabulous style, interesting back-story or amazing accomplishments.  Dallas Dweller seeks to introduce you to these fabulous faces and this week, I want to introduce you to a young man who's taking the Dallas fashion scene by storm:

John Piermarini

John Piermarini
photo by Beau Bumpas Photography
In November of 2010, 20-year old John Piermarini decided to thrust himself into the competitive Dallas fashion scene by opening Piermarini Boutique in Uptown with the vision of bringing fresh and unique looks to the Dallas fashion scene at an affordable price point.

His uptown boutique features international, local and new designers that are off the beaten path to mainstream fashion avenues, with each store item being hand-picked by John himself. Maintaining an heir of exclusivity, Piermarini Boutique showcases designs under $500, only orders one item in each size and has a strict no re-order policy.

I recently became acquainted with John, and was so impressed with his talent - but more importantly, his entrepreneurial drive ay such a young age - that I asked Piermarini to share some of his insights about Dallas with me so I could get to know him better. 

Q:  What's your life story in a couple of sentences?

A:  Born in Houston, raised in Dallas - I've lived in Texas my entire life.  I always tell people that I didn't have much of a choice to be in the fashion industry - the moment my mother could take me out of the house she brought me straight to the Chanel make-up counter at Neimans, and I've been a professional shopper ever since. I started designing clothing when I was 15. One day, I just decided to get a sewing machine and I taught myself the basics.  From there I made a custom wedding dress for an actual bride, and then I met my friend and mentor, Abi Ferrin.

Abi and I have been mentoring each other since the day we met, and we still work together today.  I worked as an intern for Abi on special events, and even worked alongside her pattern maker.  Today, Abi and I have a collaboration together called Abi & John of just basic pieces that everyone needs in their wardrobe.  After graduating High School, I decided to open my store.  I wanted to be able to design, buy, and work directly with customers - and opening a store was the best way to do all of the above!  I wanted to make something different, and I wanted people to take risks with their wardrobe.  In order to do that, I needed to take the risk of opening up my own business at the age of 19.

Piermarini outside his namesake boutique.  Photo: SMU Daily Campus

Q:  Name a few of your favorite places to shop for yourself.

A:  I love to shop! Really, I do. I love Forty Five Ten (who doesn't?) and of course, Barneys - those are my two favorites in Dallas.  Going through my closet it's, "I got this at Piermarini, this at Barneys, and all of those shoes from Forty Five Ten.

Q:  What do you like to do for fun?

A:  I'm always causing a riot! Clearly, I like to shop.  I love to design.  But let's be real, food is where I can fall in love over and over again.  It doesn't matter where - I'm Italian, I was brought up to eat! And I'm always working - looking for new looks that may translate well in the store, telling people about my store, the selling never stops. 

photo by Beau Bumpss Photography
Q:  Give me a few of your top picks for Dallas dining.

A:  All food is wonderful, but if I have to pick 5 - here are the places that come to mind: Shinsei, Oddfellows, Toulouse, Cosmic Cafe, and anywhere that has quality queso. 

Q:  Do you embrace the traditional Texas stereotype of big hair, Cowboys and bling or do seek to establish a new culture for our city?

A:  I'm a huge supporter of the philosophy, "you do you." I love some big hair and those stereotypical 'Dallas' looks, but my own personal style is a little darker - strictly neutrals, black, and white.  I embrace all styles, and I want a store that allows people to come in and leave looking like the best versions of themselves. 

Q:  What is your favorite thing about Dallas?

A:  The people! Even those who move here from other places are wonderful.  There is just a positive energy here that I haven't seen anywhere else.

Piermarini Boutique is located at 2701 Hibernia St., Dallas, TX 75204 (214) 303-1261. For more information, please visit