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Fashion's Night Off

By Michelle Boudin | Photography by Dustin Peck

Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013

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At 5'11 the dark haired and slim Tatiana Thomas is stunning. Good thing her charming and debonair husband is 6'3 and just as striking. John Thomas is the Executive Vice President for Private Brands at Belk where he works with designers like Cynthia Rowley and Jessica Simpson, and helped create the Cam Newton line. This summer he sat next to Heidi Klum while he served as a guest judge on the Belk sponsored Project Runway. When he’s not brushing shoulders with celebs or jetting off on exotic work trips to spots like Hong Kong, Indonesia, and India, the fashion exec loves to spend his evenings with friends and family in the backyard of their Ballantyne home.

The Thomas’ met in New York City when both were working in the fashion industry. Now a stay-at-home mom to their three children ages 7, 8, and ten, Tatiana does the unthinkable. She lets her husband shop for almost all of her clothes. "He will come home with garment bags full of clothes and say "Try on whatever you like,’” she says. “My friends are like, where can I get one like him?” John tends to favor patterns, color, and a good pocket square.

They each describe the other as being always put together, so it’s no surprise that even though they characterize their entertaining style as laidback and casual, things are still sophisticated and stylish when guests arrive. “We’re much better at impromptu dinner parties then anything planned out,” says John. “We work better off the cuff.” Tatiana agrees, pointing out that friends joke that even though the two both come from the fashion industry, it’s ok to come over without makeup. “Prepping stresses me out, so I’m really good at spontaneous,” she says.

The casual backyard includes two outdoor seating areas with a dining table and brightly colored couches, the same color as the pomegranate martinis John likes to mix. There is an elegant silver cooler often brimming with cold craft beers, a matching tray for the drinks, and a lot of laughter-filled conversation about everything from current events to reality television. Close friends, children, and Tatiana’s close-knit Ecuadorian family are always on the guest list. “This is what we’re all about,” John says. “Family and friends.”

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