“1 DON’T LIKE SUN BLOCK, SO I JUST PRE-tend to put it on.” At the age of 17, Bridget Hall is apparently not worried yet about the boring business of aging skin and melanoma. With two dozen magazine covers, European runway shows, and exotic photo shoots “all over the Caribbean” already on her résumé, the supermodel who has made the world forget about superwaifs thinks more about media exposure than sun exposure. Which may be understandable. Her day rate is $10,000.
Hall’s career took off at the age of 10 when she began modeling for the Kim Dawson Agency in Dallas doing catalog work for JCPenney and store ads for Macy’s and Dillard. At 14, she signed with the Ford agency in New York. She’s posed for Pepe Jeans, Guess, Gianni Versace, Benetton, Maybelline, and Banana Republic, and has glided down the runway for Chanel, Dior, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren.
Though her face is splashed across news-racks around the country, Hall says she’s still able to go out a lot and not be recognized. “A few people will talk or whisper, ’There she is.’ But they don’t come up to me.” Maybe because her success has come so fast and so furiously, Hall is sometimes skeptical about her potential. “I like [modeling], and it’s a lot of fun-and hard work. I sometimes can’t believe it-it’s so cool.” The girl from the Dallas suburbs pauses. “It used to be weird to see my face everywhere, but now, it’s like, oh, there I am again.”
Eventually, where Hall would like to be is in movies. “I’m working with an acting coach now,” she says. But first a driver’s license would be nice. “1 have to get that first,” she admits, “then get either a new Mustang or an old one. Maybe a BMW I don’t know.”
“GENETICS,” INTONED DR. HENRY Wu of the Jurassic Park laboratory, “is a bit complicated.” Dr. Glen Evans, the latest superstar recruited to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, would agree. He and his team of researchers are involved in one of the most far-reaching science projects ever attempted: map-PS ping the entire human genetic code.
“Our lab will seem a lot like the one in Jurassic Park” Evans explains. The major difference is that instead of building dinosaurs for an amusement park, Evans and his colleagues are trying to develop the blueprints for what he jokingly refers to as a “generic human.”
Evans arrived in Dallas last summer as one of the leading scientists on the new Human Genome Project, a major initiative of the National Institutes of Health involving nine separate research centers. He came, leaving a prestigious position at the Salk Institute in San Diego, with a bag full of money ($20 million in grants to be used over a five-year period), half a dozen other scientists, and a monumental challenge: to read the 100,000 genes in a human being that are found in 22 pairs of chromosomes plus the two sex genes.
In April, Evans and a team of researchers will move into the new laboratory at UT Southwestern. His team will grow to 36 experts who, working with robots, will analyze fragments of DNA to determine the genetic causes of dozens of diseases.
Evans and his group of researchers have chosen to study and map chromosome 11. Why? “Its in the middle. It’s not one of the really long ones. But it’s not really short either,” he explains.
Evans feels a kinship with Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park. Crichton was also a post-doctorate fellow at Salk.
In the novel, Crichton provides examples of sequences for dinosaur DNA fragments. “We ran the sequences he listed in the book,” says Evans mischievously. “We were disappointed. They were nothing like dinosaur DNAs.”
Southern Methodist University and discovered they would make a good team: Late one night they all shinnied up a rope and broke into a building to finish work on a first-year project. “By our final year in the program, the core group met every morning at 7 a.m.,” says Nemmers. “We enjoyed training together, and so the group emerged from a common vocabulary, common goals and trust.” And while the troupe has gone through some personnel changes over the years, most recently the addition of Bill Lengfelder, the focus has remained the same.
Kitchen Dog started as a bare-hones operation, and has grown steadily. Nemmers recalls May 1991 when, in a small, upstairs space in a coffeehouse, Kitchen Dog debuted with Maria Irene Fomes’ Mud. Their first application to the National Endowment for the Arts was rewarded by a $5,000 grant. The Texas Commission on the Arts followed with $1,142. Last October, they opened their fourth season in their new permanent theater home, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary. This season, they plan to produce four plays instead of their usual three.
“We want to present work that has never been seen here before-work that’s weird and provocative, fascinating and enterraining,” says Nemmers. Our audiences are growing larger each season and to maintain our standards we have to keep training. I think it’s that one factor that is the adhesive of this group of people.”
Last year the group sold almost 150 subscriptions to its season. “If we can get people in the door, we’ll keep most of them,” says Nemmers. And with a new home, and a little bread in the bowl, Kitchen Dog seems ready to take on the big dogs.
Andrew and Jayne Litton
“I WANT TO BREAK THE MOLD,” SAYS Andrew Litton. “Education is the thing. I’m obsessed with it. Even the tried and true classical music audience might learn something.”
The Dallas Symphony’s new music director, who officially took the baton in June of last year, is truly a teacher. Before each performance he talks to the audience about how the music played an active role in history. He’s developing brochures that describe the music to help the audience know what they should get excited about and why. “Most programs,” he notes, “reflect the ’Top 40’ of classical music. And although I don’t want to deprive the audience of their favorite pieces, I want to do new pieces as well.” In the 1995-96 season, Andrew plans to have a common theme in each performance-geographical or cultural or historical-and to educate the audience by comparing the selections.
“My goal in education is to start at the earliest level,” Litton explains, “and make sure kids have a choice of what kind of music they want to listen to. With all the cutbacks in education, there’s not much art appreciation left in the curriculum.”
Art appreciation classes are exactly how Littons wife, Jayne, was drawn to play the violin. She was about 7 years old when a violin teacher was scheduled to teach at Jayne’s school in England, and to “get out of doing math,” she went to the class. She was hooked. When she met Andrew many years later, she was playing with Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
For 1995, Andrew plans to “put Dallas’ symphony on the map. We’ve never been on the list of the top 10 symphonies in the country, and I want to change that… Whenever anyone mentions the Dallas Symphony, they always say, ’Oh, that’s the place with the great hall.’ I want them to say, ’Oh, that’s the place with the great hall and the great orchestra!’”
A MOMENT OF CONVERSATION WITH Cheril Santini feels precious. The young woman who was named to Glamour magazine’s list of”Top Ten College Women” last October seems ready to spring away at any minute. It’s not that she would rather be doing something else. It’s just that there is so much she wants to dive into. And most of the time she’s taking the plunge at pools.
Santini has been diving since she was 12 and is now ready for the Olympic trials. She won the 1992-94 Southwest Conference championship in the 1-, 3-, and 10-meter springboard. She also brought home the 1992 NCAA one-meter springboard championship, and was the 1992-94 NCAA All-American Diver. She dove in the August Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia, and in September, she came in fourth in the 1 -meter board in the World Champion -ships in Rome. She is one of a handful of women in the U.S. to have attempted a back three and a half somersault from the 10-meter platform.
When she’s not diving, she’s studying. Santini is a senior at Southern Methodist University and plans to graduate in May with a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in German with a minor in mathematics. She seems to take all this in stride. “I really spread myself thin in high school,” she says. “I wanted to give 110 percent to everything I did. I’ve learned to limit myself somewhat.” She grins and runs her hand through her tied-back California-girl blonde hair. “It’s important to do 100 percent. You work hard and the pay-offs come later.”
Some off these pay-offs may come relatively soon. After graduation, Cheril will continue to train in Dallas under the direction of her coach, Jim Stillson, for the Olympic trials in June of 1996. Before that there are two national champion-ships, two spring meets, a Florida inter-national meet, and the Fina World.
Her long-range plans are equally impressive. “After SMU, I want to go to graduate school and study polymer chemistry,” she says. “I like seeing my end result in practical use, so I’d like to do research and development for a fun company like Nike or Dupont. I guess I’m more analytical and method- minded than some people.”
FOOD & BEVERAGE
WHEN RON MCDOUGALL WALKED INTO the prototype of Macaroni Grill in Leon Springs, outside of San Antonio, he was suddenly reminded of his first boyhood visit to Comiskey Park in Chicago. “You came in through a dark passageway,” he says, describing the old stadium. “Then suddenly spread out before you was the expanse of green. Players in white uniforms ran across all that green grass, shimmering in the bright summer sun.” McDougall fell in love instantly with Comiskey Park that day, and found the same feeling of excitement years later in the restaurant business. The president and COO of the billion-dollar Brinker empire explains that if a chain is going to work, it has to make the customer feel good. “You’ve got to have that feel first-the Wow! factor,” he says. “Then you go analyze it to see if the concept works as a business.”
At the Brinker headquarters on LBJ Freeway, McDougall presides over one of the fastest growing companies in Dallas. In the last 10 years, Brinker International has multiplied its workforce by 20, to 55,000 employees. It has 500 restaurants, including Chili’s, Grady’s American Grill, On the Border, and the newest addition, Cozymel. Sales are expected to hit $3 billion by the year 2000.
McDougall came under the spotlight two years ago when his long-time friend and boss Norman Brinker fell into a coma as a result of a polo accident. Three days later McDougall was named chairman and CEO of Brinker International. When Brinker returned to work, recovering in just over three months, he found his business in good hands. During that quarter, the company’s stock had split three for two. Pretax profits were up almost 42 percent. And McDougall had been named Restaurants & Institutions “Executive of the Year.”
McDougall credits his success to the introduction of contemporary management practices. Using innovations in technology, marketing, and management, McDougall has made the business more predictable, “That’s the fun in this game,” explains McDougall, “adding leverage through technology and state of the art systems.”
But the behind-the-scenes management is still just a part of it. For McDougall, it often all goes hack to Comiskey Park. “It’s got to stay fun for the customers,” he says.
WITH NO OCEAN BEACHES, LARGE mountains, Broadway theaters, river-walks, or even gambling-yet- Dallas has very little to appeal to convention planners. Yet the city boasts the second highest number of convention-goers in the nation. Leading the way in promoting the city is Tom Lazo, who for the next two years will be the chairman of the board of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau,
Lazo’s mission is to keep Dallas’ edge in an industry that has become increasingly competitive nationally and worldwide. Convention facilities need to be constantly expanded. “We were number eight in size of facilities when we started building the expansion,” says Lazo. “We’re still number eight. We are in good shape for conventions in ’95 and ’96. But if we don’t get adequate funding, we’ll start suffering in ’97.”
Because Dallas has to work harder to attract the major conventions, Lazo believes it needs a larger budget. Dallas ranks 14th among other cities in the size of the budget it allocates to promoting conventions. “Orlando spends twice as much as we do and has Mickey Mouse to help sell it,” Lazo laments. The hotel-motel bed tax generates about $21 million a year. Of that, two thirds goes to pay off the debt on the Convention Center. The balance goes to the Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote the city.
In 1995, finding new ways to generate money from new sources is a top priority. Because Lazo is cautious about increasing the hotel bed tax, his staff is focusing on other options, including increasing the number of businesses that are dues-pay-ing members of the bureau and working to sell more Dallas-related merchandise to the visitors we already have.
Lazo also wants to focus on attracting more conventions that serve ethnic minorities. “Dallas is perceived as a racially divided city by many groups around the country who do not want to come here,” he says. But minority conventions are big business-about $ 1 billion a year. “We’ve gotten the National Council of La Raza to come to Dallas next year,” he reports. “That is a good start.”
As Lazo is determined to prove, success in the convention business may depend on some innovative approaches.
IN A D ARTICLE SOME YEARS AGO, interior designer Trisha Wilson told us about her wish list: to design the interior of a major resort and to have an office outside the United States. Today, Wilson &. Associates employs more than 100 people in offices in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, and Johannesburg, South Africa. The firm is ranked second or third in the world among design firms that specialize in hotels and works on about 40 resorts a year.
Wilson & Associates have worked on projects as diverse as the Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe, the Hotel Bel-Air Cap-Ferrat in the South of France, and Disney’s new line of cruise ships. They’re also currently working on the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas. “We do everything-remodeling, new construction, and interior design [walls, flooring, lighting, and furniture],” explains Wilson. “Think of it as everything that happens on the inside of a building. We’re currently working on some great projects: the interior design of the Blue Train, which originates in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Loch Lomond Manor House in Scotland, and a couple other ’secrets.’ ” One of these “secrets” is a hotel-resort her firm is designing for Kevin Costner: the firm is under a gag order concerning details of the project.
Wilson enjoys the challenges of her expanding business. “When we’re working in Africa,” she says, “we have to make sure that our designs are not offensive to any of the local tribes. And when we’re working in the Far East, it’s imperative that we observe customs and superstitions. Each project is unique, and how we approach it depends on the client. You wouldn’t design a Disney hotel like you would an urban center-the guests and how they use the space are totally different.”
Wilson feels she’s come a long way, but she’s still making wish lists. Her next prophecy? Maybe resort development in Vietnam.
SITTING IN HIS LAW OFFICE AMID campaign memorabilia collected through years of political activity, Sandy Kress is not where he once expected he would be. The young and ambitious attotney anticipated a future in Congress or holding a statewide political office. But the man who graduated from Hillcrest High School in the late ’60s took a different path. He decided to fix a broken school district.
Five years ago DISD was among the most broken. Test scores had declined steadily for years. The bureaucracy was bloated and overly centralized. There was little training for teachers or principals. Middle school students were dropping out in record numbers. The curriculum was inconsistent from school to school. And accountability was a word that was seldom heard.
For four years, Kress played the role of the reformer, calling for change from outside the system. As head of a citizens commission on educational excellence, Kress analyzed curricula and teacher training programs. His committee produced a report with a number of strong recommendations.
Then, in June 1994, Kress moved to a position on the inside. As the new president of the board for DISD, Kress will be expected to push along his progressive program for improvement. His outlook is optimistic: ” 1995 is the year the public will see that the schools are getting better,” he says. “We’ve been taking our medicine, doing our exercises, losing weight, getting fit. We’ll like the way we look in the mirror in 1995.”
Kress points to improvements that are already in place. A decentralized management scheme has reduced bureaucracy. Test scores have risen steadily. A Principals’ Institute provides special management training for school leaders, Curricula have been upgraded and standardized. The middle schools are being overhauled to meet the specific needs of children in that age group. And a tracking system is in place to help measure students’ progress.
For the new year, Kress calls for further change. “Now it is time,” he says, “when the public must get more engaged in the schools, through volunteerism, to make a difference in the future of our children.” For Kress, this mission has recently taken on a personal bent. His son, Caleb, will be 6 months old this month, and in a few years will enter a DISD public school. For Kress, it better be the best school in the country.
JEFFREY FEGAN IS TALKING ABOUT FOOD. And he’s talking about retail stores, grouped together in enclosed spaces and including high-end places like The Sharper Image, Christian Dior, and the PGA Store. But Fegan isn’t planning a trip to the mall. The new executive director of the world s second busiest air- port is talking about terminals. By the end of 1995, he says, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport will rival most malls in the Metroplex with approxiraately 100 stores and 100 food and beverage operations. “The joke around here is that we are building a mall that has gates,” Fegan says.
What is not a joke is the projection of revenues the stores and restaurants will generate. Travelers now spend an average $2.30 per emplaned passenger on souvenirs, newspapers, and food as they pass through Terminals 2E, 2W, 3E, and 4E The Pittsburgh airport, which has added a large number of stores, now collects about $6 per passenger. Based on similar projections, with 26 million passengers passing through D-FW every year, the revenues from shopping might be as high as $100 million.
With lower operating costs and the completion of a new seventh runway next year that will give it greater capacity than any other airport, D-FW’s business is on the tarmac, ready to take off. Fegan predicts these changes will mean more business, particularly international business, for the Metro-plex. Already Fegan is eagerly awaiting the start of a new Korean Air flight from D-FW to Seoul, South Korea. “That flight could really mean a lot of business between Dallas and Seoul,” he says. “A study of the impact of the American [Airlines] service to Toyko showed that that one flight has brought in $750 million a year in business to the region.”
Meanwhile, shopping has already become more convenient and travel more fun at D-FW. “I wouldn’t have believed it,” says Fegan, “but people stop in the PGA Store and buy a set of golf clubs while they are changing planes.”
SOPHIA ILIADOU’S OFFICE IS FULL OF paper: blueprints, cross-sections, notebooks, diagrams, and the Cowboys’ play schedule. Amidst the print storm is a notice tacked to the bulletin board that reads “Trinity River Corridor Meeting Schedule.” And at the center of the apparent chaos is lliadou, who knows where everything is. She moves a mountain of plans and maps out of the way and draws a river. “When I was taking civil engineering classes, we had to take several courses of study: structures, transportation, environment, water resources, etc.,” she explains. “I liked the water resources classes the best. 1 liked the idea of helping people utilize a river.”
As project manager for the city of Dallas Public Works and Transportation Department in the Flood Plain Management and Erosion Control Division, Iliadou is helping Dallasices see the Trinity River with fresh eyes. Working with the more than 350 members of the Trinity River Corridor Citizens’ Committee, Iliadou is working to link the city’s future to the river. “The ultimate goal,” she says, “is to create a plan that addresses all the issues [of flood control, transportation, recreation and open space, economic development, environmental preservation, and restoration], I would like to see a plan that not only meets needs, but will make us proud of our river.”
In planning for the future, the committee is working on large-scale, big-picture issues. How do we use the river? Can we create a lake? Can we build better access? Can we use the river to spur economic development along its banks and in South Dallas? Can the tiver be the con-nector between Dallas and Oak Cliff instead of the divider? These are questions the committee is trying to answer and will ultimately present to the city council as concrete proposals.
So far a lot of good ideas have come out of the meetings. “It’s working great,” says Iliadou. “We are grateful that the citizens are participating. It’s good to see what people want and even better if we can serve their needs. It kind of gives them ownership and a sense of responsibility.”
The plans Sophia and the Committee are working on show a lot of vision. Vision Sophia hopes will translate into new life for the Trinity River and our city.
While many civic-minded people continue to debate the merits and viability of downtown Dallas, Robert Shaw is busy doing deals. Deals that will very likely affect the way we see downtown. Deals that will alter our urban community.
Sitting in the Club Room atop The Worthington of State-Thomas, his luxury apartment community on McKin-ney Avenue just north of downtown, Robert Shaw explains his mission: “To build. To create a physical environment that adds to the community or the city.”
And build he has, When a knee injury in 1981 ended his career as the Dallas Cowboys’ center, Shaw contemplated his future. He called his long-time friend Roger Staubach, who offered him a crash course in real estate. Today he is CEO of Columbus Realty Trust, best known for its aggressive development program during the past three years along McKinney Avenue.
Shaw says that his plan is to own properties long-term and to invest in resident satisfaction and neighborhood improvement. “Dallas is connected by cars,” he says. “Most people drive from parking lot to parking lot. I want to create communities where residents can access local amenities-restaurants, theaters, and recreation centers-without having to get in the car and drive. I want to create a sense of place for people near their businesses and where they go for entertainment.”
What Shaw looks for in a development site is an existing selection of amenities-everything except housing. He says he likes being able to respond to changing household needs. “The traditional two-parent, two-children, and a dog household is no longer traditional,” he notes. “There are lots of single-parent families who need a variety of conveniences. These types of communities are shaped around those needs.”
Columbus Realty Trust plans to be developing spirit this year in communities in Las Colinas and Addison, and eventually in Fort Worth. Meanwhile, the sites near downtown are thriving:They’ve had 100 percent occupancy since opening and maintain active waiting lists. Proving perhaps to those who wonder about downtown that if you build it, they will come.
IF SOUTH OF THE BORDER WAS THE direction to look in 1994 for economic development, then east is the new direction for 1995. With the North American Free Trade Agreement firmly in place, building strong business ties between Dallas and China will be the process to watch this year.
Dallas has been laying the groundwork quietly for months, positioning the city to have a major stake in a country with 1.2 billion consumers. In February, Mayor Steve Bartlett and David Biegler, chairman of the Greater Dallas Chamber, will lead a delegation of 40 to 60 Dallas business leaders on a two-week trip to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenyang, and Beijing to explore investment opportunities.
The architect of this expanding relationship with China is Robert Hsueh, a talented, unassuming Chinese-American attorney. Hsueh chairs the Dallas-China Partnership, which was created by the city to lead the efforts to promote business opportunities between the two places. The Chinese, explains Hsueh, are looking to Dallas corporations to provide the technical expertise needed to modernize.
Although bom in Taiwan, Hsueh’s roots are in Guangdong (formerly Canton), the province where Guangzhou is located. His uncle was one of Chiang Kai-shek’s generals in the war with Mao Tse-tung’s communist troops, and at age 101 is the senior four-star general in Taiwan. Hsueh expected this relationship to cause problems for him in his return to mainland China. To his surprise, he received a warm welcome, a sign of the changing times in the new China.
Hsueh believes that the modernization of China can only be compared to the rebuilding of Europe after World War II. China, he says, “is one huge construction site.” If Hsueh has his way, his adopted city will play a major role in building the China of the 21st century.
“People in China are very excited about Dallas,” Hsueh notes. “They know about Dallas because of the television series. They think that Dallas is rich and is good for business. Why else would Ross Perot and ].R. Ewing live there?”
DOUG MELVIN BELIEVES IN GUT FEELINGS. “Whatever you’re doing, buying a house or a car, or drafting a major league baseball player, your instincts tell you what to do,” he says. In his first few months as the new general manager for the Texas Rangers, Melvin’s instincts have already told him to fire Kevin Kennedy and to put together a new staff, including a new manager and a new minor-league director. Melvin’s instinct seems to be to shake things up and get ready to play ball-when and if the Rangers take the field again.
Melvin honed his ability to act quickly and decisively during his years as a pitcher for Pittsburgh and the New York Yankees minor-league clubs in the early to mid-1970s. When his playing career was over, he still wanted to be in the game. He joined the administrative team and found his niche. “I know the baseball operation bottom to top,” he says. “And when you truly love your job, you tend to put passion into the effort you make.”
Though Melvin describes himself as low-key, his passion is apparent. “I wake up at night with ideas,” he confesses. “Roland Hemond, the GM of the Orioles, used to tell me to ’throw out 100 ideas on my desk a day.’ So I did. He had a lot of confidence in me and encouraged me to be creative. I try to instill that in other people.”
And what are his ideas for the Rangers? “There is an internal philosophy,” he explains, “the attitude of the team, that we want to take to the next level. We want to set high standards and goals, continue talking about the team concept.
“I want to put up a contending team every year,” he continues. “I’d like for it to happen overnight. I don’t believe in four-or five-year plans.”
The main thing Doug wants to do is have fun playing the game. “That’s the number one goal. We need to play as a team and just enjoy ourselves. I want to make it fun again for the fans. You never know what can happen if we work together as a team and a coaching staff.”
STEVE BARTLETT IS SMILING A BIT more these days. “He has that old twinkle in his eye that he had sort of lost,” a close friend admits. And there’s a reason for the change: he’s counting the days until he is no longer Dallas’ mayor.
Candidates, meanwhile, are lining up for the job. At press time, five men and one woman had announced their intentions to enter the race: Domingo Garcia, Rufus Higginbotham, Jennifer Gale, Darrell Jordan, Ron Kirk, and Luis Sepulveda.
Garcia, a lawyer, has served for four years on the city council and was elected mayor pro-tern of the council. Of the six candidates, Garcia has the most experience in elective city government.
Jordan is an attorney with Hughes and Luce, LLP., one of the largest law firms in the city of Dallas. He has not run for public office before.
Kirk, an attorney with Johnson and Wortley, is the Texas Secretary of State. He is a former assistant city attorney and a former legislative assistant for Lloyd Bentsen during his years as a U.S. senator.
Sepulveda is best known for leading a campaign against lead pollution in West Dallas.
Higgin botham has run for mayor before on a platform that advocated divinely inspired space exploration.
Gale has run unsuccessfully for city council and for the Dallas Independent School District board of trustees.
The city elections will be held May 6.
TWENTYSOMETHING LlSA LOEB found fame rather abruptly in 1994. The Hockaday School and Brown University graduate wrote a son? that went from a movie soundtrack to the top of the national hit singles list. TV and radio appearance followed, with Loeb in the spot-light singing the song with the titli; that may best reflect her hopes for her new-found fortune: “Stay.”
During her Ivy League years, Loeb began to work toward a career as a singer-songwriter. “I took some music theory and a recording studio class,” she says, “We actually recorded ourselves and then listened to the playback and critiqued each other. It was good pressure listening to other people perform. It inspired and pushed me to be better and write more.”
Hanging out in New York after her graduation, Lisa worked with another band and as a solo acoustic performer before she began choosing the musicians for her current group, Nine Stories- Lisa taught them her song, “Stay,” and they recorded it as a demo. In the meantime, actor Ethan Hawke, who starred in Reality Bites and is a big fan of Lisa and Nine Stories, talked the producer and director of the film into hearing the band. “The next thing I knew,” says Loeb, “RCA was calling saying, ’We’d like to put “Stay”on the soundtrack.’”
A radio station in Houston picked up the song as a single and it caught on. The rest, as they say, is history. “We’ve been on ’Letterman’ and MTV’s ’Beach House.’” says Lisa. “We went to Europe and did live radio shows. We did Top of the Pops’in London, a sort of ’’Solid Gold’ meets Ed Sullivan. You know, you spend your life listening to these kinds of shows, and all of a sudden, you’re the show!”
Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories are now busy working on their first album, tor which Loeb is writing all the songs. “I hope that 1 can continue doing this,” Loebsays about her career. “I like to keep improving myself, and I like a lot of activ-ity.” And if her success does indeed stay floowing her debut album. Loeb may be concrete proof that at least for some twentysomethings, reality definitely does not bite.
Ken Hughes knows that the days of the computer geek are over and that logging on is the way of the future. He also knows retail. Three years ago he realized the synergy between the two, and an idea-a very Dallas idea-was bom: Shopping IN.
Developed by Hughes, his long-time friend Richard Marcus, and a team of computer, graphic, photography, and Internet specialists, Shopping IN is a virtual mall with very real, very stylish merchandise from shops including Luke’s, Tie Coon, and Beyond Conception. With a PC and hook-up to the Internet, closet shoppers can choose from an assortment of hand-picked merchandise that can be accessed any hour of the day or night. Shop between episodes of “Nick at Night.” Or during a coffee break.
“I want it to be a highly specialised, reasonably priced retail outlet that’s consumer-friendly,” explains Hughes. “I want to offer merchandise that is different, like miniature books [by Stanley Marcus]. The wildest part is that the retailer may not even have a storefront, but has inventory or a manufacturer, so we can create a store without having a store, ” The result is a catalog format: Each item includes a visual, a description, the order number, and price.
The Shopping IN concept presents new Big Brother-like possibilities in the fields of advertising and merchandising. “It’s trackable,” Ken explains. “We can tell who’s looking at what, how long they look at it, and if they buy. And if something isn’t selling or getting a long look, we can change the format and replace the item. The ad agencies on Wall Street are really scrambling. They’re already behind in how to handle this technology.”
And now that it’s all up and running, what’s in store for Shopping IN in the future? Ken believes digital video,à la Jane Jetson, is on its way. “You’ll be able to see :he product, hear the pitch, and interact with salespeople and craftsmen. It’s a lit-le mind-reeling.”