Dallas Innovates 2018:
Creators to Watch

From fashion and gaming to film and interior design, these companies and creatives are known for innovation.

The list of our accolades in Dallas-Fort Worth is lengthy. We’ve selected a short list of creators you need to know — right now.

When a group of chefs — from newcomers to known names — wanted to unite in the name of ingenuity, they formed an incognito collective. Though many are now named — the original intent was to avoid association with employers — the group continues to whip up inventive dishes at the pop-up spots of their choice. They recently devised a four-course, coffee-inspired experience at Flower Mound’s Trio Craft Coffee. facebook.com/namelesschefs 

Founder Samantha Reitmayer Sano saw a vast marketing gap between luxury interiors, graphic design, branding, and art direction, and founded her smart, multidisciplinary design studio — the first of its kind in Dallas — in 2009. The SWOON team is now behind the historic Adolphus Hotel’s new interior renovation, in the boundary-pushing windows of Forty Five Ten, in The Spa at the Joule, and, soon, in the new Virgin Hotel Dallas — the who’s who list of clients is long. swoonthestudio.com



Some of Tish Cox’s clothing designs available on The SIL. [Photos courtesy of The SIL/Tish Cox]

Cox got her start sewing garments with no formal training — she has since earned raves from designer Zac Posen and Vogue’s André Leon Talley. Now, she is collaborating with e-commerce store The SIL (Stuff I Love), created by native Texan Natalie Bloomingdale. It is providing an outlet for her pieces to sell internationally — and exclusively. Cox’s pieces sold on The SIL can’t be found anywhere else online — though you can always check Cabana on Lovers Lane. shopthesil.com


Kevin Moriarty [Photo: Karen Almond]

Kevin Moriarty [Photo: Karen Almond]

Since 2007, Kevin Moriarty, the sneaker-wearing artistic director of the Dallas Theater Center, has brought in fresh and exciting plays and musicals that have more than doubled the audience size. Under his direction, the theater also has increased its budget, has built partnerships with renowned national theaters, and helped launch Public Works Dallas, a groundbreaking project created to ignite community involvement in theater. For the project’s inaugural performance of “The Tempest,” 200 locals participated following a yearlong series of workshops. The program is one reason the theater just nabbed the 2017 Tony Award for Best Regional Theater. dallastheatercenter.org

Founder and artistic director Joshua L. Peugh, a graduate of Southern Methodist University, is known for progressive works that are as stunning and entertaining as they are provocative. “We are always trying to push our boundaries and keep growing and stretching, and finding ways to reframe questions about the human experience,” Peugh said. The company is in its fifth year with the award-winning choreographer at the helm. His knack for blending both classical and modern dance techniques has garnered awards for work in Korea, Japan, Canada, and the U.S. darkcirclescontemporarydance.com

The Fort Worth-based nonprofit performing arts group has not only attracted renowned choreographers in its 40-plus-year history, but brings ballet and dance programs to audiences of varying ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, or to those who might otherwise not be able to see a live performance. Programs include the Summer Dance Concert, which offers free public lawn seating on most nights, and an additional program designed to find and inspire young dancers. balletconcerto.com

Each month, the trio behind the multifaceted cause — which is based out of the Oak Cliff Cultural Center — launches a new podcast, a corresponding art show with works by local artists, and a free, open-to-the-public party. The unique concept is designed to support and celebrate North Texas’ Latino community. facebook.com/decoloresco/

What began as an annual holiday shopping event uniting independent Texas artisans and their wares in one venue has morphed into a multi-city market that attracts more than 10,000 shoppers per show, plus a bustling online marketplace and a small by-appointment retail space tucked inside Flea Style’s Cedar Springs offices. In progress: a brick-and-mortar shop in Deep Ellum set to open in spring 2018. Founder Brittany Cobb further supports her fellow entrepreneurs by hosting a bi-annual summit that educates creatives in growing their businesses. fleastyle.com

From its Frisco headquarters, award-winning Gearbox has earned an industry reputation as one of the top independent video game developers worldwide. In 2009, Gearbox launched Borderlands, the second original game series it produced, and which has sold more than 25 million copies. In the works: an as-yet unannounced avant-garde virtual reality game. gearboxsoftware.com

When it began 11 years ago, the Lone Star Film Festival was the first step toward building a film community in Fort Worth. Now, the festival not only garners an impressive roster, but it has boosted the industry as a whole in the city, helping to spur the local arts economy. In 2017, the festival’s lineup included more than 50 features, and actress Cybill Shepherd received the Bill Paxton Achievement in Film Acting Award at the festival’s annual ball, in tribute to late festival co-founder and Fort Worth native Bill Paxton. What’s more, parent nonprofit Lone Star Film Society hosts film education programs for youth in Fort Worth and, apart from the festival, offers year-round programming. lonestarfilmfestival.com

In 2017, in collaboration with the Latino Cultural Center of Dallas, creators Hector Rodriguez and David Daub founded the first Texas Latino Comic Con in history, to provide a forum for Latino comic book artists, writers, and creators. “Our stories matter, especially with the growing Latino population in North Texas, and we’re giving a platform for artists and comic-book storytellers to share their stories,” said Rodriguez, who also is creator of comic El Peso Hero. “It’s something that has never been done in Texas and we’re very proud of it being Dallas-based. It’s a way to give back to our community and give voice to the people.” Daub is also working on WOW Con, a comic con solely for women, that will be launched in March 2018 at the Dallas Public Library.  txlatinocc.weebly.co


The Creatives: Rise of the Makers

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