Dana Lapinel, Editor of Cherry Creek Lifestyle Magazine

For our series Closet Confidential, we interview interesting and uber cool people in their homes wearing outfits from their closet. Esther Lee Leach caught up with Dana Lapinel, Editor of Cherry Creek Lifestyle Magazine, at her home in Congress Park.



Esther Lee Leach: Hi Dana, Thanks so much for having us! Tell us about your background and career.

Dana Lapinel: I’m the Editor in Chief at Boulder Lifestyle and Cherry Creek Lifestyle and work with a squad of writers, photographers, illustrators, and designers to create original content that’s published monthly. I do the editorial direction, manage the budget, hire new contributors, attend events, organize the editorial calendar, guide the brand’s voice, arrange photo shoots and, of course, edit. Here and there I write too.

 On the side, I’ve also been building up a copywriting business called Bauhaus where I give brands a voice. I focus on website content but dabble in copy for branded items like menus, t-shirts, and décor.

ELL:  How did you become an Editor?

DL: By a stroke of luck. I was fresh out of college and having a quarter-life crisis. I had a criminal justice and psychology degree under my belt, a long-term boyfriend, a pug and lab, and a desire to move out of Cincinnati, Ohio where I went to college. In fact, we left a month after graduation and went to Denver on a whim. Both Michael (boyfriend-now-fiance) and I had never been to Denver, we didn’t have a job lined up, or a place. We lived in a hotel for a week until we found the perfect townhome in Cap Hill. I got a job serving while I applied for jobs in the criminal justice field. I landed a legal secretary gig, which I was excited about since I was considering law school at the time.

That was the piece of advice from my parents that I took to heart post-college. They told me to explore any job or field that sounded interesting to see if it was something I could do, or see myself doing long-term. As it turned out, after a few months working in law, I was no longer considering law school.  

One day (which I know sounds like a fairytale but it really just was a random day) I mentioned to my friend how I always loved magazines and when I was little I had wanted to either be a spy (yes, I considered the CIA/FBI in college) or a magazine editor. She mentioned that her friend just left an internship with WED magazine—a luxury, Colorado wedding magazine—so I emailed then editor Allyson Reedy. That was my first editorial assistant position, and it was a great one at that. At the same time Allyson looped me in with Kate Manz, so I started writing for Boulder Lifestyle and Cherry Creek Lifestyle as a side hustle, and a few months later Kate asked me to be the magazines next Editorial Director. As it turns out with this case of exploring a field, it stuck. 

Jumpsuit: Reformation, Boots: About Arianne, Wallpaper: Walltawk.

Jumpsuit: Reformation, Boots: About Arianne, Wallpaper: Walltawk.

How would you describe your style?
A 90s baby who is an advocate of the classics with a strict anti-preppy policy, and a touch of euro-flair.
Purse: Lolo Rugs & Gifts, Leather Jacket: IRO.

Purse: Lolo Rugs & Gifts, Leather Jacket: IRO.

Jumpsuit: Leith, Boots: Vagabond Shoemakers.

Jumpsuit: Leith, Boots: Vagabond Shoemakers.

ELL: Where do you find your style inspiration?

DL: From anywhere and everywhere. It can be from making a mental note after seeing a stylish outfit on the street, from my girl gang of creative fashionistas (shoutout to Danielle Webster, the Electric Lady herself, and Kelsey Huffer of Poppy & Co.), hand-me-downs from my fiance’s mom Denise, any hand-me-downs really, walking into Cedar & Hyde Mercantile in Boulder (my dream store), and from an IG folder labeled “Fashion-spiration” of pieces on my bucket list or looks that I love.

ELL: Who are your favorite designers?

DL: Apparently, I love the looks of Los Angeles because my top four favorite designers are Lykke Wullf (@lykkewullf), Jesse Kamm (@jessekamm), Christy Dawn (@christydawn), and Lisa Says Gah (@lisasaysgah). All of these designers I wouldn’t have known without getting lost in the Instagram rabbit hole.

ELL: What are your three favorite places to shop for clothing in Denver?

DL: Meraki Moon, the 2nd floor of Nordstrom (where you’ll find a tiny section of Reformation and Top Shop), and Buffalo Exchange.

ELL: Do you think Denver has a style language like New York or Paris?

DL: In my opinion, I think it's still a new city incorporating a recent influx of new transplants from all over the country, so you see a wide variety of style languages. If there are a few things I notice that people gravitate towards here, it’s athleisure, jeans with blazers, and plaid for winter.

Shirt: Topshop, Overall Dress: Meraki Moon Boutique, Shoes: Madewell.

Shirt: Topshop, Overall Dress: Meraki Moon Boutique, Shoes: Madewell.

Pants: Madewell, Shirt: Target, Shoes: I Am Intentionally Blank.

Pants: Madewell, Shirt: Target, Shoes: I Am Intentionally Blank.

ELL: Do you have any items in your closet that you regret buying?

DL: Yes! To avoid regrets I’ve worked on avoiding impulse buys and online purchases, which for both of my more recent disappointments I went against those rules. Both purchases were via Instagram a few months ago. A crop top shirt that’s too short from South Africa and a leopard print, ankle skirt I saw a blogger wearing. Both were overpriced, impossible to return because of the hassle of them being shipped abroad, and don’t fit! So if anyone is in the market for a cute crop top and leopard skirt, hit me up.

ELL: What are your five favorite pieces from your closet?

DL: Any of my shoes from the L.A.-based store “INTENTIONALLY Blank”, my green boots from About Arianne, my all-black backpack purse from Saint Laurent that I use almost every day, a daisy print jumpsuit from Reformation and any of my jumpsuits.


Photography & Styling by Danielle Webster @electriclady_shoots

Model: Dana Lapinel @danaellapin