30 Under 30: L.A.'s Bright Young Things

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header Los Angeles is known for its sunny days, trend-setting ways, and cool, laid-back vibe. But that doesn’t mean its ladies and gents aren’t working hard to do big things, change the way people think, or make their dreams come true — they just do it all with a chill attitude. That’s why we’re excited to share Refinery29’s second-annual 30 Under 30 list, a celebration of the influential, inspiring, and seriously awesome under-30 set who are making this city great, right now.

Whether you share mantras with the skateboarder that has a knack for photography, or love L.A. like the girl who's kicking cancer's butt, this talented lot is chock-full of wisdom and life lessons that are ripe for stealing. It’s like a pot of gold for self-motivation. And after reading what these go-getters are doing, we guarantee you’ll be inspired to start making a few big moves yourself. So, check out this epic list of game changers, from artists and designers to a YouTube sensation and a self-made juicer, for a dose of creativity and a first look at some up-and-coming stars. As Pretty Woman so famously puts it, “Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream?”
30 Under 30Angel HazeAlex OlsonAlia ShawkatAri TaymorOven SchmitYunaSteven DuarteMadeline PooleJulie SarinanaYael CohenMike RosensteinKyle NgRob GarciaTrevor McfedriesKendrick LamarAdam VanunuAshley WestonIsaac RavishankaraSean CarlsonCamilla Blackett Mara RoszakGrace HelbigAlex VegaYung JakeCourtney HoffmanNat Mauro and Cole MorrallSam TellerDanielle CharboneauHannah Hoffman
10_AngelHazeThe Voice
Just try to keep up with Angel Haze. Whether it’s her fast-paced rap or fast-track career, the artist has hit the ground running, and isn’t waiting for anyone. Did we mention she’s barely 22? The Detroit native has brought a new level of energy and intensity to the L.A. music scene, releasing tracks that confront and challenge listeners head-on — it seems, with Angel, there’s no time to beat around the bush. In some of her most powerful songs, the rapper’s lyrics are like lines lifted from a personal journal: Intimate details about her troubled upbringing are put out there for the world to digest. And while it may not be what we’re used to, it’s exactly what we need — a voice to start the difficult conversations and give others the courage to make themselves heard. And trust us, Angel Haze is someone you want to hear.

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Tell us what you’re doing with your life and career now.
“I've spent the past few months working on an album and my career as a whole. Right now, I'm swamped, doing a bunch of festivals, recording and whatnot.”

Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“I think that overall, I want to be the voice for people who've spent so much time being muted, or drowned out, or just simply unspoken for. No Miss America, though.”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
"'You're never too good to get better or get coached.' —Markus Dravs."

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“Quiet, standoffish, imaginative — I think I've carried most of my childlike qualities into adulthood.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
"I had no clue. I went from wanting to be an artist to a lawyer to a firefighter to Angelina Jolie to a doctor...and then I became what I am now. I guess that’s the issue with wanting, you spend so much time doing it that you don't notice yourself becoming."

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Fans, food, video games.”

What’s your mantra?
“Start wide, expand further, and never look back.”

Photographed by Geordy Pearson, hair and makeup by Bethany Brill, styled by Willow Lindley.
2_AliaShawkat
The Grown-Up Child Star
Have you been paying attention for the last, oh, ten years? Then (like us) you've watched Alia Shawkwat grow from a freckly teenager into an equally freckly woman, awesome comedian, and accomplished actor. When it comes to life envy, she seems pretty well adjusted — hot off the heels of an acclaimed fourth season of Arrested Development (and another possibly in the works), Shawkat is continuing to work the funny-girl vibes with Aubrey Plaza in The To Do List and developing her passion for painting, plus hoping to someday write a movie with her pal Michael Cera. All the while, the 24-year-old is looking ahead at a future that's vague and mysterious, but bright, nonetheless.

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What are you up to these days, since Arrested Development is over for now?­
“For one thing, I'm doing art for a show in downtown L.A., so I'm spending every afternoon at a gallery. Painting is something I've been doing for the last five years or so, I've been in a couple of group shows. This will be my second bigger show in L.A.”

Is art becoming more of a priority for you than acting?
“I've been acting since I was young, it's great to have it be a natural thing. But things change so much, and so fast. One day I'll feel like things are going well, and I have steady work and cool projects, and then the next I'm thinking I'll never work again. That's why I like painting, because it's like I'm in control, to a degree. It's just me and my own creative expression. But I hope to write with friends and make all kinds of different things.”

How do you deal with that uncertainty, that constant pressure?
“I think the natural frustrations that any artist has, I deal with daily. Doubting yourself, being hard on yourself. But the studio system and the way movies are being made is definitely evolving. I think the answer to that, for me, is to make things on a smaller scale. Things that may have lower budgets but are more interesting, not just the same shit that gets thrown at us over and over again with a ton of money behind it. I'd like to be part of that new wave, if I'm not already.”

Are you optimistic about the future of art and Hollywood?
“Every generation feels like it's challenged and fighting up against some big bully, whether that's corporations, or the government, or whatever. I think the role that I play in this life, as an artist, is to have hope. You always have to have hope. The frustration and the bitterness are what fuels art, but that shouldn't be what stalls you from continuing to make it. I'm 24, and sometimes I feel like 'Ah, I've been doing this for years!' [Ed. Note: Shawkat puts on some kind of Boston/Brooklyn hybrid accent, to great effect]. But, then I realize I'm only just starting to have an idea of the kind of expression, the kind of art, that I want to ultimately make.”

Who are the people you admire most in L.A. right now?
“I know so many talented artists, actors, painters, crew members, and I feel like there's a collective consciousness growing. We're all thinking, hey, we should just work together! We don't need to make too much more money, we've worked on enough professional projects to know what needs to be done, and we just want to get back to more of the creative aspect of things. Like, what do you really want to watch? What can we do that's not so serious and based off of some teen romance book? I don't want to see another teen romance made into five million movies.”

What's the most solid professional advice you've ever received?
“I got it from the actress Judy Davis, I worked with her once. I wouldn't say she was an unfriendly woman, but she was maybe a little rude or cold. I went up to her to say goodbye and that it was a pleasure working with her, and as I was walking away she goes, 'Alia...don't take it all too seriously.' At first I was really offended, and I thought she hated me, but now I know it's great advice.”

Do you still live by those words today?
“This is such a cheesy metaphor, but life is like an onion. You're in the same place, but at a different level. The times I feel best with my work are when I'm not taking it too seriously, and I'm light with it, and I'm having fun. That's how I remember feeling when I was a kid. When I was younger I never thought about what jobs would give me better name recognition, or how I should look for an audition, or how succesful I was. I definitely think I've become a much better actor over the years by putting more thought into it and working harder, but in a way, I want to get back to those ideals. Why do I do this? Because I love it. I just try to focus on that instead of comparing myself to Jennifer Lawrence.”

Ha! We've been there, with the J.Lawr thing. Is that a problem for you?
“I think every young actor has the same thing with someone their age, who gets all the parts.”

Is there anyone whose life you really admire?
“I used to think Isabella Rosselini was the best, but she's so much older, I think I still have the time to have that life. I do like my life, but I like the idea of having someone's life that is totally different from mine. Like, fuckin' Gandhi or something. It would be cool to have a life that was constantly helping others, since my life mostly revolves around myself.”

How has your idea of fame and success changed from when you were young?
“It's a struggle sometimes. For some parts, I know I won't get it because I'm not worth a lot of money at the box office. Some people recognize me, but not many, and they're generally cool people, not just people who get aggressive and just automatically think 'I've seen your face before!' It's nice, actually, I can travel by myself and not feel trapped. I think secretly I'm fearful of that changing.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
3_AlexOlsonThe Skateboard King
At the age of 27, Alex Olson says he is in the midst of a quarter-life crisis. Not only is he living the dream of 10-year-old boys everywhere, but he’s at the top of his game, skateboarding at the professional level. Santa Monica born and bred, Olson was raised on a board — his father, Steve Olson, is a skateboarding legend and was instrumental in turning the sport pro. Now, he has proved he’s one to watch. Winning numerous awards, earning his name on boards, and being courted by sponsors might be considered a day’s work for the athlete, but, for us, it seems like a pretty big (and sweet) deal. Skateboarding, however, isn’t the only thing on this guy’s agenda — Olson took up photography after spending time with fellow skateboarder/artist Ed Templeton, and it’s become more than just a dead-end hobby. Olson might be worried there’s nowhere to go from here, but we’re pretty confident there’s a whole lot of awesome in his future.

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Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“Well, I’ve kind of reached what I wanted out of skating — not to sound like a prick — but as a kid, you dream of being pro with your name on a skateboard and videos that people watch, winning awards, etc. I would like to move on from those skating goals and get into other things, creating things.”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“My father taught me to be on time and nice to the people that support you. Without them, you’re nothing.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“There isn’t anyone who comes to mind. We’re the lazy generation. I guess, I would be a baby, so I would have a restart on life and the lessons I've learned.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“A reclusive, shy, imaginative kid. Let's just say I’m not the best in social settings.”

Which celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life?
“Oh, god. I don’t know. Anne Hathaway, and the movie would never get released.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
"Eating a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner."

Photographed by Geordy Pearson, hair and makeup by Bethany Brill, styled by Willow Lindley.
4_AriTaymorThe Chef With No Limits
If the way to an Angeleno's heart is through his stomach, then Ari Taymor is feeling a whole lotta love. Everything about the 27-year-old’s downtown spot Alma is super-fresh — and we’re talking about the food, plus what can only be described as pure cheekiness. Each night Taymor takes the best seasonal ingredients (much of which comes from a local Venice farm) and goes all mad scientist on them, concocting bold dishes that don’t sound like they should work — like seaweed-and-tofu beignets or sea urchin — but somehow most definitely do. However, this owner-slash-chef has more on his plate than just driving our taste buds wild: Last year, the restaurant founded a community-outreach program to provide cooking classes that cover everything from seasonality to health and wellness for elementary and high-school kids. Talk about bringing something to the table.

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Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“Right now, I’m trying to make Alma the best restaurant it can be, grow the garden, work more on our outreach, develop recipes, and perhaps open another restaurant.”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“Armand Arnal, who I worked for at La Chassagnette in Arles, France, taught me to try to tell a story with the food, to make everything link together, and explore something personal.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“When I was a kid, I thought I was going to be a diplomat or someone working in foreign aid. I've always wanted something stressful that involves connecting with others.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“Opening Alma and having services where no one would show up to the restaurant and then having to motivate a staff to cook for no one. It was difficult, but it made me want it more and cling harder to our values as a restaurant rather than try to please everyone.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Coffee and the Sunday New York Times, a yoga class, and a Negroni and Thai food at Night + Market in Beverly Hills.”

What’s your mantra?
Tout sera fini. Everything will end, so be mindful to appreciate the small things, those around you, and the details that make life worth living.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
5_OwenSchmitThe New-Wave Artist
If artistic ability is predestined, it’s no shock that Owen Schmit is unusually blessed. Daughter of Eagles’ bass player Timothy B. Schmit and artist Jean Schmit, the 29-year-old is making waves with her color-filled canvases and surf-themed scenes. And her work is anything but conventional — the pieces in her latest show were created with hair dye on white satin. Intrigued? Just wait until you hear what she’s doing off the clock. When she’s not in the studio, the L.A. native is working on a cause to move agricultural practices in Kauai, Hawaii, away from genetically engineered foods and working with a special-needs student to explore art and sculpture. In the art world, vision is everything, and so far it seems like Schmit is working to change perspectives in a big way – and she’s not limiting herself to something you can see on a wall. Keep your eyes open, folks.

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What are you doing with your life and career now?
“I make paintings and sculpture. I am currently working on a new body of work that I am hoping to show in the coming months. I am also an educational assistant to an inspiring and ambitious young college student with cerebral palsy. My work with her is to help her actualize her intellectual and artistic pursuits. I assist her in sculptural projects, we read and discuss literature and film, visit museums and galleries, and talk about contemporary art in Los Angeles and beyond.”

What’s the best professional lesson you've learned?
“Probably the most useful lesson I have learned is one I taught myself the hard way: Don’t work with people you don’t respect or people who don’t respect you, no matter what the incentive. It’s better to be surrounded by authentic support and intellectual stimulation and be broke than to make more money through situations that are a drag.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“Claire Boucher (Grimes). I think she is very talented and unusual and seems to be having a lot of fun.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I always knew I wanted to make art.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“Every moment in the studio is a humbling one. Being creatively productive is hard work and requires a lot of honesty with oneself on a daily basis, which is never easy and constantly surprising.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Getting up early for a long hike with my dog, Pebble, lots of iced coffee, and making dinner with good friends at my house."

What’s your mantra?
“Make whatever you want.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
6_YunaThe Risk Taker
It’s an understatement to say Yuna Zarai is making big moves. The 26-year-old singer is working on a second album, rebranding an online boutique, and oh, right, settling into new life in Los Angeles after moving from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2011. “I remember being so scared, asking myself questions like ‘What if they don't like my music? What if nobody wants to sign me? What if I won't be happy by myself out there?' she says of the decision to come to the States. So far it seems Zarai is doing just fine, already counting Pharrell, Chad Hugo, and Mike Einziger of Incubus among the artists she’s worked with. “I can't really imagine my life if I hadn't come out here. It was truly life-changing. I learned so much about myself.” And it sounds like we’ll be learning a lot more about this up-and-comer in the future.

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Tell us what you’re doing with your life and career now.
“I am currently working on my second album. I make pop music, but this time I'm trying to do something a little bit different. I’m trying to fuse a little bit of the Malay instruments into my music and still make it pop. I'm still figuring it out, learning to not make any of the mistakes I made on the previous projects.”

Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“I really just want to make music that I love, that I believe in, and that people can relate to. I think, ultimately, I just want to continue to create something that makes me happy. That applies to music, art, fashion, film — I don't know! The sky is the limit. I want to learn it all!”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“Don't be afraid to say yes to things that you think you won't be able to do. When you take up a challenge, you will automatically work hard to do really well in it — even when, in the beginning, you have no confidence. Never give up.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I was really quiet and a bit of a tomboy. I had a lot of friends who were boys, so we would climb trees, we would go cycling, but I would always be really shy around the boy that I liked. I used to have a huge crush on this boy in school, but I would never talk to him. I would just write poems about him or pretty letters with nice strings of words that would maybe impress him...I guess that helped a lot in the songwriting department!”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Skateboarding. Park. The beach.”

What’s your mantra?
“Do good anyway.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
7_StevenDuarteThe Eye for Change
Thanks to apps like Instagram, everyone from your iPhone-challenged grandmother to your boss’s cat is a photographer. But that doesn’t mean those snaps are any good, let alone helping change the way society thinks. The same cannot be said for 27-year-old Steven Duarte whose images run the gamut from arresting shots of culture phenoms, such as Solange Knowles and Wiz Khalifa, to inspiring shots of men and women living with HIV/AIDS. "I probably won’t develop a cure for the virus in a research lab, but, I believe through the power of media, I can develop a social cure against the stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS,” Duarte says of his art-meets-activism vision. And, with each new trip and each new photo, the Boston native is bringing a new level of awareness to his cause. Rethinking that latte you Instagrammed this morning? Us, too.

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Tell us what you’re doing with your life and career now.
“My daily life revolves around developing my craft at my Los Angeles studio. I moved here in September 2012 from New York and hit the ground running, photographing emerging artists, musicians, and performers.”

Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“I'm currently working on a book, photographing people living and thriving with HIV/AIDS. I'll be fund-raising for the project this World AIDS Day (through Kickstarter.com) to expand the number of survivors and cities featured. I see my photography in the future being a blend of iconic images of creative heavyweights coupled with everyday inspirational survivors. When all is said and done, I don't want to [be] famous; I just want my work to be.”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“I took a mural-painting class in college with an incredible instructor named Youme. I expressed how I wanted to fuse my art with my activism someday, but there seemed no clear path for it at the time. She told me, ‘If there isn't a title that exists for the career you want, that means the universe needs it.’ Those words laid the groundwork for me to create and follow my own blueprint, which is what I'm living by today.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“I would switch lives with my favorite photographer, Herb Ritts. Even though he's not alive today, I would have loved to experience the world through his eyes at my age. Everyone gets to see what a photographer captures in an image, but I would have loved to see the beauty that was left out of the frame.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I was a shy, goofy, creative kid with a ferocious imagination. I was an introvert at school, but an extrovert at home. It laid the foundation for my quirky dual personality — very good at entertaining people, but also just as great at 'inner-taining' myself alone. In some ways, this makes photographing people the perfect career for me. It involves needing strong people skills to warm up the person in front of the camera, while juggling the endless internal technical aspects of the art. I find it common that the people in front of my camera give me what I give them — honesty, patience, and magic.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“Every time I'm hired and my creative vision is trusted, I'm humbled. Initially, I never sought out to be a photographer professionally, I just loved immortalizing moments in my life. A day creating images is better than a day doing anything else."

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
8_MadelinePooleThe Nail Artist
It’s official. What your nails are rocking is now just as notable as your red-carpet outfit, or happy-hour outfit, or grocery-store outfit — just ask the folks over at E! who brought the mani-cam into our lives. Now that we can inspect every last brush stroke, polka-dot, and bit of bling on every teensy tip, Madeline Poole is in luck, having perfected the art of the flawless manicure. In addition to giving Ke$ha, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Paradis, and Kate Bosworth enviable digits for spreads in big-time glossies, the 26-year-old just published a new book full of swoon-worthy nail art, collaborated with NCLA on some seriously cool nail wraps, and is working on her own brand of nail tools and accessories. But, you don’t have to take our word for it: One look at her Instagram feed — full of leopard prints, sparkly pinwheels, and turquoise-marbled tips — is enough to know this manicurist always nails it.

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Tell us what you’re doing with your life and career now.
“I've just relocated to NYC for the summer, and I'm working as an on-set manicurist for a variety of editorial and advertising shoots. My book Nails, Nails, Nails: 25 DIY Nail Art Projects was recently released — it's available all over the place, including Urban Outfitters, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. I collaborated with NCLA on two nail wraps — the Orbit Ring and Electric Gradient. We have another design in the works now.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“I think I have it pretty good — no switch necessary."

Which celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life?
“Pikachu, my spirit animal.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I thought I was going to be a famous princess! Then, when I grew up a bit, I thought I'd be an 'expert.' I wasn't sure what kind of expert, but I knew it would be an unusual expertise.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“Every morning, carrying my heavy nail kit up and down stairs into the exhausting heat of the summer.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“I'll wake up and visit my two next-door neighbors and dear friends, Vishwam and Eugene, walk to the Pupuseria, and take a run around the reservoir. When you have the chance to be aimless in LA, it's the best place to get lost.”

What’s your mantra?
“Stay calm.”

Photographed by Geordy Pearson, hair and makeup by Bethany Brill, styled by Willow Lindley.
9_MikeRosensteinThe Comedy Pro
It must be pretty damn satisfying to be able to tell your parents and college roommates that all those hours spent watching Zoolander and practicing your best Blue Steel actually paid off. Straight out of college, Mike Rosenstein put his hard-earned Ben Stiller knowledge to good use as an intern at the star’s production company, Red Hour Films. “‘Started from the bottom,’ as Drake says,” Rosenstein explains of his less-than-humble beginnings. Seven years later, the 29-year-old is a full-fledged producer, running the company’s digital division and producing hit series like The Bachelor spoof, Burning Love (which is up for an Emmy this fall), Stiller & Meara, and the company’s next project, a Zoolander-animated series. With Rosenstein’s help, Red Hour has successfully toed the line between TV and Web and continues to set the bar with content that can thrive in both mediums. “We don’t pretend to know what the future will be. We just want to continue to make cool stuff that we want to watch; that we think is funny. That’s kind of what my job is, to keep us doing things we like.” As Drake would say, “YOLO.”

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Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“My goal is to keep making funny things with people who make me laugh every day. Also, I would like my beard to grow out to Rick Rubin length when I’m older.”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“‘Always be yourself.' —Beyoncé Knowles.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“Is Beyoncé under 30?”

Which celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life?
“Armen Weitzman, from Burning Love, Season 3, because he told me last night that he would.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I thought I would be a Ninja Turtle. No explanation.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“When I was retweeted once by @humblebrag.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Comedy. Music. Friends.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
1_KendrickLamar
The West Coast Rapper
“Look who's responsible for taking Compton international/I make 'em holla,” Kendrick Lamar sings in “Compton,” a song off his platinum album good kid, m.A.A.d city. The 26-year-old might be referring to himself or fellow Compton-native Dr. Dre, who’s featured on the single, but the line definitely seems to be the young rapper’s manifesto. Like any collection of songs that gets a musician crowned Best New Artist by BET, Kendrick’s album is a source of straight-up rhythmic pleasure – the kind of music that makes you pause to note the name of whatever it is coming out of the radio that has the power to make sitting in traffic bearable. But there’s much more than an addictive tune going on in this music — Lamar’s lyrics serve a purpose. In many of his songs, the rapper addresses where he grew up—the violence he saw, the difficulties he faced — but does it without the usual negativity associated with Compton, using his story to send the message that out of darkness and hardship can come positivity. “The whole purpose of this first album was really to spark the idea of doing something different rather than doing a record that's just about gang culture,” Kendrick told Interview Magazine of his goal with good kid, m.A.A.d city, “That's the ultimate thing I want to do in making music — to be able to inspire somebody else.”

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And Lamar is doing something different. When was the last time you saw someone speaking out about drug culture in a music video instead of idealizing it? In “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” he does just that, ending the video with a black screen reading “Death to Molly” — a comment on the prevalence of the party drug in today’s rap lyrics. And maybe the most impressive part? The young star doesn’t sound preachy when he’s calling for an end to Molly-riddled rhymes; instead he just sounds honest. “You may have certain artists portraying these trends and don't really have that lifestyle and then it gives off the wrong thing,” Kendrick told MTV of his message. “And it becomes kinda corny after awhile.” With this game-changing attitude, the man who’s bringing the attention of the hip-hop world back to the West Coast isn’t just calling for an end to the romanticization of a lifestyle, he’s challenging his peers to come up with something new to talk about.

It’s exactly that newness that has people excited. Not only is Lamar proving to be the next great thing to come out of Compton, he’s proving to be one of the next great things in music, period. In a short time, the artist has worked with the likes of Dr. Dre, Robin Thicke, Drake, T.I., 50 Cent, and Jay Z. “I always looked up to the greats to be a great, so to actually be on a track with him is an accomplishment,” Kendrick said of working with Hova himself. And with more exciting collaborations in the works, it’s not a stretch to imagine that there will be a lot more accomplishments in this man’s future — if he can find time to catch his breath. “I think my worst problem is actually living in the moment and understanding everything that's going on. I feel like I'm in my own bubble…” Kendrick said of his rise to stardom. “So it's really about me trying to adapt — that's like the toughest thing for me right now. I feel like I'm in my own world.” And we can’t wait to hear what that world is all about.

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, grooming by Caile Noble.
11_YaelCohenThe Fighter
It’s safe to say everyone shares the sentiment of Yael Cohen’s charity Fuck Cancer. The 26-year-old founded the movement after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. With the goal to educate people about early detection, prevention, and how to speak openly about the disease, Cohen is targeting Generation Y, the tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking generation, that has the social-media clout to start the conversation that could change peoples’ lives. But Cohen’s not just focused on the macro level, the Vancouver native knows she has the power to create a space to find support in each other. “Moving forward, our hope is to continue our focus on servicing the emotional needs of our community, building some assets and platforms that will hopefully help our communities through some of the toughest days of our lives,” she says. Watch your back cancer, Yael Cohen’s coming for you.

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Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“With FCancer, my goal is to continue to grow and evolve with the needs of our supporters, who have had an overwhelming appreciation for the community and communication aspect of FCancer. They initially join the movement because of a strong visceral connection to our name, and come back to learn, share, and be around people that are going through the same experience. “

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“Learning to say no. Learning that what I say no to is just as important as what I say yes to was a lesson that took me years to learn, but is ultimately one of the most valuable ones.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“Does Sophia Grace count? Girl can sing!”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I was a major tomboy. My big brother was my hero, and I wanted to be just like him. Growing up with boys has definitely impacted who I am and how I do business. It taught me to not take myself too seriously; how to fight like a man, which is a really great thing — men fight then move on, they don’t tend to hold grudges, or be nice to your face when they don’t want to; and that a sense of adventure makes any situation better.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I thought I would be a doctor, a pediatric cardiologist to be specific. That’s what I wanted to be since I was three, although I called it a baby-heart-fixer then. I thought I was born to be a doctor. Then in college, I decided I wanted to fix the system, not just the patients.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“I’m humbled every day by our amazing community. Every day we share the worst days of people’s lives with them and do what we can to help. We’re constantly humbled and amazed by our community’s spirit, love, and hearts.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things…
"Good food, good friends, and a lot of laughing."

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
12_JulieSarinanaThe Fashion Blogger
If we had the opportunity to switch fashion DNA with someone else on the planet, Julie Sarinana would be at the top of our list. It’s safe to say the Sincerely, Jules blogger has never met a graphic print, bold hue, or towering heel that’s stumped her sartorially. Pairing ragged Levi’s with delicate Isabel Marant sandals and leather leopard-print shorts with studded Valentino kitten heels, the 27-year-old seems to make the impossible work — and looks really good doing it. Thankfully, we have her highly addictive blog to dress vicariously through: Full of fashion inspiration, envy-inducing travel logs, savvy style advice, and downright gorgeous images, this site is one to be bookmarked. And, if conquering the fashion world one keystroke at a time wasn’t enough, the style star has entered into the world of design, creating graphic tees and sweatshirts that have already become a hit with the fashion set. Turning our fashion bible into something we can actually wear? Amen.

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Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“One of my bigger goals is to inspire anyone, especially girls and women, to do what they love and not be afraid to go after what they've always dreamed of. Creatively, I want to challenge myself to keep thinking outside the box and push the boundaries in style, design, fashion, and art.”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“All the advice and lessons I've learned along the way were given to me by my family. One thing that always stuck with me was to ‘always be hungry, not thirsty.’ I try to apply this in every aspect of my life — work, love, and personal. I think it's true; we have to stay hungry in order to keep wanting, to stay focused, ambitious, to achieve what we want. You never want to be thirsty — it’s like you're tired and are willing to do anything just for the sake of doing it.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“The Olsen twins. I've been a fan since Full House, and I think it's been fascinating and impressive to watch them build an empire. It's inspiring to see them be so hungry and not care what anyone thinks about them. They live their lives how they want, and do it successfully.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
"I knew that whatever I did, it was going to relate to art, fashion, design, or food. I really wanted to be a chef for a long time. I wanted to focus in pastries and make the prettiest pastries for people to enjoy. Also, being around art growing up, I also wanted to be an art teacher! I thought it would be the coolest job ever. Now, even though I didn't end up doing either, I appreciate both tremendously, and one of my dreams is to open a pastry shop in L.A. filled with my favorites goodies — cupcakes, macaroons, brioches, waffles, funnel cakes, ice cream, cannolis, etc.! Sincerely Sweet? Ha!"

What's been your most humbling moment?
“When my readers come up to me in the street and express their love and admiration has to be the most humbling. To hear their stories, and how I inspire them, is touching and makes what I do worth everything.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
"Instagram; I have to capture each moment, duh. Jamba Juice — my go-to juice no matter what I'm doing —Razzmatazz, please! Shopping."

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
13_KyleNgThe Design Director
Sometimes you take a few detours before you arrive at that place you were meant to be at all along. Such is the case with designer Kyle Ng who moved to Los Angeles to go to film school. The man behind menswear brands Axs Folk Technology and Farm Tactics thought he was going to be a movie director before finding his way into the world of plaid pullovers, neutral work shirts, and outdoorsy accessories, “When I got to L.A., I met a lot more people in the art and fashion world. They ended up influencing me to steer toward design/fashion.” The 27-year-old still uses film and video in his line of work, but instead of shooting blockbusters, he’s creating lookbooks and brand videos. Now, in addition to heading up the mountain-men-friendly brands, Ng is lending his time and brainwaves to Urban Outfitters in his new gig running its special projects and concept design. Sounds like Ng’s found a way to share his perspective with the masses, and we can’t wait to try it on.

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Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“I am really excited to grow my independent brands organically. We have a great cult following for both brands, and I want to continue to produce the best products available. I am also very excited to be a part of the Urban Outfitters team. It’s very interesting to come from a very DIY-style environment to a billion-dollar lifestyle brand. I truly believe that Urban has a lot of potential, and they allow me to develop amazing collaborations and projects that you guys will hopefully see soon!”

What’s the best professional lesson you've learned?
“I saw the Lil Wayne documentary, and he was talking about how hard he works. He basically records wherever he goes. He’s recording on the tour bus, in his hotel room; you name it, he's recording there! He never stops working! I was very inspired by his work ethic. Success comes from the blood, sweat, and tears that you put in. If you are not exhausted by the end of the day, then you’re not working hard enough!”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
”I would be Lil' P-Nut. Super swagged-out 11-year-old.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
"I was super into punk and skate culture. Everything was about the DIY lifestyle. This mindset really gave me the drive to just make things.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“My most humbling moment was when my parents lost all of their money and my whole life savings during the market crash. Knowing that I had nothing to fall back on, I realized that money can come and go, but the pursuit of success comes from working hard. I invested all the money I had made during that time and put it toward starting my clothing. The gamble of knowing that I could lose everything again didn’t faze me, because you can always start over.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
"Coffee shop in the morning, rock climbing in the day, and a trip to the art-house movie theater Cinefamily at night.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
14_SeanCarlsonThe Music Man
How would you like to spend your Saturday kicking back with your friends, seeing some of your favorite bands perform live, checking out some of the city’s funniest humans, and taking in a little art? Sounds like a fun, healthy dose of culture, right? Well, according Sean Carlson, that’s basically how FYF Fest was born. "I had no intention of starting a music festival. I just wanted to put on one show that mixed music, comedy, and art. You know, create something that my friends would be excited to go to.” Now in its 10th year, the L.A.-based music festival has exploded, including headliners like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT, and TV on the Radio in this season’s lineup and selling out of single tickets weeks before the festival’s opening day, August 24. Sounds like the 28-year-old knows what people like, and he’s going to give it to them.

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Tell us what you’re doing with your life and career now.
“I work on the festival all year-round. For better or worse, it consumes a greater part of my life, but I am happy. With all careers, no matter what you do, other people's lives will always seem more interesting to you. I am very fortunate that I am able to work from home, that I am able to travel, but there are times, and it happens often, that I start thinking about something new. New is good. Doing the same thing for too long is, well, boring. And boring is a waste of time. That being said, my life right now is organizing and curating FYF Fest. I am not sure if I will be doing this for another 10 years (or two years), but I am excited for what the future holds for me.”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“‘Even if there is a goalie, you can still score.’ My 10th grade English teacher, Mr. Shea, told this to me. I was venting to him about a girl that I was trying to win over, but she had a boyfriend. But this idea could be related to your career in many ways.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“That moment when we broke down in Amarillo, TX, and I had to take a six-hour cab ride at 5 a.m. to Lubbock to get a throttle cable to get the bus started. The cab driver asked for $200, and ‘all I can drink Dr. Pepper.’ Somehow he managed to drink four liters of Dr. Pepper during that ride.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Waking up before 9 a.m., hanging out with my dogs, a good cup of coffee, going to Oh Happy Days, riding my bike, shooting the shit with my friends. I don’t know; every day is a perfect day.”

What’s your mantra?
“Life is short. Enjoy yourself.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
15_GraceHelbigThe YouTube Professional
If you’re a fan of sass, hilarity, and throwing yourself in a black hole of addictive YouTube videos, chances are you already know Grace Helbig. Better known on the vlogosphere as DailyGrace, the 27-year-old is proving there’s much more to the world of YouTube than “Call Me Maybe” spoofs and cat videos. With her successful channel, the New Jersey native, who’s worked for My Damn Channel since 2008, is confident that online entertainment isn’t just the future but the immediate, right-here-right-now future. “I'd like to bridge the gap between the Internet and traditional media," she says. "I think the two mediums have already begun to have a loving relationship, and I'd like to be part of it." And with each new video, the funny lady is proving there’s a backbone to the growing online-media movement. Each one, which she writes, shoots, and edits herself, garners upwards of 200,000 views apiece, and some of her more popular vids rake in millions. One to watch? Um, duh.

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Tell us what you’re doing with your life and career now.
“My life/career is threefold at the moment:
1. One-woman production team: I create five days of web content (write/shoot/edit) for my DailyGrace YouTube channel, Monday through Friday.
2. Dabbling in other mediums: I'm working towards creating a TV show as well as a live comedy tour and independent film with other YouTubers, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart.
3. Drink martinis and maintain sanity/hygiene.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“Emma Watson. I mean, her skin, damn. I just want to see what products she uses."

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I was terrible as a toddler, quiet and shy as a teenager, and probably over-documented as an adult — an introvert's natural progression.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It's about a teenage girl living with cancer. It's made me think about my own mortality and also caused me to sob openly on a plane. Also, editing my own face five days a week and reading feedback from strangers, pointing out all of my flaws regularly, has been pretty humbling.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Great weather, creating a video I'm proud of, happy hour.”

What’s your mantra?
“Try to enjoy this experience.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
16_RobGarciaThe Design Go-Getter
As the youngest American designer on Barneys’ epic collection floor, it would be safe to say Rob Garcia has earned himself some serious bragging rights. Tack on the fact that he counts Kanye West as one of his clients, and you’ve got yourself a game changer. The 29-year-old is a man on a mission: He’s already showed his En|Noir collection at Fashion Week in New York and Paris — in his first season, no less — and now has his sartorial sights set on expanding in Asia and Europe. For most of us, founding and designing an entire menswear line — think sleek leather sweatpants and art-inspired graphic tees — and leading it to success in less than a year might sound rather daunting, but for a man who cites “fortune favors the brave” as his mantra, it actually seems pretty fitting.

Tell us the true-life tale of the last completely awesome thing you did.
“Fortunately, for me, I get to do completely awesome things on a daily basis. Waking up and being able to do whatever you want is most people's dream. When I wake up, I have the opportunity to create and bring thoughts and ideas to fruition right then and there. I can choose to go to Miami or Paris, or wherever, if I want to. That to me is happiness and the true essence of a true-life tale of doing something completely awesome.”

Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“Some career goals I have set for the next few years are the expansion of the brand to Asia and Europe. I also want to receive a CFDA award. That is a great recognition that I would love to work harder to get. Also, I’d like to open a flagship store in NYC or Paris. Another goal is to get into designing more accessories and home and lifestyle goods. That's something I’m developing now and can't wait to release to the public.”

What’s the best professional lesson you've learned?
“The best professional lessons I’ve learned were mostly from my father. He is a huge reason why I'm even here with the opportunity to be a designer. He always encouraged me to follow my passions. And he encouraged me at times where most parents would tell their kids to go take a job they weren't passionate about just to work and have a job. Instead, he told me to stay faithful to what I really want to do and work hard at making that a reality. So, I sacrificed a ton and worked hard to make this a reality. But, without that encouragement and support from my father, I wouldn't have been able to get through the struggle most creatives go through to make their passions a career.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I was a quiet kid who was stubborn and wanted to do what I wanted. It definitely got me in trouble at times, but it also fueled me through the hard times when most people quit and stop following their passions and dreams.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“Most humbling moments so far has been showing at New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week and having my family there to see me. And also the moment I saw the amazing display Barneys New York gave me on the designer-collection floor. Those were special, surreal moments that made me feel very thankful and humbled.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
17_IsaacRavishankaraThe Story Teller
If you think your day planner’s full, you'll want to sit down before taking a peek at Isaac Ravishankara’s life. Not only has the 28-year-old directed music videos for some folks you may have heard of — The Lumineers, Ellie Goulding — but when he’s not behind the camera, the Colorado native is teaching children how to make their directorial debuts in his role as president of OMG Everywhere. Ravishankara started the nonprofit two years ago with some fellow directors to give kids a creative space to expand their perspectives and explore their own imaginations. And who better to teach the next generation how to capture the world around them than a man whose own personal goals seem to be limitless? “Honestly, I’m mostly trying to just always be growing and changing and learning,” Ravishankara says of his career. No kidding.

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Tell us what you’re doing with your life and career now.
“Primarily, I’ve found myself directing music videos, something I would have never thought I’d be doing when I graduated college. But, in the music-video world, I’ve found a playground for creative exploration in filmmaking that allows me to try something new with every project. And, in the music-video community, I’ve found an incredibly diverse group of talented people with which to share ideas. On that front, a group of us started an organization called OMG Everywhere, a nonprofit doing video-arts education with kids, that I’m constantly learning how to be a president of. I just began writing a feature film, which I’m trying to make as personal as possible. I’m also trying to develop some more ideas for science-based creative projects with the intention of garnering more public interest in the sciences. And a group of friends and I are starting a community garden in my backyard — another thing I know almost nothing about yet. Oh, and I think I’m giving up on trying to get any better at guitar. I’ll never be good.”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“‘Money is the cheapest thing.' It’s a quote by Bill Cunningham in the documentary Bill Cunningham New York. And it retroactively justified most of my professional decisions since college.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I think the best word my parents use is ‘curious’ — I was curious. I always asked questions. I think I still am and still do.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I thought I was going to be a professional basketball player, point guard, probably. Then I thought I was going to be a physicist, the next Feynman, hopefully. At some point, early on, I thought I’d be a director, but I killed that dream pretty quick and stuck to basketball and physics.”

What’s your mantra?
“‘Live forever or die in the attempt.’ —Joseph Keller, Catch 22.”

Photographed by Geordy Pearson, hair by Ryan Hunter Mitchell, makeup by Sarah Torrento, styled by Morgan Hungerford West.
18_CamillaBlackettThe Writer
It’s one thing to be able to say you’ve watched every episode of every show Aaron Sorkin’s ever done; it’s a whole new level of awesome to be able to say you’ve actually sat down in a writer’s room and helped cook up one of his dramas. But 28-year-old Camilla Blackett has already crossed that off her bucket list, putting words in the mouths of stars like Jeff Daniels and Jane Fonda in HBO’s The Newsroom. Landing in L.A. by way of London, where she started as a writer on the U.K. version of Skins at only 18, the talented Brit shows no signs of slowing down her hot streak: Blackett just started a new gig on the Fox hit New Girl and is working on her first movie script. The kicker? She’s pretty hilarious off-hours, too. Just check out her Twitter feed for some serious laughs.

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Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“I'm currently writing my first feature script. My entire writing career so far has been TV, and whilst it will always be my bread and butter, and my first love, it feels good to dip my toes in the water of something new. There's an efficiency that is demanded of you in film. You only have one-and-a-half hours to show someone your characters — you don't have that luxury of eight to 22 episodes to be invited back into an audience’s home to develop your characters or, at times, to correct them.”

What’s the best professional lesson you've learned?
“Stop trying to fit in and learn to stand out. And that's not to say you should be the loudest or the most brash, but just bring something different to the table. And know when to shut your mouth when you don't.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I was constantly hiding in a book or glued to the television on a completely different planet. I do remember being fantastically desperate for my autonomy. I was ready to move out of home and explore the world at about nine. As far as I was concerned, all these grownups were just getting in the way of my adventure. It's a terrible business being a child — you're so utterly reliant on a bunch of other people's decisions at all times, and there is nothing you can do about it.”

Which celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life?
“John Malkovich. He just gets it.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I thought I was going to be a lawyer. And by lawyer, I mean Ally McBeal.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Sunshine. A parking spot on Sunset Junction. And just, please for the love of God, one good idea!”

What’s your mantra?
"Don't worry, everything is going to be amazing."

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
19_YungJakeThe Rapper From the Future
What will art look like in the future? Will it hang on the walls of houses suspended in the air like on The Jetsons? Or happen inside our heads à la The Matrix? If artist Yung Jake is any indicator, then one thing’s for sure: It will be a mash-up of mediums, unlike anything we know. The rapper/artist/Internet wizard has produced works that have been recognized by Sundance’s New Frontier, which spotlights media installations and multimedia performances. All of his pieces are visually enthralling, catchy, and wildly meta, like E.m-bed.de/d, a video meant to look like you’re watching a YouTube video in which he sings about wanting to make a popular YouTube video. In his first hit, “Datamosh,” Jake raps “You thought it was an accident, a video glitch/I did it on purpose though... it's nothing/You don’t have bad Internet, I’m just datamoshing.” It’s not something we’re used to, but it’s obvious that what Jake is doing is no accident — it’s the future.

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Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful. I wanna be liked, I wanna be followed, and I wanna be viewed. I also have this chest I found on the road that I want to paint for my room. Maybe seafoam? Maybe purple?”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I kinda still consider myself a kid. I was always like this. However, when I was yunger I did a lot of traveling. My family surfed and I did, too. I quickly grew to hate it, because I thought surfers were too obsessed with surfing. When I was eight, I quit to rap and draw pictures.”

Which celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life?
“Basquiat. Some dude once told me I was him reincarnated. It was really weird; he was like totally sure of it. I think Basquiat is really cool. The movie would be called Basquiat 2.0, and Kanye would play Andy Warhol and/or Jesus. I guess it’s not even about me.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I kinda still consider myself a kid, but I guess I wasn’t too far off. I wanted to be a character — like do the voices for cartoons or in movies or something. So, I guess I’m doing that in a way. I knew I wanted to be famous, but I guess I thought I would’ve been more famous by now. And I work at Cartoon Network, so that’s also kinda funny. I sort of want to have a closet full of all the same outfits, like cartoons have.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“Whenever I get my heart broken. It always feels like a set back and makes me rethink a lot of things. The good part though is that it makes my work better...I think.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“I would be with friends. We would be outside in a beautiful place, and we would have beer.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
20_MaraRoszakThe Mane Master
If we could be given the gift of obedient hair — locks that didn’t poof at the first sign of humidity or go limp minutes after you’ve left a volumizer-within-reach zone — we’d be doing a happy dance 24/7. Thankfully, there’s Mara Roszak to whip any stubborn strands into shape. The 27-year-old is tasked with making some of Hollywood’s biggest starlets red-carpet ready. That W cover with a sultry-looking Emma Stone giving you some serious bedroom eyes? Roszak. Zoe Saldana’s flawless waves at the Oscars? Roszak. Lily Collins’ enviable bouffant in the pages of Glamour? You guessed it. The young hair guru travels for her job regularly, most recently for the press tour of Star Trek, counting it as one of the biggest perks of her profession. “It’s really exciting to get to travel around and see the world. To get to call that work; that’s pretty special.”

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Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“Continuing to be inspired and getting to work with more amazing, wonderful people. And getting more and more into fashion and editorial. I’m in a pretty cool place, too, because my husband is a hairdresser, so I feel like we get to collaborate and do things together.”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“To not hold on so tightly to one thing. And I think that’s just with life in general, but especially professionally. When you’re working one-on-one with individuals, things change and people change, and that’s okay. So, to be able to let go is important. And to trust.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“Florence Welch. She is like an angel — some sort of angel sent here for us humans to enjoy. She’s just otherworldly. I don’t know much about her life, but she obviously works really hard, and there’s something really special about her.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I was definitely a more quiet, reserved kid. I feel like it’s definitely played a part when I think about why I do what I do, and how I sort of fell into it. I think there’s definitely something to the fact that I was always more of a listener and didn’t ever want to be the center of attention. I’m truly interested in people and genuinely want to listen and be there for others.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I was lucky to have figured out what I really enjoyed doing early. When I entered beauty school I was 16, and people were talking about careers and life. And I think that’s when I started to realize there’s a future in this; there’s something to this. Since I can remember thinking about careers, it was always this.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“An Intelligentsia soy latte, visiting a famers' market, and getting to hang out with my husband and two dogs, Mark Silverstein and Kate Middleton.”

What’s your mantra?
“‘This too shall pass.’ Everything seems so big in the moment, but to have some foresight and know that this moment will pass is important.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
21_TrevorMcFedriesThe Producer
Los Angelenos are a crowd known for their slash jobs — it often feels like there are more actor/waiters and model/yoga instructors in this town than there are palm trees and coffee beans — but Trevor McFedries’ résumé puts all other multitaskers to shame. At 27, the musician/music producer/DJ/manager/tech investor can already say he’s been on tour with Katy Perry, produced for Azealia Banks and Chris Brown, and worked on improving this little streaming service known as Spotify. Are you tired yet? It seems McFedries — who also goes by Trevor Skeet, DJ Skeet Skeet, and Yung Skeetor — certainly isn’t. Next on his agenda: Putting exciting new talent BANKS on the music radar, finishing up a Vitaminwater campaign, and continuing to build the relationship between music and technology. Count us officially exhausted.

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What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“Four or five years ago, my friend, and one of the most intelligent people I know, Anthony Batt (president of Katalyst, founder of Buzznet) was speaking with me about growing pains and life in general. And when I mentioned some of the troubles I’d been running into, he said, ‘New levels. New devils.’ As cliché as that can sound, it rings so true — growth and success at a professional level can bring so many new variables that can cause drama and discomfort. The reality is embracing the fact that those things come with the territory, has made me far happier and more content with the growth and change that all this hard work brings."

Tell us the true-life tale of the last completely awesome thing you did.
“Last week, I was in Stockholm and ended up seeing Faithless play with my friend Mans from Savage Skulls, Katy Perry, Robyn, Shellback, and a few others. Then we headed to karaoke until about five in the morning and spent the rest of the evening/morning talking about the history of Sweden and eating McDonalds. That was completely awesome in every way.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I was pretty convinced I’d be in the NBA. I was the kid who dribbled a basketball to school and spent my evenings practicing my crossover until my mom made me come home. Basketball is definitely a large part of who I am today. The ups and downs and politics of athletics provided so many lessons for me as my music came together.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Beverly Juice Banana Manna (apple, ginger, coconut), playing pickup basketball, and listening to music really loud while laying in my bed.”

What’s your mantra?
“I think as a generation we spend a lot of time hiding behind irony and generally being scared to like things, because they may be faux pas. So, I spend a lot of time thinking and saying, ‘Don’t be afraid to be genuine.’ I don’t have guilty pleasures, and I take the things I find pleasure in seriously, even if they may seem out of step or comical in nature.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
22_AlexVegaThe Pride Counselor
How many of us can say, right now, that our career goal is to be completely autonomous? Forget wanting more money, travel perks, or to work in an office that offers free snacks. At 28, Alexandra Vega already knows she wants to be her own boss. “I don’t want to have to rely on someone else for a job, for my salary, for my two weeks vacation a year. Whatever it is or takes, I’ll figure it out.” And as the cofounder and design director of Autostraddle.com, the most popular independently owned and operated lesbian website, she is well on her way to doing just that. Recognized as an outstanding blog by the GLAAD awards, Autostraddle is a smart, feminist site, produced by a group of dedicated ladies, for lesbians, bisexuals, and anyone else who wants to read some thought-provoking stuff. With its redesign in the works and a new series of IRL retreats that are already a hit with readers, Vega is a busy lady, and it sounds like she’s loving every second of it.

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Tell us you’re doing with your life and career now.
“Most of my time is spent running Autostraddle.com. Last September, we completed a successful crowdsourcing campaign to hire tech support for a complete redesign — our goal was to raise $40,000, and by the end, we hit over $116,000. I’m designing the new site, so that’s been the biggest undertaking in the last several months for me.

We also just got done with our third camp weekend that the senior staff of Autostraddle helps run and organize ACamp. We do two camps every year (we had our first in April 2012), where 300 queer women who read our website travel to a mountain in the San Bernardino National Forest to hang out with each other, do workshops, talk during panels, create DIY projects, have s’mores and camp fires, drink, dance, and all sorts of fun things. We try to bring the website to a 3-D setting, so there are a lot of feelings and processing, but also celebrating, friend-making, and community-bonding...we hope. The goal is to create a space where our community can come and have fun and be themselves.”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“‘Always be inspired.’ An important part of my day is scouring the Internet for anything new and inspiring that I can read or look at. I’ve recommended this to a lot of people, not just creative, but everyone could benefit from a little dose of inspiration: a good story, podcast, or something new to look at and ponder each day.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“Sasha or Malia Obama. I’d be fascinated to know what it’s like living in a family of power, in the White House, as a kid already in history books before graduating high school, whose mom is Michelle Obama, the coolest first lady ever, besides Hillary, obviously.”

Which celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life?
"Probably Scarlett Johansson, because we’re both blonde and both really curvy. But really Ellen Page, because she could probably pull off a little androgyny."

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I thought for sure I would be digging in the dirt for dinosaur bones. Then I wanted to be a cartoonist, because I drew cartoons all the time. Later, once I understood what graphic design was, I wanted to work at a magazine. I was never sure what I would be doing. I’m not even sure I know what I’m doing now.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Brewing a good batch of coffee in my Chemex in the morning (or if it’s summer, making some cold brew), eating the perfect vegan sandwich at The Hedgehog, which is a little café down the street from where I live. (What’s the perfect vegan sandwich? Apparently, it’s avocado, dressed spinach, and tomato confit between two crispy, toasted pieces of bread.) And taking our dog, Kai, to the dog park.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
23_CourtneyHoffmanThe Character Builder
Have you ever had that dream where you’re standing with a shirtless Channing Tatum and wondering what color bottoms would best complement his abs? Us, too, but Courtney Hoffman calls it a day’s work. In various roles as costumer, shopper, textile buyer, and assistant designer, the 28-year-old has worked on films like Magic Mike, Django Unchained, and Dark Shadows, not simply deciding what an actor is going to wear, but deciding how to make a character believable. “Costume fittings are a time when I get to help actors discover their characters. This is the primary difference between costume design and styling — it’s less about fashion or designers and more about bringing the character and story to life,” she says. If you’re not already envious of the Tisch graduate’s daily grind, imagine traveling the world to work on different sets and go on treasure-hunt-type shopping sprees. All for work, of course.

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Tell us the true-life tale of the last completely awesome thing you did.
“The locations for Django Unchained were so far away from one another on set in Wyoming and I had made such a fool of myself falling in waist-deep snow that a sidecar was added to Christoph Waltz’s snowmobile, so that I could transport all of his costumes in one piece. The sight of me piled under hats, cape coats, and snowshoes was so humorous that I’ve heard the story told from strangers.”

Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“I want to work on films that expose me to different parts of the world, allow me to investigate historical time periods and even create new ones. As a native Angeleno, I’d die to have my costumes on display in the Arclight lobby.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“Aside from my mullet, I was the loudest kid in the room, often had dried ketchup on my overalls, and was relentlessly involved in life. I’m still all of those things, but being on set has taught me how to use my indoor voice. And my hair has gotten better.”

Which celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life?
“Lucille Ball, because she was silly, animated, sharp, and — above all else — a lovable troublemaker.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“I had always idolized Colleen Atwood. And while interning at Giorgio Armani’s celebrity division in college, I stole her info out of the Rolodex and wrote it down on a Post-it. But later, when I realized it was her home number, I couldn’t come up with a professional excuse to actually call. Years later, I was contacted to research and shop for her on Dark Shadows and Snow White and the Huntsman. I found the folded-up Post-it in an old wallet, and it was a physical reminder of a dream I had years before. It was humbling, because I realized that your dreams are often presented to you in a way that you couldn’t have imagined.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“NPR, cookies, and 50 percent off at the thrift store.”

What’s your mantra?
“If you’re smart, resourceful and driven, you’ll figure anything out.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
24_AdamVanunuThe T-shirt Maven
Like the Loch Ness Monster or alternate-side-of-the-street parking, we sometimes wonder if the perfect T-shirt even exists. Meet Adam Vanunu, and take a good look: He’s about to make your wardrobe dreams come true. The 24-year-old is producing super soft, expertly cut tees for his company Cotton Citizen. These tops have already been vetted by Jessica Alba, Zoe Saldana, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, but we need little convincing when it comes to the perfectly laid-back look, pillowy feel, and unique hues, which is what makes this brand truly special. “As a life goal, I focus on continuing the legacy of my father — he’s known in the industry as the 'Jean King' for the innovative wash treatments he developed.” And, in just two years, it seems like Vanunu has made great strides to meet this goal. One look at his selection of ombre, tie-dye, and artfully saturated tees, and we're believers.

Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
"Always striving to better my product and making Cotton Citizen grow into a lifestyle brand that is a necessity to those in need of a luxury basic."

What’s the best professional lesson you've learned?
“Over the years, I have taught myself that if I want to make something happen to do it on my own at the very moment I have the idea or desire. Waiting on others to make things happen is the wrong move. It’s also very important to surround yourself with people who want to see you improve — people with only good intentions and no jealousy.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I was always very shy growing up. Also very business-minded. I feel like that has helped me keep my thoughts and ideas inside until I am ready to release. And when I do, it’s exactly how I want it to be played out.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I have always wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps. Watching the struggle, ambition, and dedication that’s involved in a craft you love brings happiness to my life.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
"Staying humble has been a way of life. I am proud to continue the business my dad has built over the last 25 years of his life. Keeping the same team he had on his side, and being able to support them and their families, brings a sense of closure to me."

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Waking up early, having breakfast, and just cruising the streets, whether I’m shopping around or hitting PCH and getting some of that beach life in, is enough of a great time.”

What’s your mantra?
“Everything happens for a reason.”

Photographed by Michael O'Neal, hair and makeup by Renee Rael, styled by Sheri Evans.
25_HannahHoffmanThe Gallerist
If you’ve ever been skeptic of the mantra “change is good,” just look to Hannah Hoffman for proof. Last year, the 27-year-old quit her job at an established New York City gallery to move across the country to a city where she knew absolutely no one. Now the Dallas native has a 3,000-square-foot space with her name attached to it in L.A.’s burgeoning art district. Only 2-months-old, the Hannah Hoffman Gallery has already proved to be a force to be reckoned with, debuting with the works of influential Brazilian artist Mira Schendel on its walls — an exhibit that will head to London to show at the Tate Modern this fall. With a lineup of artists on the schedule that are guaranteed to score big and shake up the status quo in the neighborhood, we’re pretty sure the keen gallerist can officially add killer instincts to her résumé.

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Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“In many ways, I’m just trying to catch up with myself. But my most enduring goal would probably be to wake up every day and have the opportunity to put myself out there on behalf of the things I believe in most.”

What’s the best professional lesson you've learned?
“When I was working for Gavin Brown, he once casually told me that where there is truth and there is beauty, there is art. It has stayed with me.

Also, for life in general, ask and you shall receive. Time and time again, I am reminded that you need to be your own advocate. If you let others know what you want, more often than not, you get it. Don’t suffer in silence.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“Jack Andraka, the 15-year-old who developed a new tool to detect pancreatic cancer in its early stages that’s cheaper, less-intrusive, and better at detecting cancer than our current method. I mean...how incredible. And I’ve always loved a lab.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I probably was a little bit of a loner who aspired to be more outgoing — in some ways I’m still that.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I always wanted to be a biologist, but I think my mom was a little disappointed when I didn’t end up a Dallas Cowboys' cheerleader.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“Starting over in a new city with new people under my own name. It’s humbling to be reminded daily that, in many ways, I’m back at the very beginning.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Breakfast at SQIRL with my boyfriend, Jonathan, and my dog, Shu. Tennis at the LA Tennis Club. A sunset walk around the Silver Lake Reservoir.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
26_NatMauro&ColeMorrallThe Jewelers With Backbone
As the saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together,” but for Natalie Mauro and Cole Morrall, that's anything but a cliché. Hailing from Rochester Hills, MI, and Hanalei, HI, respectively, Mauro, 26, and Morrall, 27, both ended up in New York before relocating to Los Angeles where they met and bonded over — what else? — a shared love of snake vertebrae, fox spines, and the like. From there, the duo turned their rather niche passion into a universal hit, founding Bones and Feathers Collective in 2010. Now, their statement-making skeletal necklaces, geometric cuffs, and floral headpieces are being snatched up by celebs, such as Kate Bosworth and Vanessa Hudgens, and there’s no end in sight. Though neither ever trained in jewelry-making, you could say designing is in their, er, bones.

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Tell us what you’re doing with your life and career now.
“We are currently working on our next season, constantly traveling and discovering new inspiration, all the while figuring out how to continue to produce quality, eco-friendly goods in Los Angeles.”

Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“To continue to produce in L.A., stay true to our brand identity, explore film and other multimedia arts within the brand, and eventually (one day!) design clothing.”

What’s the best professional lesson you've learned?
“When starting our own business, we found that we were putting our whole selves into it: time, energy, money, love. We were working around the clock and still not seeing/feeling the results that we were striving for. When, at a bit of a low point, a business mentor of ours said, ‘It’s not a question of how hard you both are working, because it’s obvious that you are working really hard. It’s now about working smarter not harder.’ Once we started to carry that mindset into how we approached all aspects of our business, we started seeing the results and fulfillment we had always been working for.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
Mauro: “I was a very free-spirited, wild, yet extremely stubborn child. I feel like my stubbornness has turned into determination and drive, pushing me to persevere even when told no or when I am faced with a challenge. And the free-spirited, wild nature of my youth embodies the girl that I design jewelry for, and the person I strive to continue to be like day-to-day.”
Morrall: “I literally grew up in the best place ever, surrounded by beaches and nestled in a valley by a river. I lived an hour away from the nearest movie theater, stoplight, or fast-food restaurant. My free time was spent either in nature or involved in the arts in some capacity. I am essentially the same when it comes down to it. It is those things, places, and activities that make me the happiest and most fulfilled.”

Which celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life?
Mauro: “Anna Karina. She’s a constant muse, and I’ve always related to her perfect imperfections, quirkiness, and endearing vulnerability.”
Morrall: “Isabella Rossellini. I love Blue Velvet. Rossellini has such a pretty, creepy way about her that I adore. She always seems so elegant, adventurous, and mysterious. While I can’t vouch for having all of those traits, I can at least claim a creepy/pretty sensibility.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“We’ve both been humbled a bit by the fashion and jewelry industry. Neither one of us is classically trained in jewelry-making and design. Because of this, there has been a lot of trial and error, a lot of nos and hits and misses. In the end, we are the better for it and feel it has made us, and the line, stronger and more well-rounded.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
Mauro: “Waking up to my English bulldog, grabbing brunch or coffee with friends, and spending the day at the beach with loved ones.”
Morrall: “Beach, art, love...in no particular order. “

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
27_SamTellerThe Dream Maker
Every year Sam Teller makes some very hopeful, very inspired people in L.A. very, very happy. Like the tooth fairy of the tech world, the 27-year-old delivers, or as he puts it “invests,” in early-stage tech startups in his role as cofounder and managing director of Launchpad LA. But what Teller and his team are offering is much better than a simple $100k stashed under a pillow: Launchpad provides its lucky recipients with a network of mentors and advisors that are, in a word, priceless. Getting to handpick the next set of up-and-comers might be an honor we’re slightly familiar with, but handing them the means to make their dreams come true? Unbelievable. But as Teller sees it, this gig is kind of a gift for him, too, “I feel really lucky to get to spend my days with brilliant, passionate entrepreneurs who are changing the world, and as long as I’m still doing that, I’ll be happy.”

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Tell us what you’re doing with your life and career now.
“I run Launchpad LA, a startup accelerator in Santa Monica. We invest in 20 early-stage tech startups a year, giving them each $100,000, free office space for four months (a block from the beach), a bunch of free software and perks, and access to a massive network of mentors, investors, and advisors. It’s like a super early stage venture-capital fund, except we give our companies a lot more than just money. Before Launchpad, I cofounded a digital-media company called Charlie with some of my friends from college and, before that, worked on the online-advertising team for the Obama campaign in 2008 as well as a few other campaigns.”

What’s the best professional lesson you've learned?
“Many people have phrased it many ways, but the main lesson is 'if you don’t ask, you don’t get.' Don’t be afraid to ask for the thing you want, and don’t negotiate against yourself.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“Kevin Durant, because I’ve always wanted to live in Oklahoma City. (Also because I want to dunk and be an NBA All-Star.)”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“Like now, I was always pretty extroverted, and my interests shifted a lot over time. I went from an obsession with soccer and cars to dying my hair blue and starting a punk band to falling in love with politics and working on Capitol Hill. My parents were really supportive of this extracurricular whiplash, and it’s helped make me comfortable now with the idea of switching industries, jobs, or cities in the future.”

Which celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life?
“Daniel Craig (because we have similar voices) or Macy Gray (because we look alike).”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
"Wake up in Venice, go play basketball at Poinsettia Park, get lunch at Sycamore Kitchen, hang out with my family, coffee with some entrepreneurs, see a movie, dinner at Feng Mao Mutton Kebab, drinks at HMS Bounty, karaoke in Koreatown."

What’s your mantra?
“‘Focus on fun.' —David Fialkow.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
28_DanielleCharboneauThe Master Cleanser
If you haven’t heard, juice is kind of a thing here in L.A. And if Detroit-native Danielle Charboneau didn’t know that two-and-a-half years ago, she certainly does now. As the 29-year-old tells it, she and her best friend had a juice-piphany of sorts, realizing they “didn’t want to work for the man” and teaching themselves how to make cold-pressed juices, nut milks, and custom cleanses to earn a living instead. “We didn’t have any money or a plan, just two chicks that weren’t going to let anything get in our way,” Charboneau says of the venture. Now, after a lot of legwork and a new partnership, Juice Served Here has come to fruition, serving juices with names like Field of Greens and Beet It out of a storefront in West Hollywood with more in the works. It isn’t quite lemons to lemonade, but maybe lemons to Lemon Ginger Essential Elixir. Naturally, it’s pretty sweet.

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Tell us a little about your career goals, including any creative endeavors on the horizon.
“Besides world domination, I’m writing a liquid cookbook. It’s going to be a beautiful piece of art that inspires one to try delicious things that they might never have tasted before — a compilation of my absolute favorite recipes."

Tell us the true-life tale of the last completely awesome thing you did.
"I was traveling through Southeast Asia with one of my best friends. It had been a long month of sleeping on boats, hopping trains, and crashing motorbikes. We were on our way back from the Perhentian Islands, headed to Kuala Lumpur, on a night bus. We were exhausted from all the travel and were stoked to post up and sleep for the 12-hour ride. About 20 miles into the drive, two men boarded the bus, walked back to our row, and began gesturing at their tickets. We were in their seats. Our tickets were for a day later! That’s how out of it we were. We didn’t even know what day it was. They tried to kick us off the bus in the middle of nowhere in Malaysia, but two tall, white girls having a meltdown was clearly not something to be fucked with. We negotiated for a bucket and a stack of newspapers to sleep on, taking turns rotating throughout the night. It was hilarious but total hell, Asia-style. I’ll never forget that."

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“’If it’s not cost-effective, it’s a waste of your time.’ —Garry Eaves. Had to learn that one the hard way!”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“Growing up in a small town outside of Detroit, I started out as a relatively timid kid. My dad was always pushing me to step out of my comfort zone, take risks, and do things that scared me. And I did. I tried spicy food (yes, that was scary to me). I reluctantly jumped off the 50-foot diving board into a dark lake. Without floaties, I might add. I think my dad forced me to be adventurous, whether I wanted to or not. I look back on it now and see how all of those uncomfortable moments definitively shaped who I am today. I love to be scared. I love taking risks. It makes me feel alive.”

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be doing at this age?
“I was going to be a world-class professional ice-skater. Swear to God. I knew how to ice-skate but was never that great. For some reason up until I was about 11, I was convinced that this was going to be my life path. My mom loves to revisit this at my expense whenever possible.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Brunch. Searching for records in flea markets and garage sales. If gardening and the beach got in there somewhere, I wouldn’t be disappointed."

What’s your mantra?
“Fuck them. Do you.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.
29_AshleyWestonThe Menswear Stylist
Imagine putting together an outfit that was going to be photographed hundreds of times, analyzed by the entire world, and most importantly judged by Anna Wintour. Menswear stylist Ashley Weston faced that scenario this past May when she dressed Darren Criss for the Met Gala. It’s no surprise that the Glee star looked fantastic (we can’t imagine a scenario where the singer doesn’t look flat-out dishy), but this isn’t Weston’s first styling score. She’s made guys like Ed Helms, Zachary Quinto, and Ian Somerhalder look cleaned up, buttoned up, and straight-up hot for a number of covers, editorials, and ad campaigns. “My ultimate goal is to become the Rachel Zoe for menswear,” Weston tells us. With a book in the works and a stint as a guest judge on an upcoming styling show this fall, it sounds like the 26-year-old is well on her way to getting exactly what she wants. It’s going to be ba-na-nas.

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Tell us what you’re doing with your life and career now.
“I just finished styling my first national music tour, which took months of preparation and presented a whole new set of challenges that I normally don’t have to consider when styling clients for red carpet, ad campaigns, and editorials. Currently, I’m writing articles and shooting men’s style-advice segments for my site as well as others in the menswear space. I’m also trying to limit myself to three pieces of chocolate a day...which isn’t going so well.”

Tell us the true-life tale of the last completely awesome thing you did.
“Recently, I collaborated with one of my favorite designers, Richard Chai, on a client’s look for the Met Ball. I’ve been a huge fan of his for so long that I never imagined we’d be working together. Seeing an outfit, that I helped create, go from rough sketch to the red carpet was definitely an awesome experience.”

What’s the best professional lesson you ever learned?
“I learned that it’s important to be open to new opportunities, but to also know when to say no. As my career progresses, I’m starting to realize I can’t be everywhere all the time, and that I have to be careful about overextending myself. I love styling and keeping busy, but it’s important to remember quality over quantity.”

If you could switch lives with anyone else under 30, who would it be?
“Adele. Everything about her is captivating — her voice, her songs, her soulfulness. I’d love to be able to tour the world, performing in front of hundreds of thousands of people.”

What kind of kid were you? How does that affect who you are now?
“I was a painfully shy kid who preferred books to people. If I wanted to talk to someone, I’d have to plan out my talking points in advance. This odd quirk has turned me into an expert planner. In my line of work, you have to be prepared for anything, much like the uncertain nature of conversations with strangers.”

What's been your most humbling moment?
“As a student, I excelled in math and was constantly told I would make a great teacher. Fast-forward to my first day as an inner-city math teacher, I entered the classroom and immediately froze. It was in that moment, I realized that being a great student didn’t mean I’d be a great teacher.”

A perfect day in L.A. always includes these three things...
“Embarrassingly enough, it revolves entirely around food. I’d start my day off with the best cornflake-battered French toast at Marston’s, then inhale a double helping of Brown Bread ice cream from Scoops for lunch (yes, lunch), and finish off the day with Korean BBQ at Soowon Galbi in K-town.”

What’s your mantra?
“‘Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.’ —George Bernard Shaw.”

Photographed by Clarke Tolton, makeup by Liset Garza, hair by Jessica Liparoto, styled by Natalie Toren.