We sure do LOVE a quick hit-list. Pretty bikinis at the ready. Jaw-dropping Met dresses. And, yes, even crazy Craigslist posts. But, while those might help get your summer outfit on lock or keep the 4 p.m. boredom at bay, we think today's morning goodness packs a punch that deserves a permanent bookmark. Over the past few months we've clocked in many a late night (and long weekend), tirelessly searching for just the right slew of inspiring professionals to make up our first annual NYC's 30 Under 30. We swore to tell nothing but the truth, we learned how to toast farrow, we took the Hippocratic Oath, we built a school in Afghanistan, and hey, we were even featured in Vogue Italia. Okay, maybe that wasn't us, but Refinery29's list of heavy-hitters — men and women truly making it happen in their respective fields right period now period. Not only masters of their own domains, these rising stars of Gotham are changing them entirely. From The Editor to The Style Icon to The Real Estate Mogul our Big Apple influencers will live in your "favorites" long after they've passed the 30 mark. If they've done this much already, can you imagine what their third (and fourth, and fifth...) decade will bring? Meet all 30 game-changers now.
Everyone in NYC is always rushing, rushing, rushing, but none of those speed-walking sidewalk athletes are quite as busy as writer, actress, jeweler, and comedian Carlen Altman (at least we can't imagine it being so). Having come off a two-and-a-half-year hiatus from her jewelry line, Jewish Rosaries (she was co-writing, starring, and filming in her recent film, The Color Wheel), Altman is looking forward to outfitting "all the fashionable Jews out there who want cool jewelry and are super envious of all the cool accessories options that Christians have to show pride in their religion and feel weird about wearing a Catholic rosary! Now they don't have to! Chai five!" But because the jewelry line seems just as much a hobby as it is an occupation, we're not surprised that Carlen's also making a little documentary on Dwarf Lionheads (a breed of rabbit she has kept as a pet all her life). And, in case that isn't enough, she's also in the midst of writing a short pocket-sized book aptly named How To Get Your Shit Together that's sure to be chock-full of advice for all of us who don't have three jobs. Ahem, James Franco, we'll look to you for the sequel.
"A good portrait is being able to see the characteristic of a person. Seeing a portrait and putting a story behind who that person could be. I usually talk to the subject until they are in their most comfortable state," Bon Duke tells us of what it takes to snap a good
By now, you know we have a full-fledged crush on Solange Knowles. Part DJ, part songwriter, part singer (and one hot mama to son Julez), and all artist, she's got that undefinable mixture of soul, authenticity, and, yes, unabashed style, that keeps us coming back for more and more. Did we mention daring? Knowles identifies her proudest moment, leaving her record label and management company, as "a big and scary leap that I feel like I had to take in order for me to be happy and define success on my own terms." And define she did — Knowles has a new song coming out soon ("I'm very excited!"), is rocking the turntables at high profile events around the world, and dabbling in various fashion projects. Her favorite song of the moment happens to be Cam'ron's "What Means The World To You." "The girls verse on that song is KILLER," says Knowles. "What woman doesn't care about her money, her dough, her hair, her nails? Owww!" Knowles recognizing the power in those lyrics…well, that's just another Solange Owww moment for us.
Equal parts reticent and humorous, artist Nick Poe is official creative crack for a legion of downtown girls (and gays) — not only does he have the disheveled hair/hat/flannel thing going on, his works — image-less and stark — lend an alluring mystery to his smokeshow status. Poe first came to our attention with PegLeg NYC, bright, color-blocked street wear that was a hit with the Charlotte Ronson gang (and us). He held it with his startlingly calm pieces, a definite departure from the in-your-face tees of PegLeg. His latest show, at Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, featured photo-sculptural compositions that didn't adhere to one category — neither paintings nor photography or sculpture, the exhibit took up the better part of our afternoon. His advice for other would-be artists: "Work hard, daily. Eat right, drink plenty of fluids, and call your sister. Know your muse, credit should go to her. Know when to stop." And his current inspiration? "Things private and perennial. One color in particular. The romantic gesture." Sounds promising.
You know the old NYC real estate maxim "location, location, location"? Well, in Sarah Hoover's case, her debut Big Apple rental made the saying's repetition worth it. Indeed, on her first day after graduating from Columbia, Hoover walked into the gallery directly across from her new apartment on 24th Street — which happened to be the world-famous Gagosian Gallery — where she ran into a friend who told her Gagosian was hiring. One day later, Hoover had the job. Oh, and the day after that, met her now fiance Tom Sachs — he was an artist calling to speak to her boss. With a story like that (if only it wasn't so hard to hate her!), it's no wonder Hoover quickly climbed the ranks from assistant to sales to manager — currently, she oversees artist Ellen Gallagher. "I love working at Gagosian so much," she says with a vocal exclamation mark. "I see myself helping more artists make their dream works come alive and be seen by the world." Plus, she wants LOTS of puppies to complement her and Sachs' handsome French bulldog, Napolean. We're talking 10 more. With a charming sense of humor she claims keeps her sane, we're not quite sure if she's kidding. But, judging by her tenure at Gagosian, we're guessing what Hoover wants, Hoover gets. We're calling her our official good luck charm.
Lily Kwong is a philanthropist, a writer, a Columbia graduate, and well, she just happens to be stunning, too. It's no surprise, then, that with her effortless air, quick wit, and fawn-worthy features she's more than just an Elite model, and friend of R29. She's an influencer in art (with video project collaborations for Vogue Italia), female empowerment (with her non-profit, Nuvana), and of course, fashion (as a Nike model, not to mention all-star dresser). We can tell by her selective and successful endeavors, her genuine interest in engaging with the world around her, and of course, her uniquely sophisticatedly downtown style, that she takes her own advice of, "never becoming too influenced by others decisions." And while, "sworn to secrecy," she may not be able to reveal the company she's "over-the-moon excited" to be teaming up with next, we can just imagine that when she takes some time off from developing her writing projects and traveling, traveling, traveling, the model-cum-student-cum-tastemaker's DL undertaking will inevitably blow us away. (Again.) We mean, what else would you expect from a girl who's part of the Altuzarra family, but also whose best-kept motto is "KNOW THYSELF"? Yep, in all caps.
The word "surfer" may conjure images of a prototypical passive stoner hanging ten in the sun, and, while pro-surfer Tripoli Patterson certainly does his fair share of hanging ten, he is far more motivated and in-tune than the stereotypical, wave-catching "dude." Not only is he an accomplished surfer (having practiced the sport since he was 8-years-old), and an Eastern Surfing Magazine cover boy, but he's also a curator. Tripoli opened and runs his own contemporary art gallery, the Tripoli Gallery, in Southampton. And indeed, surfing and running the gallery — just a drive away from his birth place in Sag Harbor — brings Tripoli's career full-circle; He's lived (and surfed) in Indonesia, Bali, and New Zealand, to name just some of the places he's evolved as a traveler, gallery owner, and pro-surfer. Expectedly, Tripoli has collaborated artistically and athletically, training and filming with many fellow surfers, but his most important connection is that with the ocean. He explains that "it is such an important part of nature and this world, being able to build the most intimate relationship with something as powerful and overwhelming as the ocean is a gift." We'd venture to guess the outdoor office and constant rays don't hurt either.
The co-founder of FEED Project, a charity whose mission is to "create good products that help feed the world," Lauren Bush Lauren (didn't her recent wedding create the coolest name ever?) is definitely not just some socialite type lending out her likeness.The travels she took while spokesperson for the UN World Food Program in 2004 led her to design the first, now iconic FEED 1 bag, which, true to its name, feeds one child in school for one year. Over the course of five years (and $6 million in donations later), FEED has teamed up with giant global corporations including Disney, the Gap, and Whole Foods, partnerships that have generated an entire shoppable range of socially-conscious offerings. And, for Lauren, there ain't-no-stopping-her-now: "We are expanding our online sales and FEED community" she explains, "One big goal that I want to accomplish is to address the issue of hunger and malnutrition in America as well as abroad."
If you've lived in NYC for the past three years, you've had a Matt Kliegman-sponsored good time. This nightlife impresario certainly knows how to orchestrate just the right vibe — as the owner of eatery/general store/takeaway joint The Smile, Kliegman, along with co-founder Carlos Quirarte, created an insta-downtown hangout, attracting hipster celebs like Terry Richardson, Kim Gordon, and Nate Lowman. The crowd (and Mary-Kate and Ashley) followed him to the The Jane Ballroom, where the buzz was so strong (and the music so pumping), a drama unfolded with disgruntled neighbors that dominated the blogosphere for months. Undaunted, Kliegman imported his disco chemistry set to Westway, a revamped strip club that's hosted both almost-naked exotic dancers and Valentino singing karaoke on the same seedy-chic disco stage. While we're not normally known to get happy with a brass pole, who else but Kliegman could give us NSFW-ish Facebook pics that we're hesitant to delete from our feed?
As the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager of Moda Operandi — the uber glossy shopping site founded by Lauren Santo Domingo and Aslaug Magnusdottir, (you can buy Carven resort '13 like, right now!) — Hayley Bloomingdale's knee-deep in the social media revolution, luxury edition. Yes, the blonde-haired Pinner/Twitterer/Instagrammer was snapped by Bruce Weber for a Vanity Fair editorial that chronicled a slew of young scions, but Bloomingdale's successfully proven she's more than just a famous last name.
Wes Gordon's clothing is a little bit sophisticated-prep, a little bit British-royalty-gone-bad, and a whole lot of elegance. Makes sense, as Gordon undoubtedly pulls inspiration from his upbringing; Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, schooled at Central Saint Martins University of Art and Design in London, and a current NYC resident, the influence of his varied surroundings can be clearly seen in the thoughtful silhouettes and eye-catching styling of his first collections. So, too, can his early-age obsession with high fashion be traced through his luxe materials, masterful tailoring, and high-impact garments (ahem, his signature coat is to-die-for) that, really, any woman would feel great wearing. Equally impressive, is the attention his collections have received, already acclaimed for their appeal to all age groups, deceptive simplicity, and attention to immaculate details. Plus, being stocked in Bergdorf Goodman and Kirna Zabête, as well as having an ongoing collaboration with Manolo Blahnik — well, that doesn't hurt his case either.
The Creative Agency may sound like a modern-day business, but finding talent, representing talent, and enhancing talent is as storied a job as any other. Just ask Aaron Bakalar, founder of The Collaborative Agency. Only two years ago, Bakalar turned his close friendships with talented young guns into a legit business. And, with notable buds-turned-clients like Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Gia Coppola, and Alex Olsen, The Collaborative Agency is just what it set out to become — a creative business that engages with film, photo, art, and culture through its multi-dimensional representatives, some of New York's top influencers. Sure, the day-to-day of running such a fast-paced, high-pressure firm may seem taxing, but don't let Aaron's title fool you. This is, after all, a guy who takes five to ten minutes to meditate everyday, which we're guessing helps sustain his behind-the-scenes, under-the-radar productivity. Aaron has a sense of intuition, sniffing out passion and creativity that might not come in big neon lights and self-promotion, but rather in the less-obvious form of what he calls "silent genius." Which we're positive can be found in excess in Aaron's office.
Olivia Palermo's been synonymous with chic ever since she exploded on The City which, sure, may have made her look a little like the bad gal, but also launched all eyes on her equally bad-ass style. And the positive stuff's all true: No one looks quite as flawless in person as Olivia does — black tie or blue jeans — even when the cameras aren't rolling and the flash-bulbs from her e-commerce and magazine shoots have quieted down. Of her "typical" day, the always-charming, always changing Olivia says, "I love that I don't have a typical day, that every day is different, whether I'm shooting on location or spending time in London, Berlin, or home in New York. I can be at shoots or in meetings, or in the offices of Piperlime doing edits on my picks, or working on oliviapalermo.com. Being able to be anywhere in the world and have my airbook, iPad, and iPhone means I am always able to work."
Two years ago, we featured Shiona Turini, then Teen Vogue's Senior Accessories Editor, you guys loved her uptown glamorous-meets-funkified look ("No matter what I wear, it will always be paired with a statement heel," she tells us. Amen!), not to mention her rapier sharp wit and belly laugh-inducing sense of humor. And, Turini has quite the resume to complement her perfect outfit skills — this Bermudian babe worked at W, followed by her epic TV stint (we wanted every bauble she picked out).
When we were seven, we were throwing temper tantrums 'cause mom wouldn't buy us those light-up high tops. Maleek Washington, on the other hand, was exercising his gams (not his tear ducts), dancing at Broadway Dance Center and the Harlem School of the Arts. His education continued at prestigious institutions like the LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts and The Boston Conservatory, leading to a role in the CityDance ensemble that took him everywhere from Dubai to Moscow. Prodigy? No question. But minus the burnout of a child star — Washington is currently in his first season with NYC's Abraham in Motion, a touring company that injects some urban flair into traditional routines. Think: "Boyz In The Hood: Pavement," a full-length performance derived from the movie.
Perpetual life of the party, shutterbug David X Prutting (the X stands for Xavier, FYI), might be mistaken, at first glance, for just a good-time guy. But don't let the joviality fool you—one look at his event pictures reveal that he truly understands the art of capturing a moment. No wonder — Prutting's first industry gig was assisting fashion photog firm Marek and Associates, before becoming a staple in the stable of Patrick McMullan's top lensmen. McMullan "taught me the value in having a personality behind the camera," he says, a lesson that translated into an astute acumen in front of the flash.
Million Dollar Listing paints New York realtors as part of an exclusive pack. They work hard, but also play hard. They drive in private cars, they have multiple cell-phones, and their suits often cost more than most rents (well, not their clients'). And while for Elliman's, Jared Seligman, all of this may be real-life, so is the necessary diligence, the long hours, and the heart-achingly stressful nature of the Real Estate business in what could be called one of the world's most competitive markets.We have a feeling, though, that Jared doesn't let all of this get to him. As one of the top 25 agents in his firm, it's hard to imagine Seligman flustered by a lost sale (if that ever happens), the urgency of closing a deal, or the need to stage an apartment just so.
An ex-Goldman Sachs and Chanel employee, part-time model, not to mention a graduate of Harvard Business School, Olga Vidisheva was destined to make waves in fashion and business. Well, with bringing local boutiques online with Shoptiques, she did just that. Sure, you're familiar with the site's eclectic and once hard-to-find wares, suddenly available at the click of a mouse, but perhaps you're less familiar with its founder, who finds inspiration in "her team that encourages her to be better and work harder" and "boutique owners, who are so creative and who curate the most incredible and unique collections."
Sometimes, a measure of success can be as simple as three letters, or in this case, three capital letters: SNL. But for writer and comedian John Mulaney, his achievements are not only tied up in this little-known sketch-comedy production, but on his amazing stand up specials as well. When asked what he'd like to be known for Mulaney may jest, "hopefully I'll be remembered as a very good comedian and not for any murders. I really hope no one finds out about the murders." But the only place he really kills it is on stage, touring with the likes of Sarah Silverman, Todd Glass, Louie CK, David Cross, and Arj Barker. A dream come true scenario for any comic writer as young as Mulaney. The most memorable dream-come-true though? "There have been many surreal moments since I started at SNL. I always think of one day though when Sir Elton John was hosting and I was working on a sketch with him and Fred Armisen in his dressing room. Elton John was telling us how his hands aren't big enough to be a great guitar player and how they're barely big enough to play piano. And we told him, 'you're a very good piano player.' That was a surreal moment." Looks like there's no sad-clown syndrome on the horizon here.
A regulation global nomad, Anuschka Senge was raised in Munich, went to high school in England, spent a Gap Year in London before interning at F&H Porter Novelli PR agency back in Germany, studied French at The Sorbonne, and received a BA from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne (in between a stint at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce in Montpellier and an internship at Sotheby's in Paris). Exhausted? In Senge's case, her break-neck under-21 years serve her well when it comes to the never-stops world of NYC public relations.
With publications rapidly moving online and a www.com for pretty much anything and everything you can think of, it's no surprise that a fun, easy, DIY approach to learning how to program would catch on and take off. And Ryan Bubinski and Zach Sims of Codeacademy, were the guys to do it. In just the first three days of its launch (just under a year ago), the site drew over 200,000 users who interacted with 2.1 million teach-you-how-to-code exercises. A techie application backed by an incredible idea (and tons of well-earned funding)? If we had to bet, we'd say that their goal of "teaching millions of people to code and how to find a job in the modern economy" in the next five years will be realized. Especially given the fact that they just signed up Mayor Bloomberg, who vowed to code this year. Oh, and closed a round of funding for $10 million. So yeah, we'd bet on their success…if we were the betting kind.
Aegean Chan has known how to listen to a heart and what to look for when checking an ear since the age of 15. Yes, these are medical basics, but volunteering at a free clinic for the homeless and uninsured at such a young age has helped her become the doctor she is today, a deeply empathetic dermatologist, well-versed in international health and the modern practice (with a published essay on Gaucher disease, and high honors from Albert Einstein College of Medicine). Though Aegean's work has taken her across many continents and countries (including Bolivia to work in pediatric and adolescent health and Haiti, where she has an ongoing engagement), she also stays in touch with the more glamorous (or, let's say, less technical) side of the practice, with her own blog recommending dermatologic and beauty products. Yep, a doctor with a blog, but deep roots in the meaning of her work as well. Of the changing face of medicine, Aegean tells us, "Our fundamental responsibility is to care for and improve the lives of our patients in all aspects of their well-being. Although healthcare delivery and systems are evolving, the heart of what we do remains the same. Talking to people about their lives and to care for them is my duty, but also a great and beautiful privilege." And in her case, this privilege is indeed beautiful both inside and out.
Kyleigh Khun has done her fair share of traveling as a model, but none of the places she's been have proven more memorable than Mir Bocha Kot Kabul, where she helped build a school after visiting Afghanistan for the first time in 2005. Now named the Kyleigh Kuhn Roots of Peace School, it's helped transform the lives of all its students who greet Kyleigh as she visits the site years later. She's beautiful, yes, but more than that she's worldly, thoughtful, and a deep thinker. Kuhn tells us, "While I enjoy modeling, it can feel a bit indulgent for me. I grappled with this element of modeling in the beginning, as I felt awkward shifting gears from my humanitarian work into such a glamorous industry. But now I view it as a platform to help raise awareness for the work that needs to be done in Afghanistan — and I find both worlds can be mutually beneficial." Talk about grounded!
At just 21, Nicole Lapin joined CNN, making her their youngest anchor ever, a title she then took at CNBC. A finance expert who helps us understand $$$ a little bit better, Lapin's the foil to Suze Orman; Instead of telling us not to buy the latte, she says "buy the latte." Just not 10 of them. We like. Now 28, Lapin hasn't just rested on her TV laurels: She started her own multimedia production company, Nothing But Gold Productions, which she explains as "the Rosetta Stone of finance," focusing as it does on creating accessible financial content across various platforms. And, wait for it….Lapin somehow made the time to found Recessionista.com (and play editor-in-chief), a site with spunky articles on everything from planning a Ladies' Night in to the "5 Best-Dressed Start-Up Queens." Our favorite? One trainer explains how to laugh yourself fit, thus saving us the cashola of a gym membership to head on over to Starbucks. Hey, Lapin gave us permission.
If you've ever been to Hudson Clearwater, you'll know why Wes Long made our list. From spice-rubbed pork tenderloin to perhaps our favorite arugula salad in the city (plus pastries — the Granny Smith Apple Tarte Tatin with sea salt caramel and Chantilly cream is #everything), chef Wes Long's menu is all we think about come dinnertime; He describes his style as "simple Southern with strong influence from New American and French background and education." We describe it as awesome.
If you're having Law & Order flashbacks to Abbie Carmichael, you're not too far off base. But, Dani Labadorf's work load is a whole lot heavier. As an ADA at the New York County District Attorney's office, she's currently juggling a load of nearly 200 criminal misdemeanor cases. That's a good thing: We think that if you're not guilty, you'll want her on your side. This Benjamin N. Cardoza law school grad is in the legal game for all the right reasons — while at Cardoza, Labadorf was a member of the Innocence Project, an organization that works toward exonerating the wrongfully convicted through DNA testing. "I want to use my powers of persuasion to fight for people who don't necessarily have the means to fight for themselves," she told us. "Probably the most gratifying part of my job is helping people who have been victimized by crime find closure."
A UK import, Phil Winser has certainly brought his fair share of Anglomania to the Big Apple. And not just the epicurean kind — Winser, who had worked for two of London's most prestigious catering and events companies, made the cross-Atlantic voyage back in 2008 and promptly set up his own creative shop, Silkstone, which has ascended the ranks to become one of our city's top-tier firms. Next came the foodie buzz — two years ago Winser, with partner Ben Towill, brought seasonal fare to the L.E.S. with The Fat Radish, along with a large helping of It Brits, fashion editors, and the Montauk crowd. Makes sense, then, that Winser's next adventure was designing the restaurant at MTK's haute hipster hangout, Ruschmeyer's.
While her stop-and-stare locks (a dip-dyed ombre purple situation) caught our interest, it's crooner Amalie Bruun's dreamlike vocals that are keeping us hooked. At HQ, we've been playing her newest single, "Siren"on repeat, a welcome respite from the unavoidable "Call Me Maybe" covers that just aren't quitting. Her move from Copenhagen to our fair shores more than justified the airfare: Bruun has released three EPs since 2008, plays in indie band Minks, had a part in a popular SNL parody video, and starred — working the whole coldly beautiful thing so well — in a Blue De Chanel commercial directed by none other than Martin Scorsese. While we're waiting for the soon-to-be-released CRUSH EP, sing along with us to one of Bruun's haunting lyrics: "Welcome to the blackest corner of my head." Which, as they say in Danish, is really quite fantastik.
When you walk into a room and are instantly hit with a so-cool yet sophisticated vibe, it's probable that Interior Design Ryan Korban is responsible for it. And yes, it's one thing to be responsible for an interior's aesthetic, but a totally different thing to be held accountable for its feel, which he describes as "sex, romance, and fantasy." Yes, Ryan Korban's commercial and residential spaces all feel uniquely his: meticulous yet surprising, comfortable yet not so polished you wouldn't want to take a load off. For his most recent project, look no further than uptown boutique, Fivestory where Korban created an Upper East Side brownstone-cum-retail shop where boyfriends and brothers and fathers can hang while fellow shoppers fawn over glass-cased Charlotte Olympia clutches and $700 shoes. But that's Ryan Korban: laid-back but put together, all-knowing yet approachable, oh, and that meticulous thing? It pretty much carries over, too. And to echo his bold aesthetic, "sex, romance, and fantasy" — that's what being young in NYC is all about in the first place, right?