It's easy to get wrapped up in coupledom, especially around V-Day. But what we find even more interesting than forced, candle-lit pair-ups are the women whose full lives don't revolve around an S.O. In honor of the ladies WE love, we've profiled 25 ass-kicking gals with careers, points of view, and style that make our hearts really skip a beat.
Dana Lorenz, Designer
The CFDA-nominated jewelry designer
behind both Fenton and lower-priced line Fallon is always on our obsession list—yes, we waited in line for her capsule collections for both Opening Ceremony and J.Crew. The very funny (like standup comedian funny) gem expert tells us she "loves a guy that can take the lead and really surprise me — I'm a typical fiery Leo, so a guy who can put me in my place and 'reality check' me is quite attractive and sexy!"
Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFA
Alexa Chung, DJ and TV Personality
In addition to showing up in a handful of reality shows (Gonzo
, Thrift America
, and 24 Hour Catwalk
), Alexa is also the designer of a super-successful eponymous line at Madewell, and has inspired a legion of girls to copycat her blazer + flippy skirt uniform. She's currently publicly unattached (rumors of Alexa dating Hurts' Theo Hutchcraft after breaking up with Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner in October, were denied), since it takes quite a superman to keep up with Ms. Chung.
Photographed by Mr. Newton/Refinery29.
Catrinel Ardeus, Director of Sales
As one of our featured eligible bachelorettes of last year, Cat (as she's known to her friends), is obviously one of NYC's prime catches. Dominating the jewelry biz as the sales director over at Monique Péan, this Romanian powerhouse empowers herself. On why she loves being single, Cat says: "Independence is very seductive and not answering to anyone is a perk." If you're looking for someone who's as self-reliant as you are, take note. Her perfect first date? Ice-skating!
Photo: Courtesy of Claiborne Swanson Frank
Betsey Johnson, Designer
After divorcing husband John Cale from the Velvet Underground in 1969, after a year of marriage, ebullient designer Betsey Johnson has been vocal about her singlehood, her pursuit of "hot guys," and her celebration of twisted-girly-girl fashion. We likey.
Photographed by Klassy Goldberg
Christina Lee, Chef
Critically praised by such authorities as New York and The New York Times, Lee, a pastry chef at neighborhood-favorite Recette in the West Village, is a prime example of a woman who has broken into the boys club — and dominated. Of course, her idea of an amazing date involves some calories: "An amazing meal with a guy that enjoys food as much as I do would make a date a lot more enjoyable."
Photo: Courtesy of Bullfrog & Baum
Diane Keaton, Actress
Despite having a string of A-list lovers, Academy-Award winning actress Diane Keaton has gone on record as saying that she's never been the type to want to get married. In 2001, she announced that she was done with pursuing romance: "I remember when I was young I honestly believed in some ridiculous way that you would find someone who would be the person you lived with until you died. I don't think that because I'm not married it's made my life any less. That old maid myth is garbage."
Photo: Courtesy of Because I Said So
Julieanne Smolinski, Writer
Julieanne is the go-to wisecracker who posts about relationships, sex, and humor on a variety of publications including GQ
, New York
, and xoJane (not to mention on her don't-consume-liquids-when-reading Twitter account, @BoobsRadley
). Says Julieanne about boyfriends
: "I love being single most of the time. Sure, I often think that it would be nice to have a boyfriend, but I also often think that it would be nice to have a boat. I would only really want either for the fun hats and nautical puns. But in the end, they both probably involve more mopping than I have time for. Some day!"
Photo: Courtesy of Julieanne
Nicki Minaj, Musician
Nicki Minaj never holds back with her lyrics, but when it comes to her love life, she'd rather keep mum. While the entertainment industry is quick to speculate on who's she's dating, Nicki's squashed every rumor and brought the attention back to number one (and Roman, of course).
Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
Sarah Rosen, Power Publicist
Judging by the success of Topshop stateside, we'd say that Sarah Rosen, who works in public relations for the brand in NYC, is pretty darn good at her job. Besides getting the whole high/low thing down-pat, the PR pro is not afraid to be ambitious (and it's awesome): "I'd say the one thing I like most about being single is having the time to work as hard as I do, spend the extra hours doing research, going to all events, conferences or trips that interest me."
Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Rosen
Jen Brill, Agent
There's something special about Jen Brill's style that makes Chanel feel accessible and thrift-store-finds feel like treasure. When she's not acting as an ambassador for Chanel or acting on the Advisory Board of non-profit RxArt, she's a power photo agent at Total Management, representing a league of bright, young shooters.
Photo via David X Prutting/Billy Farrell Agency
Kelly Framel, Blogger and Stylist
When you have a blog called The Glamourai
(just redesigned!), you better be glamourous. Indeed, Kelly Framel is glam as all get-out, but also one smart cookie — she's taken her obsessive online following and translated it to everything from Schick razors to styling Tiffany's latest ad campaign. So, now wonder that her dream date is someone who can, in her words, "understand my crazy schedule! But ultimately, someone I can learn and collaborate and grow with; someone equally curious who can help me keep things interesting."
Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Framel
Mila Kunis, Actress
As her nine-year romance with Macaulay Culkin fizzled, Mila Kunis really dove into acting, with career-making movies like Black Swan and the cheesy (but lovable) Friends With Benefits. A self-professed nerd, Mila's been known to frequent online World of Warcraft games and kick back with a game of The Settlers of Catan. Wait. Let's be friends?
Photo: Courtesy of Friends With Benefits.
Natalie Joos, Style Connoisseur
Stylist. Online journalist. Casting agent. Trendsetter. Ms. Joos, whose site, Tales of Endearment
, gets a lot of clicks in our office, is clearly not one to rest on her laurels. And this vintage-obsessed Belgian isn't shy. Her ideal guy "hugs like a bear and roars like a lion," which makes sense, given that her ideal date "ends with an amazing orgasm." Hey, we're not disagreeing.
Photo: Courtesy of Natalie Joos
Miguelina Gambaccini , Designer
It's no wonder the creative mind behind a line known for its romantic, dreamy resort pieces
is looking for true love. Indeed, the Dominican designer says that when it comes to a marriage, "only true love can make it perfect—no matter the circumstances in your relationship, if you have this you'll make it through." And while her favorite part about being solo is having "her own bedroom," we think Migs is ready to share the covers—as her many just-married cult followers know, her latest line is dubbed "Honeymoon." Photo: Courtesy of Miguelina Gambaccini
Elana Fishman, Editor
Digital Fashion News Editor at Lucky
and master Tweeter
, Elana seems to know (and be at!) all the goings-on in the fashion industry and report them to her devoted audience at lightning speed. A word of advice to prospective beaus: "I’m crazy about live music — and one of the first things that attracts me to a guy is his taste in tunes. A sushi dinner and drinks followed by a concert would be perfect in my book. Nothing too weepy, though—the music in question has to be at least somewhat danceable!"
Photo: Courtesy of Elana
Reece Solomon, Designer
If you spend more than a minute at, say, Cafe Gitane or Red Egg, you're bound to see one of handbag designer Reece Solomon's creations — from bright oversized clutches to mini, woven cross-bodies, the line — Reece Hudson — is shaking up the accessories scene. It's no wonder, then, that the doyenne of downtown cool's number one quality in a dream partner is "creativity and drive." And men, take note, don't take her to a restaurant right away — "If it's a first date, I hate going to dinner. I find it so awkward and forced."
Photo: Courtesy of Reece Solomon
After her very public and very violent break-up with Chris Brown, Rihanna's come into her own as one of the biggest ass-kicking gals on the music scene, gaining not only the love and loyalty of a legion of fans, but also that of critics, fellow musicians, and even that hipster asshole from down the block. Nevermind those rumors (because we don't believe them), because Rihanna is one of the baddest single ladies around.
Photo: Courtesy of Talk That Talk
Carolyn Murphy, Model
Her last relationship, with Incubus' Brandon Boyd, ended in 2005, and since then, Carolyn Murphy has shot campaigns for Missoni, Versace, and Tiffany, as well as appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated (take that, teen models!).
Photo: Nicholas Hunt/PatrickMcMullan.com
Kim Gordon, Musician
Indie power-couple Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore may have recently ended their relationship, but Kim is a woman after our own hearts. Musician, actress, designer, and artist, she's done it all as her own person. If there's a queen of indie rock, Kim's wearing the crown.
Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages
Kate Lanphear, Editor
It's hard not to miss Kate Lanphear on the street or at a party. The style director of Elle
has such a distinctive aesthetic (think tailored badass), there's even a blog devoted to chronicling her outfits
in rapid fire. As long as we've known her, this Aussie import's marched to the tune of her own drummer, and we don't expect to see that change, anytime soon.
Photo: Joe Schildhorn & Billy Farrell/BFA
Celine Kaplan, PR Guru
Whatever the French word for fierce is, Mademoiselle Kaplan is it. Industry insiders know Celine for her eponymous public relations firm, CKPR, which has a client list tighter than Le Baron's door—The Webster in Miami, Eres, and, wait for it, Laduree. Of course her closet
is pretty frickin' serious, too. In her usual way (her je ne sais quoi
factor is next-level cool), the flame-haired Kaplan shares an Arthur Rimbaud quote on love:
Self interest exists, attachment based on personal gain exists, complacency
exists. But not love. Love has to be reinvented
. "So single I am for now, because I never know when the love of my life will be invented. I am Incorrigible!"
Photo: Dean Neville/BFA
Shani Silver, Refinery29 Chicago Editor
Our own Chicago editor is hands-down one of the raddest chicas we know. Besides reporting on all things Chi-town, she's also got the super-sharp wit and style. Says Shani about being single: "There is a sort of inherent third-wheel thing that gets a bit old, but I'm very lucky to have friends (in pairs) who don't make me feel bad about that. Some of my most fun evenings are spent with friends of mine who are couples."
Photographed by Lola Wang
Chrissy Rutherford, Editor
As a web editor at Harper's Bazaar, Chrissy is a PYT of the fashion world, and never fails to paralyze us with jealousy when it comes to a new lip color (If Chrissy says green is the orange, we'll come to work the next day with sage-colored lips). Says Chrissy, "I love to go out dancing on the weekends and not having to worry about whether a guy can keep up with my dance moves."
Photo: Courtesy of Chrissy
Danielle Snyder, Designer
Danielle Snyder, one half of the fearsome (sister) duo that is DANNIJO, is known in the fashion world just as much for her keen sense of humor as her statement-making gems. Case-in-point: Says the jeweler, "If you know a funny, tall, dark and handsome man who's ambitious, passionate, athletic, likes to travel, go to concerts and eats more than me, give him my number. Did I forget anything?" Not that we can think of.
Photographed by Dan McMahon