20 Of New York’s Coolest Influencers Share Their New Year’s Resolutions

Part of the R29 ethos is keeping tabs on the Lagerfelds, the Gagas, the Wangs, and the Wintours, all while eyeing the young blood set to be the Next Big Things to obsess over. So, while we say goodbye to the old, there is no better way to welcome in the new than with our list of 20 of New York's next-wave tastemakers, gamechangers, and superstars, and their hopes for the year to come. If we may say so ourselves (and we will!), no city is more multidisciplinary than the Big Apple — the place where fashion, art, food, and music all take turns influencing each other — so we hand-picked the creative leaders that represent what being a New Yorker is all about: big ideas, bigger plans, and a whole heap of talent! You'll want to next level your own New Year's goals after eyeing these fresh to-dos — they're all on track to have a groundbreaking 2012.
asher_levine_resize Asher Levine
While 2010 introduced us to the "Gaga Designers," those handpicked by the Lady and Nicola Formichetti to represent the superstar's style, 2011 got to see which one of them really had the chops. Asher Levine's rise has been meteoric, from a club kid with a penchant for leather to a designer with one of the hardest to obtain tickets to Fashion Week. His edgy menswear and his permanent place in Gaga's roster makes him a new New York staple.

His New Year's Resolution:
"Make more clothes, make more money, make more fun.
And to live past the apocalypse in 2012!"

holy_ghost_resized Holy Ghost!
New York experienced a helluva loss this year when institution LCD Soundsystem broke up. But right there, ready to take the dance-rock mantle, was Holy Ghost!, a NYC-based group raised on DFA Records. Headed up by all-around cool (and adorbz!) dudes Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser, these musicians are the future of dance music, and the future looks good.
Alex's New Year's Resolution: "We've been on tour for 18 months, with almost no real resting period at home. So, my first real New Year's resolution is to make up for lost time and spend as much time as I can eating, hanging, and dancing with my friends and family here in New York City. Beyond that, I have a laundry list of personality flaws that need to be overcome, but I won't bore the world with my Jewish neurosis. I'll save that for the next album!"
Nick's New Year's Resolution: "Not leave my taxes until April 14, take more Polaroids, organize my existing hundreds of Polaroids which I've been putting off for years and probably — PROBABLY — quit smoking.  I've always told myself I'd quit at 30 which is an age that is sneaking up on me very, very quickly.  No promises, Mom."
frankie_rose_c-Lauren-bilanko_resized Frankie Rose
Frankie Rose is Brooklyn music. Having been a driving force in some of our favorite bands — Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and the Vivian Girls — Rose has now gone solo and continues to impress us with her rocker machinations and totally amazing, cool-girl-next-door style!

Her New Year's Resolution:
"I have never made a New Year's resolution and I doubt that will ever change. I am a work in progress and a date on a calendar doesn't mean much to me. However, looking forward, if I could modify anything, I suppose I wouldn't mind spending more time noticing the good things in front of me rather then waste time worrying about the bad things that have already happened or could potentially happen in the future. "

jean_michel_cazabat_resizedJean-Michel Cazabat:
We've always been fans of this New York shoe designer, but something happened this year. Something clicked. Amidst Wang wedges and Miu Miu pumps, his sky-high heels have become a well-crafted alternative that we've simply been drooling over.
His New Year's Resolution: "My New Year's resolutions are to stop drinking wine and cocktails at least the first three months of the year. I would also like to do an herbal blood detox — I did it last year at the same time and you feel so good! (Of course, no caffeine with this diet either.)
Even though my job requires me to travel, I hope to spend more time at my Bleecker Street flagship store because I love being there and communicating directly with my customers. And I hope to spend the maximum amount of time with my fianceé, Tess, who I love!"
Mary_Meyer_resizedMary Meyer:
Brooklyn designer Mary Meyer has had quite a year. Not only is she the go-to for singers like EMA or Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino for her cozy, easy-to-wear BK staples, but she also opened her own brick-and-mortar and teamed up with our Reserve program for a jaw-dropping sale. Just another reason why Brooklyn is simply poppin'!

Her Resolution: "I'm looking forward to going to the Dominican Republic with my boyfriend in January. I'm super stoked to be on a tropical beach in the middle of the NYC winter. Also I'm really excited for my spring '12 collection to come out in March: it's the collection I'm most proud of and I resolve to enjoy it when it hits the streets."

Photographed by Aaron Cobbett, Photo: Courtesy of Holy Ghost! Photographed by Lauren Bilanko, Photo: Courtesy of Jean-Michel Cazabat, Photographed by Jason Eric Hardwick
Erica Domesek
P.S. We love Erica. The super creative mind behind our daily read P.S. I Made This proves that it's possible to see something you like, and then — voilà — make it. Not only does Erica have entrepreneurial savvy, to-die-for style, and DIY hints and tricks, but she's also a published author, too!
Her New Year's Resolution: "First, go to more museums and galleries... I mean, hello! I live in New York City. Secondly, for every item I bring into my closet, I must say adios to something."
elliot_aranow_-Ruvan-Wijesooriya_resizedElliot Aronow
Elliot Aronow always wears suits. It's a befitting trait of the ultimate guy-about-town, who not only helms Our Show, the 'zine that aims to be the punk version of GQ, but also is the co-founder and creative director of music tastemaker RCRD LBL. And menswear? No one is the maestro of the well-tailored, finely cuffed, bespoke variety quite like Elliot.
His New Year's Resolution: "For the next year, I really want to learn how to train dachsunds, finesse a fakie heelflip on a skateboard, and obsess over how to send more positive energy into the world."
Zana Bayne
Sure, we'd been reading Garbage Dress for a few years now, but 2011 was really the year Zana Bayne proved her mettle. From producing the harnesses for Lady Gaga's "Yoü And I" to collaborating with Prabal Gurung on accessories, Bayne's leather wearables were certainly more RTW than S&M.
Her New Year's Resolution: "Spend more time with my dearest friends and also branch out to connect with new ones. Try to see more shows, sing more karaoke, investigate the color mustard, make my way over to London or Barcelona...or both!"
Alexander Olch
Featured on HBO, carried in Bergdorf's, graduated from Harvard: Alexander Olch's pedigree is as serious as they get. The New Yorker started making his eponymous ties for men during his time at Harvard, and quickly became an authority on neckwear to places like Park & Bond, The Selby, and A Continuous Lean (all while making a movie that got heavy HBO rotation). Watch out, Tom Ford.
His New Year's Resolution: "To sit in the sun more, and smile."
dana_dynamite_resizedDana Dynamite
New Yorkers could play "Six Degrees of Dynamite" — everyone seems to know Dana. Working as a brand ambassador for Sailor Jerry rum (and the tattoo artist's estate) sounds cool, but imagine all the festivals, shows, releases, and showcases the company sponsors. As '11's massively attended "Sailor Jerry Presents" concert series proved, Dana's cool-hunting expertise goes way beyond just pal-ing around with Ry Gos and The Black Lips...but she does that too.
Her New Year's Resolution: "Smile today! Lift up the lives of those around you. And then you'll lift up your whole world."
Photo: Courtesy of Erika Domesek, Photographed by Ruvan Wijesooriya, Photo: Courtesy of Zana Bayne, Photo: Courtesy of Alexander Olch, Photo: Courtesy of Sailor Jerry
Chris Habana
Romantically dark, the jewelry of metal-pro Chris Habana embraces a fresh, geometric approach to symbols like rosaries, skulls, crosses, and fangs. The young designer not only showed at Spring and Fall fashion weeks, but he also is the go-to for editors who want tough and sexy.
His New Year's Resolution: "It's simple: To love better."
luc_carl_resizedLüc Carl
Gossip rags know Lüc Carl as the ex-boyfriend of Ms. Gaga, but New Yorkers are more apt to recognize Carl as the dude who once manned the bar at LES mainstay St. Jerome's. Now, Carl has launched the freshly minted Ludlow Manor, all whilst writing his own book, the hilariously titled Drunk Diet (which aims to show that getting in shape doesn't necessarily mean abstaining).
His New Year's Resolution: "To never rely on a New Year as a starting line. Seize the day. Let that day be today."
msfitz_resizedMs. Fitz
Though born down under, Claire Fitzsimmons, the Aussie known in the indie fashion world as Ms. Fitz, is a consummate New Yorker. Multitalented and cross-disciplined, she spent 2011 styling videos for fellow NYers Peaches, Cazwell, Hercules and Love Affair, and Chew Fu, while getting her own editorially beloved jewelry line launched. Her must-read blog, must-own accessories, and must-follow vision almost haven't afforded her time to start her own branding/PR company. Almost.
Her New Year's Resolution: "Buy more shoes that light up and grab life by the balls."
leahrodriguez_resizedJennifer Murray
Jennifer Murray is one-half of the duo behind Edith A. Miller, the laid-back brand that both The New York Times and Vogue have been drooling over ever since Steven Alan picked the pair to present at his summer pop-up. Rompers and stripes are the brand's bread-and-butter, and 2012 will surely bring loads of Brooklynites riding on cruiser bikes in their must-have nautical onesie.
Her New Year's Resolution: "I have two resolutions for 2012. The first is to edit my life in every sense. I want to get rid of anything I don't need in my closet and apartment. I really want to be mindful of what I buy and consume. Secondly, I want to spend more time traveling the world and even exploring the city. I want to get outside more, go to galleries, parks and museums, see plays, check out new areas and meet new people."
kerin_rose_cHenry-Mounser_resizeKerin Rose
You know Kerin Rose's work. A Morir, her ultra punk/luxe sunglasses brand, has made a couple of crucial appearances, like, you know, in 100 music videos, on Rihanna, with Debbie Harry, and toted around by Gaga. Yeah, that crazy teacup that Mother Monster was carrying all summer? That was Kerin's. Her made-in-NYC exquisite eyewear is one of our favorite things of the year.
Her New Year's Resolution: "I don't make Gregorian-based resolutions because I'm far too impatient to wait to start doing something I want to do based on a calendar. But i love a party, and I am a chronic list-maker, so here's a short and festive list for you: a) make lots of new, beautiful, mind-blowing eyewear; b) continue to spread happiness, good vibes, and positivity through the glitter medium, c) introduce more people to the unparalleled bliss of edible glitter — because you really haven't lived until you've seasoned your dinner with sparkles."
Photo: Courtesy of Chris Habana, Photo: Courtesy of Lüc Carl, Photo: Courtesy of Ms. Fitz, Photo: Courtesy of Mode PR, Photography by Henry Mounser
John Januzzi
John Januzzi was not @CondeElevator, but everyone certainly thought, given his Lucky position and his incredible Twitter prowess, that the clever writer would be behind such a handle. Untrue, but if you want to read some of his non-Lucky stuff, we adore his literature-meets-fashion Tumblr called Textbook.
His New Year's Resolution: "In 2012, barring a disaster of the Mayan's foretelling, I'd like to get back in to art. I used to do a lot of printmaking and whatnot, in fact, that was my major in college. My apartment isn't exactly production friendly, but I'm looking into classes at the New School and elsewhere. Plus, by this time next year, I'd be able to make DIY holiday gifts people will actually enjoy... as opposed to the crap I'm passing off this year."
The-Postelles-Press-Photo-4_resizedThe Postelles
These New Yorkers had quite a year, but their incredible "123 Stop" hit helped launch The Postelles from being an opener for Interpol to headliners in their own right. Being pals with The Strokes Albert Hammond Jr. (who produced their self-titled debut) hasn't hurt, either.
Their New Year's Resolution: "We all resolve to make the best music of 2012 and to never again eat at a Carl's JR at 4 a.m. on tour!"
christina_tosiChristina Tosi
Thanks to Christina Tosi, hip young things around the city not only became addicted to New York attraction Momofuku's Milk Bar delicacies, but they learned how to make them themselves. The new Milk Bar got us all addicted to Cereal Milk ice cream and Crack Pie. And when her Milk Bar book was released this October, Amazon actually ran out of the accompanying pie tins.
Her New Year's Resolution: I'm the kind of gal that's always trying to look for things to improve, whether it's a recipe, an outfit, or an outlook on life. It's an every day thing for me and less of an end of the year resolution —though you can't help reflect when the 2012 countdown begins! I want to take more walks! There's nothing I love more than a good, long walk, midday or late at night, preferably with my pups. Hopefully I'll watch more movies! Going to the movies or having movie night at home, in conjunction with nacho night, is what i'm really shooting for. Also, be less of a worrywart! There are a lot of cookies, cakes, pies and milk bars, milk maids and milk men to fuss over — but I'm always searching for a more serene way to be a wonder woman. And lastly, I hope to create more. We have grand, grand plans for new cookies, cakes, pies, breads and more for 2012 at milk bar. Let the recipe testing begin!
timo-tim-portrait_resizedTimo Weiland
No doubt we've been big Timo fans since day one, but his first Fashion Week presentation last season really proved that the brand (and the two guys behind it) has the potential of taking their New York label to the next — and worldwide — level. (Also, how cute is his wallet venture, too?)
His New Year's Resolution: "To wake up earlier each day, in order to enjoy and utilize the calm quiet of the city before the workday."
greg_darrenDarin and Greg Bresnitz
If you find a cool music and/or food event in NYC, twin brothers Greg and Darin won't be far behind. Known as Fingers On The Pulse, the Brothers Bresnitz mix great tastes with tunes, hosting their own web-show Snacky Tunes (which pairs chefs with music playlists) or producing IFC's Dinner With The Band (which cooks with bands like Neon Indian and The Mountain Goats), while Greg manages events at the Ace Hotel and Darin oversees his own video production company. Color us impressed.
Their New Year's Resolution: "We resolve to introduce good food to great people. We resolve to spend more quality time with the people we love. We resolve to give our beagle, Joe, more ear scratches. We resolve to ring in our 30th birthdays with a decadent amount of friends, whiskey and oysters. We resolve to learn about more things and to do many a things outside our comfort zone."

Photo: Courtesy of John Januzzi, Photos: Courtesy of +1 MusicPhoto: Courtesy of Momofuku, Photo: Courtesy of Timo Weiland, Photo: Courtesy of Darin and Greg Bresnitz


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