NEW YORK — Identifying up-and-comers is a tricky business in the fashion world, where someone can go from unknown to overexposed in a matter of weeks. That said, WWD asked a handful of leading fashion editors and publicists who they expect to see sitting in the coveted runway-side seats at the shows two or three seasons hence. Some of the editors, actresses and retailers they named are already front-row habitués and some aren’t, but all are young, fashion-savvy and increasingly in demand. Here’s why.
Jeannie Lee and Sophia Banks, Satine, Los Angeles
A mixture of the feminine and the rebellious, the Los Angeles boutique Satine is meant to feel like a high-school girl’s bedroom. Founder Lee’s background, believe it or not, is in commercial real estate law. “After one too many unlawful detainer trials, I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore,” she recalled. Lee recently brought in Banks as a partner, just in time for the launch of an e-commerce site, satineboutique.com. Beck and Kirsten Dunst hosted the launch party.
Annabel Tollman, fashion director, Interview
Interview is an insiders’ read and Tollman is an insider herself. In addition to her role at the magazine, she styles Scarlett Johansson, whom she met during one of her first cover shoots. “Annabel’s smart, she’s a team player, she has an eye and she likes a good laugh,” said Interview editor in chief Ingrid Sischy, who hired Tollman in September 2003 and promoted her to fashion director eight months later.
Tollman got her start as an intern at Wallpaper under the tutelage of then-editor Tyler Brulé. “When I joined, it was in Tyler’s house and he used to cook us lunch,” she recalled.
Rebecca Shalam, special projects editor, Marie Claire
Shalam is a relative newcomer to magazines: Before joining Marie Claire in 2000 as special projects editor (aka celebrity wrangler), she was a senior producer at “Entertainment Tonight.” “Cover booking is always stressful, unexpected, fast-changing and involves a gazillion negotiations,” said Marie Claire editor in chief Lesley Jane Seymour. “Rebecca does it all seamlessly and with humor.” As you’d expect from someone who is Jerry Seinfeld’s sister-in-law.
It comes as no surprise that the daughter of rocker Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet inherited both exotic good looks and creative fashion flair. Unlike other rock star progeny, the 16-year-old Kravitz has wisely limited her exposure thus far, although she did accompany her dad to the jungle-themed party at the Met’s Costume Institute in December.
Most teen stars later try to distance themselves from their earliest roles; that’s something Shawkat will never have to do. Her screen career started with a small role in David O. Russell’s “Three Kings.” Now, at age 15, she plays the unfortunately monikered Maeby Fünke on “Arrested Development,” the critically adored but ratings-challenged Fox series. With a résumé like that, she has credibility to spare for her next project, “Rebound,” a comedy starring Martin Lawrence. As for her style, Shawkat, who’s profiled in the current issue of Teen Vogue, “was in one of the best dresses during the Emmy’s,” opined a fashion publicist.
Playing opposite Jamie Foxx in “Ray” wasn’t Washington’s first big role, but it was the one that vaulted her into Hollywood’s top rank of young actresses. The proof: She appears in the cover spread of Vanity Fair’s annual “Women in Hollywood” issue (on the gatefold, admittedly). Next up for the Bronx native: appearances in “Fantastic Four” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”
Another rock ’n’ roll offspring, Dexter-Jones is the daughter of Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones, and half-sister of Charlotte and Samantha Ronson. As if her pedigree and her occasional Page Six cameos aren’t enough to cement her socialite status, Dexter-Jones is also a contributing editor at Teen Vogue.
Heiji Choy, Hejfina, Chicago
Located in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, Hejfina only opened last August, but it’s already generating buzz. A former management consultant, owner Choy’s passion for architecture is reflected in the design of her store, which she describes as modern but warm. “We’re trying to encourage people to come in and interact with the space,” she said.
Meredith Melling Burke, senior market editor, Vogue
A staffer at Vogue since 1997, Melling Burke took over the Index after Kate Betts left to run Harper’s Bazaar in 1999. Like her predecessor, she’s viewed by many as a future editor in chief. “She’s destined for great things,” said the publicist at a leading fashion house. Burke’s boss, Anna Wintour, agrees. “Meredith brings wonderful energy and drive to her work,” Wintour said. “She has made Vogue Index a go-to section for fashion, home and beauty.”
Jill Bradshaw and Antonia Kojuharova, I Heart, New York
Located in SoHo, I Heart opened its doors exactly one year ago. Co-owners Bradshaw and Kojuharova describe it as a “lifestyle boutique,” with music and art as much a part of the mix as fashion. As for the selection of clothing, said Bradshaw, “We’re not just high fashion — we’re also street as well.”
Alexis Bryan, fashion and jewelry editor, Vanity Fair
It’s hard to say which of Graydon Carter’s famous “seven rooms” Bryan inhabits, but you can bet it’s an exclusive one. The daughter of Shelby Bryan, Anna Wintour’s companion, Bryan got her start working for Virginia Hilfiger, creative director for women’s design at Tommy Hilfiger. Having joined Vanity Fair in 2003 as associate fashion editor, she was recently promoted to her current post. “Not only does Alexis have exquisite personal style, she has an appreciation for both the classic and the cutting edge,” said VF editor in chief Carter.