In The Magazine

AVENUE: The 2010s

by AVENUE insider Photographed by Peter Brant Jr, Michelle Harper, Harry Brant
Friday, October 30, 2015

The 2010s are about quality over quantity, and the rise of a more discerning type of social leader. There is no need to be in a million Patrick McMullan photos when you can hop into a few frames at the best of events (and then filter it 14 times over, regram it and share it to Facebook). The social stars of the 2010s curate their own fabulous brands with up-close Instagram shots of their penne a la vodka from Carbone and their Sunday afternoon sails to Shelter Island.

In post-2010, every family is a brand, and its children are the ambassadors. Gone are the days where an overprivileged childhood foreshadows an adulthood of rehab stints and professional partying. The younger generations of well-to-do families know better than to rest on their laurels. They use their heritage and connections to accelerate the creation of their own clout. Hannah Bronfman is a DJ–cum–health guru, Aerin Lauder a lifestyle superstar. The list goes on. Everyone applauds their abilities to create and innovate, to carry the torch of their family legacies in a way that makes spectators happy and comfortable. Nobody wants to see a kid who grew up in the public eye spiral downward; if for no other reason, it makes them feel old.

In the 2010s, women have it all. The new breed of “boss” has a career, runs philanthropic initiatives, manages her personal social media brand and growing family. She wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to get to a Barry’s Bootcamp or SLT class; she shops at the Union Square Green Market (and makes her own baby food); she gets 8 a.m. Glamsquad blowouts and is at her desklooking like she stepped out of Net-a-Porter’s The Edit and eating her Chia Podby 10 a.m. Under-eye circles are no longer a concern in the age of Eminence Organics Cucumber Eye Gel and the “Hefe” Instagram filter.

The rise of the “mega-marriage” is also increasingly common as power players scan the summits for their partners. Nicky Hilton and James Rothschild; Lauren Bush and David Lauren; Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner; and Alejandro Santo Domingo and Lady Charlotte Wellesley are prime examples of this new breed. Not only do these pairings yield mega (mega-mega) wealth, they also churn out the ultimate power couples whom we get to see having breakfast in their pj’s on Instagram! It’s like we know them! It’s like we’re there! Thanks to social media, we can feel like we are right inside the social apex.

And as counterculture becomes more mainstream, the pool widens. Race/sexual orientation blindness is the expectation (case in point, if you get to see Hamilton in the next year or two). We are still waiting for a transsexual society superstar. It will happen. And age? Just a number. Ask Iris Apfel or one of the 23-year-old tech billionaires in Silicon Alley. As long as they’re creating, contributing, branding, schmoozing, donating, and wheeling and dealing (in nice clothes and with shiny hair), society is all ears.

At AVENUE, we keep our eyes peeled for the real creators. We have more material than ever; we have easier access to ideas and more means by which to monitor social activity and scour the scene for rising starsbut as the haystack expands, the number of needles doesn’t necessarily do the same. These social rock stars are simply hiding in plain sight, if you know how to distinguish them.

Haley Friedlich,

Executive editor of AVENUE

Photos by Billy Farrell Agency


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