Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, Proenza Schouler The duo behind revered line Proenza Schouler are so cool that their first-ever bag became "It" before it even hit the department store floors. And it became a classic because it's good. Of course, their knock-out collections aren't anything to scoff at, either.
Ralph Lauren Ralph Lauren is still the ultimate lifestyle brand, and young designers continue to aspire to build an empire like his.
Marc Jacobs He is our generation's Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, or yes, Ralph Lauren. Whatever Marc Jacobs does turns to gold, and we celebrate him for it, as well as his personal obsession with celebrity and the idea of being "cool."
Oscar de la Renta Oscar de la Renta's true strength in this era has been his ability to empower his employees. With Twitter handle @oscarprgirl, the label is branding itself for a new generation of devotees. He's also given CEO (and son-in-law) Alex Bolen permission to expand the brand globally. And wisely.
Jenna Lyons, J.Crew Lyons' still has her grip on street style, and we don't see that loosening any time soon.
Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty, SUNO Not only has SUNO inspired seasons of colorful, bold prints, the duo has inspired other young designers to seek out ethical, creative production and manufacturing.
Andrew Rosen, Theory From his appointment of Olivier Theyskens at Theory to his imminent investment in Proenza Schouler, Andrew Rosen pretty much owns the future of New York fashion.
Mickey Drexler, J.Crew He made Gap the most coveted mass brand in the 1980s and '90s. In the last decade, he's taken J.Crew from a collegiate catalog to a dictator of what's happening on and off the runway. Madewell, his latest project, is currently the object of every thinking girl's affection. We can't wait to see what this genius does next.
James Gardner, Createthe Group He brought Marc Jacobs online. And if you look at pretty much every other luxury or contemporary fashion label in existence, he's likely had a hand in their e-commerce strategy.
Robert Duffy, Marc Jacobs This Twitter-happy CEO has been Marc Jacobs' business partner for 25 years, through the good and the bad. Not only has he negotiated an ideal arrangement with LVMH, he's also still completely involved with the day to day activities of the company.
Gary Wassner, Hilldun Wassner is the president of Hilldun, which finances young designers, offering loans and other forms of credit. Past clients include everyone from Marc Jacobs to Tommy Hilfiger. Current clients include up-and-coming designers with the potential to build real businesses.
Anna Wintour, Vogue Even as she enters her editorial "twilight years," Anna Wintour is still recognized as the industry's major force. Her most recent effort is the retail-booster Fashion's Night Out, which, despite causing headaches for brands and city dwellers, is set to happen for third time in 2011.
Sally Singer, T Singer, who moved from Vogue to T last year, is seen as a mother hen for new talent. What's more, her writing will be as big a part of her legacy as her editing skills.
Grace Coddington, Vogue Beloved as much for her star turn in The September Issue as for her romantic editorials, Grace Coddington continues to inspire young stylists the world over.
Karl Templer Templer's work styling for super brands like Louis Vuitton and Calvin Klein keep him on top.
Alex White, W Not only is she one of the top stylists working full time at a monthly American glossy, White also works with power brands like David Yurman and Armani.
Camilla Nickerson From her work at Vogue and Paris Vogue to her spreads for W, we want to live in Camilla Nickerson's world.
Lori Goldstein She styles for Japanese and Italian Vogue, works regularly with Steven Meisel, and shills a collection on QVC. Lori Goldstein is a legend, and serves as an incredible hero for aspiring stylists.
Kate Young She puts her red carpet subjects--most notably Natalie Portman--in interesting, controversial looks. As Portman is an Oscar favorite, Young's work will be talked about more than ever over the next year.
Sally Lyndley This New Yorker--via Texas, Los Angeles and London--not only styles covers for Love and Teen Vogue, she's also a top brand consultant and one of the key factor's in Victoria Beckham's incredible success. What's more, she wants to inspire the next generation of aspiring stylists through her Fashionista column and her very own styling school.
Joe Zee Along with serving as a reality television regular and styling every Elle cover, Joe is behind the looks of some of your favorite stars.
Steven Alan Not only is his own label coveted worldwide, Steven Alan has a knack for representing the latest and greatest in contemporary labels in his showroom, from Boyy and Marais USA to Karen Walker and The Lake and Stars.
Amanda Brooks, Barneys New York She officially starts as Barneys' new fashion director today, but the power her position holds is already presumed. Amanda Brooks and her team at Barneys might change the brand entirely--and undoubtedly influence what's next.
Jen Mankins, Bird Mankins, a former Steven Alan buyer, sells clothes that even editors are willing to pay full price for. From Isabel Marant to Whit to Stella McCartney, the owner of chainlet Bird dresses Brooklyn's--and many of Manhattan's--coolest girls.
Paul Birardi and Eddy Chai, Odin With Odin, Birardi and Chai gave regular guys--who happened to be interested in looking good--a place to shop. "It is not uncommon for executives from the big retailers to stop into and check out which brands they are carrying and how they are merchandising their stores," says an insider.
Julie Gilhart She may not be Barneys' fashion director any longer, but her influence--from her focus on sustainable design to her trumpeting of young designers--is still felt at retailers all over the city.
Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, Opening Ceremony As important as it is to be sold at Colette in Paris, it's just as important to be sold at Opening Ceremony in New York.
Craig McDean Nick Knight's former assistant may be the most influential fashion photographer working in New York right now, from his Gap and Diesel campaigns to his Alexander Wang shoots.
Scott Schuman From his work with Burberry to his daily blog, street style leader Scott Schuman's aesthetic has influenced everyone from aspiring bloggers to major brands.
Terry Richardson Whatever you think about Richardson and his dalliances, there's no denying his importance in the industry, from his Harper's Bazaar covers to his Tom Ford campaigns.
Bill Cunningham The street style photographer who started it all.
Chloe Sevigny From her collection for Opening Ceremony to her red carpet choices, Chloe Sevigny is the ultimate It girl, and we don't see her influence waning anytime soon.
Alexa Chung This stylish presenter has made being a "fashion person" a form of celebrity. And we admire her for it. Let's see if she can make it a viable business.
Andre Leon Talley From Life With Andre to America's Next Top Model to his support of young designers, ALT is New York fashion's most grand mascot.
Nina Garcia She's not only an editor, she's also a television star, tech investor, and all-around savvy businesswoman.
Cathy Horyn, New York Times Not only does the industry care what she has to say, but regular people care what she has to say. And that's when a critic really matters.
Bridget Foley, WWD Her opinion is WWD's most valuable asset.
Cintra Wilson, New York Times We hang on her every word, mostly because she knows how to turn a phrase, but also because she's honest.
Lynn Yaeger Nothing's better than when a writer truly loves what she's writing about. And Lynn's love of fashion is so evident in her sentences.
Gayle Dizon She’s the powerhouse behind Dizon, Inc., a 10-year-old event production company that organizes shows for the likes of Proenza Schouler, ADAM, and Thakoon.
Natalie Joos This casting director, who works with everyone from Jay Z to Mark Fast, should win award for the ability to create a genuine blog that also inadvertently promotes her work. Tales of Endearment might be about vintage shopping, but it has also raised Craig McDean's former studio manager's profile infinitely.
Gucci Westman Neville The makeup artist and Revlon creative director is the most well-known--and oft-quoted--runway makeup artist in New York.
Steven Kolb The CFDA executive director guides the team who chooses young designers to be nominated for the CFDA fashion fund.
Carol Han and Alexandra Weiss, CA Creative These two cool girls have built a booming business out of teaching staid brands how to raise their profile through social media and the web. And those brands are listening.
Andy Spade, Partners & Spade From Lucky's redesign to the J.Crew men's shop, Andy Spade's Partners & Spade is one of the slickest, most successful creative firms in town.
Julie Mannion and Ed Filipowski, KCD They handle the highest profile, highest grossing designers around with the utmost professionalism.
Sylvie Picquet Damesme and Pierre Rougier, PR Consulting Picquet Damesme and Pierre Rougier run a big time shop, but with a boutique approach. The focus is on exclusivity.
Hamilton South and Lynn Tesoro, HL Group HL Group is where brands go for slick PR that will give them global reach.
Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss, Rent the Runway These two Harvard Business School grads convinced everyone from DvF to Missoni to let them buy dresses that they would in turn rent. Kind of like Netflix for clothes. Luckily for everyone involved, it's a real business and it makes renters more likely to buy a garment from their designer of choice in the future.
Lauren Santo Domingo, Moda Operandi Lauren Santo Domingo has already convinced the world that people want to buy clothes straight off the runway. And we have to agree with her. Moda Operandi launches February 16, with sales by Alexander Wang, Carolina Herrera, and Prabal Gurung.