Forbes present 2015's 30 most influential under-30s
Blake Lively, Simone Rocha, Sam Smith and more
Forbes have released their annual '30 Under 30’ list and new mother Blake Lively hits the top of the list. This year Forbes introduced a new rule that there must be no repeats from previous years, which is why many obvious alumni names are missing from the list such as Jennifer Lawrence, Lena Dunham and Taylor Swift. The notable names were chosen based on nominations from various Forbes sources, including suggestions taken from the magazine's Twitter account as well as an esteemed selection of expert judges.
Young stars from categories such as Hollywood and Entertainment, Art and Style and Music have been honoured. But the list isn’t just limited to famous faces as entrepreneurial talents of venture capitalists, new media whizz kids and retail and commerce are also acknowledged. Here, Buro 24/7 rounds up the key names of the class of 2015…
Hollywood and Entertainment
Being a successful and talented actor is no longer enough to satisfy the ambition of young Hollywood. Stand out stars now strive to branch out beyond delivering stellar performances in film and TV roles and are driven to other projects like directing, writing, humanitarian work and entrepreneurial pursuits to fulfil their aspirations. Take Blake Lively for instance, just days after welcoming her first child into the world with movie star husband Ryan Reynolds, 27-year-old Lively earned the highly coveted spot on the 30 Under 30 list thanks to her entrepreneurial ventures in 2014, the height of which was the launch of lifestyle website Preserve in July. Having enjoyed five years on the hit show Gossip Girl, Lively chose to expand her reach beyond acting and open up a lifestyle brand after being inspired by the likes of Martha Stewart and Gweneth Paltrow.
"I'll never feel like I arrived," Lively, whose mantra as Forbes reports is "don't stop striving," tells the publication. "The people I look up to the most are the people that are continuing to up their game."
Following closely behind in Lively's hardworking footsteps is newly appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, who this year delivered a powerful speech in front of the United Nations to launch the equal rights HeForShe Campaign. Another child star, Zac Effron, who has successfully made the leap from clean Disney tween heartthrob to hard hitting actor in films such as The Paperboy and The Lucky One proving he is more than just a one trick pony.
Another Brit to hit the list, and just in time, is 29 year old Keira Knightly who has been a force in Hollywood since her break out role in Bend it Like Beckham. Knightly, who has appeared in a string of period dramas by one of her favoured directors – Joe Wright, is now generating Oscar buzz thanks to her role in The Imitation Game alongside Benedict Cumberbatch. Knightly has also recently turned her hand to producing with the film adaptation of Suzanne Rindell’s novel – The Other Typist.
Adding Broadway star and Oscar buzz to her list of credentials Emma Stone is a true darling of Hollywood. Famously understated, kind and witty, Stone dedicates much of her time to humanitarian causes and made history by joining the broadway cast of Chicago, causing the production to enjoy its best ticket sales ever.
A slew of comedians and writers also hit the list this year including musical comedian Bo Burnham, Saturday Night Live regular Jay Pharaoh and John Oliver replacement on The Daily Show Jessica Williams.
Art and Style
The creators and designers of the future from high fashion to street style and inventive fashion outlets online. Such as Simone Rocha, for instance, the 28-year-old designer from Ireland and winner of Harper's Bazaar's 'Young Designer of the Year' award last year. She has shown her own collection at London's Tate Modern and designed displays in Dover Street Market stores across the world.
Joining Rocha is Michelle Phan the determined 27-year-old Vietnamese founder of Ipsy. Phan found fame through a YouTube how-to video, which soon had more than 40,000 views a week, as her popularity exploded she founded Ipsy – a subscription cosmetics company which is estimated to pull in an impressive $120 yield in 2015.
This year’s musical judges didn’t hesitate to add British soulful singer songwriter Sam Smith to the list. His debut album has garnered unprecedented success with more Grammy nominations than any other artist on the list – six. Smith’s success is outstanding for an artist of any age let alone a 22-year-old. “He has made a bold entrance with a commercially and critically loved album,” says judge Taylor Hanson. “He is a writer and performer.” Smith’s compatriot, Ed Sheeran also features on list, Sheeran has also enjoyed a stellar year, which included musical collaborations with the likes of Pharrell Williams.
The spectrum of musical talent is very varied this year ranging from southern drawl genre-fused brand of new country music stars, Florida Georgia Line, who dabble in hip-hop and have been thrust into mainstream stardom over the course of 2014. To Dutch DJ Afrojack who released his debut album Forget The World last year to great critical acclaim. However, it is not only the performers that get the glory, this year ten producers and musical entrepreneurs are honoured including Swedish producer Shellback, who had a hand in nine songs on Taylor Swift’s latest album.
The new generation of media makers are an esteemed group of innovators who strive to do things differently. Stand out talent from media giants like Facebook and Twitter still feature but this year brings a new pool of out-of-the-box talent.
Together, Danielle Weisberg, 28 and Carly Zakin, 28 (pictured above), founded theSkimm an “information concierge” site that sends out the hugely popular ‘news you need to know’ round up each day to its subscribers who include Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Jessica Parker. In fact Oprah was so impressed with the work of the two former NBC News workers that she signed on as a partner, helping to catapult the accessible news service to a new level. Weisberg and Zakin have big goals for the coming year as they aim to sign up “every candidate running for election in 2016.”
The Divergent author Veronica Roth also features. Having optioned her book series into a trilogy of hit films, the second of which is due for release later this year, Roth earned herself a cool $17 million in further sales of her book series of an imagined futuristic world that pigeonholes personalities. Micah Lee is also mentioned after helping whistle blower Edward Snowden find secure communication channels through Freedom of the Press, which she founded.
Sports stars hitting the list year include Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis ace Novak Djokovic and golf pro Rickie Fowler.
From the Food and Beverage categories Caviar founder Jason Wang features, after earning $90 million with the high-end food delivery service in the US. Joining him a slew of hot young executive chefs and inventive food creators. Other categories include Consumer Tech, which sees Imgur image platform creator Alan Schaaf honoured.