Heron Preston

Photo: Jake Chessum

I’ve had this joke about downtown New York feeling like a big kids’ high school—the restaurants are the cafeteria, the streets the hallways—and one day I was like, “Downtown needs a yearbook.” So I invited fifteen girls I was friends with to take Polaroids of about 200 creative kids who make downtown tick. We did this really dope design and called it The Young and the Banging. Nike loved it so much they gave me the keys to their gallery on Elizabeth Street for a month last fall. Now I’m working on getting a website up for cities around the world—figuring out who are the up-and-comers, and making value for marketers and talent researchers.

The marketing term for people like me is “slash/slashers.” Like, I’m doing the yearbook plus my blog and making videos and working at a communications firm called Naked. We don’t want one path—we want to get involved in lots of creative projects. It’s like, “Oh, you should holler at Harley to go D.J. your party!” or “Holler at so-and-so to shoot your short! He’s also in a band!” I call us the New Pop Culture, which might sound bold, but I believe it. We’re more influenced by what we’re up to—our own creative outputs—than what Karl Lagerfeld is up to. We are more interested in reading our friends’ blogs than Style.com. My friends and I don’t care about Lindsay Lohan; when we see a picture of a celebrity like Kanye West, we want to know who’s standing behind him. It’s cooler to be a real person. It’s our turn now.

Preston is expanding The Young and the Banging to London and developing plans to turn it into a talent and marketing agency.

As told to Emma Rosenblum

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Heron Preston