1 Brian Brater and Jarrett Myer, record-label executives. The 27-year-old CEOs of Rawkus Records produce vital hip-hop bands; original third partner was Rupert Murdoch’s son James – so there’s the secret to the cash flow.
2 Sam Mendes, director. As if helming the Cabaret revival and engineering The Blue Room (bonus: Nicole Kidman nude) weren’t enough, this 34-year-old swept the Oscars with American Beauty.
3 Howard Wolfson, press secretary. So what if the Yonkers-born 32-year-old in charge of Hillary’s campaign has been dubbed “The Pantywaist” by Letterman?
4 Miguel Adrover, fashion designer. At 34, the deconstructionist darling may dine at Anna’s townhouse, but he still lives in a $600-per-month basement in the East Village.
5 Josh Isay, lobbyist. The 30-year-old chief of staff for Schumer in his victory run for Senate is now making bank as head lobbyist for DoubleClick, Silicon Alley’s richest Internet firm.
6 Daniel Peres, editor. The 28-year-old former Paris bureau chief for Fairchild was called Stateside last week to head up the newly fabulous (no, we didn’t say gay) Details.
7 Ari Tepper, theater producer. Freak was this 27-year-old Dalton grad’s maiden producing effort, closely followed by The Dead and Sandra Bernhard’s I’m Still Here … Dammit.
8 Michael Dell, eighth richest man in America. The hardware giant is only 35; he just reportedly bid more than $20 million for a duplex on Fifth Avenue (no biggie when you’re worth $21.5 billion).
9 Seth Goldstein, venture capitalist. This “entrepreneur-in-residence” at Flatiron Partners parlayed his B.A. in literature into a role as Silicon Alley’s VC-to-know at the age of 29.
10 M. Night Shyamalan, film director. This 29-year-old’s as-yet-unmade screenplay sold for $5 million; his two features, The Sixth Sense and Stuart Little, were box-office hits.
11 Fernando Espuelas, CEO. The 33-year-old’s internet portal, Starmedia, IPO’ed at $105 million last spring; the Hispanic interactive market is his to win.
12 David Stone, producer. The 33-year-old who brought you Fully Committed and The Diary of Anne Frank also cast Alanis Morissette in The Vagina Monologues.
13 Xana Antunes, editor. The new New York Post editor-in-chief is a formidable Fleet Street reporter and, at 35, the paper’s youngest editor ever. That explains the ‘N Sync cover.
14 Dave Sirulnick, producer. The 35-year-old executive VP of production at MTV is now in charge of half of the station’s daily programming; without him, no Total Request Live.
15 Jason Binn, publisher. This 32-year-old Friend of Donald remade Miami’s Ocean Drive and Palm Beach, tarted up Randy Schindler’s Hamptons, and now has his sights set on New York.
16 Daymond John, design impresario. The 30-year-old entrepeneur from Hollis, Queens, built up his own $350 million urban clothing line, fubu.
17 Andrew Kreps, gallerist. This 26-year-old way-West Chelsea gallery owner works with emergent talent like Ricci Albena and Julian Laverdier; opened his first SoHo space at 21.
18 Matthew Kenney, chef. The 35-year-old pretty-boy cook co-owns hot spots Canteen and Matthew’s; his newest place, Commune, opened this week.
19 Tina Bennett, literary agent. The 32-year-old Marshall scholar at Janklow & Nesbit secured a $1 million advance for Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point.
20 Robert Safian, editor. The 35-year-old Money managing editor started his magazine career as executive editor of The American Lawyer – at the tender age of 26.
21 Andrew Stenzler, food guru. At 31, the CEO of Xando Cosi oversees the city’s hippest and most profitable snackeries.
22 Steve Stout, record executive. This 28-year-old president of urban music at Interscope/Geffen/A&M produces hip-hop, “Spanglish,” and R&B, when not getting beaten up by Puffy.
23 Craig Kanarick and Jeff Dachis, Web Moguls. These 33-year-old partners in the interactive agency Razorfish also run an online ‘zine RSUB and have a stake in the Orchard Street lounge the Slipper Room.
24 Matthew Warchus, director. The 32-year-old engineered Broadway’s spring hit about brothers who hate each other, True West.
25 Desiree Gruber, manager. A 32-year-old bi-coastal manager and publicist with major accounts (Victoria’s Secret, Miramax, Naomi Campbell) whose company, Full Picture, is now shopping a sitcom about a 32-year-old bi-coastal publicist with major accounts.
26 Alexei Hay, photographer. At 26, he is showcasing his acidly realistic photographs in Bazaar and in edgy fashion mags worldwide.
27 Nicholas Butterworth, CEO. At 33, the former head of Rock the Vote and original partner in SonicNet is now heading up MTVi, the music site to end all music sites – literally.
28 Geoff Kloske, editor. At 30, Simon and Schuster’s rising star in the humor-plus-pathos market discovered David Sedaris and cultivated Dave Eggers and Sarah Vowell.
29 The brothers Ziff, tycoons. The 28-, 34-, and 35-year-old heirs to the Ziff-Davis fortune sold off Daddy’s publishing business and still managed to stay on the Forbes 400 list.
30 Eric and Justin Stangel, comedy writers. The 28- and 30-year-old sibling team renowned for those hilarious remote spots with Dave’s mom signed on this month as head writers for Late Show.
31 Marci Klein, TV strategist. The well-connected 33-year-old daughter of Calvin has booked for Saturday Night Live for twelve years and is now head of prime-time development and marketing for SNL. Once kidnapped.
32 Rocco DiSpirito, chef. The buzzed-about 33-year-old Union Pacific chef graduated from the Culinary Institute of America – at 16.
33 Kyle Shannon, Web master. The 33-year-old has a $245 million stake in agency.com, the 850-employee firm that’s expanding internationally.
34 Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, society princess. The 29-year-old picks pretty lipsticks for great-grandmom Estee’s cosmetics line; also the youngest socialite ever to chair the Met’s Costume Institute Ball.
35 Jon Meacham, editor. Rumour has it the just-turned-30 Newsweek managing editor is in line for the top job.