Fashion Director, InStyle Magazine. New York
In the last decade or so, the fashion industry has come a long, long way in terms of shifting the formerly behind-the-scenes people—from stylists and photographers to editors and corporate types—right up to the forefront. If street style doesn't get your name circulating, social media definitely will—unless, of course, you're the under-the-radar, press-shy luddite. Which only makes you all the more desirable, of course. While none of this is exactly news, it's worth calling out only because it's responsible for introducing us to the likes of Melissa Rubini, who, prior to a few Google deep-dives, had the type of magnitudinous career we were a little bit in the dark on. In the case that you are too, we'll fill you in: not only does she serve as the Fashion Director at InStyle, which just so happens to be one of the best-performing glossies there is (in the case that you thought print was dead, allow us to repeat this: their overall reach is a little over 20 million. Just FYI.), but she's also a consultant and stylist for some of the most prestigious brands, period. As in, she's worked on pretty much on all things Prada—styling everything from their RTW campaigns to their eyewear and fragrance campaigns (phew!)—since, like, forever. "The first Prada campaign I was fortunate to work on gave me exposure to the team (especially Fabio Zambernardi), and Steven Meisel, Pat McGrath, Guido Palau and creative director David James. I wouldn't be who I am today if it was not for their generosity and genius!" So how did it all happen? Born and raised in Brazil, Rubini nabbed her degree from Parsons before going on to assist Anne Christensen at what is now T Magazine. In other words, by taking exactly the right steps to set up a serious future in fashion with a capital F. Factor in gigs with Joe McKenna and Edward Enninful, and well, the writing's practically on the wall. If there was ever a road map to success (and really, there's not), we imagine it looks a little something like this.