News & Runway

3 Under 30: Closed Set with Julie Bensman

Even though I technically fall into the demographic, my fellow 20-somethings at last week’s Forbes party seemed light years ahead of me, professionally speaking. It was the magazine’s “30 Under 30” gala and attendees included L’Artusi owner (and well-fed friend) Joe Campanale, Sorella Chef/Owner Emma Hearst, and political activist/blogger James O’Keefe. If not insanely inspiring, NYC’s 30 Under 30 crowd reminds me that age really is merely a number when it comes to a good idea, natural talent, and hard work. And while I may never be the next Pete Cashmore or Pamela Love, I consistently find myself in awe of 80s babies I get to meet throughout my travels.

To that tune, this past year has offered me the opportunity to work with the ladies below in one capacity or another. It’s my own little list, but make no mistake: these three are major ones to watch.


Satya TwenaSatya Twena, Age 29

I met the milliner at a Fashion Week party and was instantly smitten. Not only does she create beautiful headpieces (many of which will be featured in the fashion editorial for Gotham’s April issue), but she’s also the Founder of, a monthly subscription for luxe hosiery.

WHAT I DO: I help women feel sexy and beautiful through my craft, creation, and curation. I spend a lot of time making sure everything is exactly how I see/dream – and then I design it.

INSPIRED BY: My life! Living in New York; working in the Garment District; and my collection of great books (topics ranging from Japanese patterns to Jacques Quinet). I also find inspiration through travel, specifically Paris and its beautiful museums — the Art de Metier is my favorite, an inventor’s paradise!

LAST THING GOOGLED: — I just bought the URL 5 minutes ago. I figure as a milliner and hosiery entrepreneur, I should own a fun URL!


Shanina ShaikShanina Shaik, Age 21

I met Shanina in Moab, Utah, of all places. We were shooting a fashion editorial for Aspen Peak (see picture at right). Since then, Ms. Shaik walked in this year’s Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, as well as opened for Jason Wu’s NYFW show.

WHAT I DO: Fashion Model

INSPIRED BY: Confident, smart, business-minded female models.

LAST THING I GOOGLED: Address of a London casting.


Sabine Mirlesse, Age 25

I met Sabine (Sam) through cool mutual friends, to put it one way. We’ve been badminton partners, fashion closet diggers, and dinner party co-hosts, but I’ve never stopped admiring her amazing photography and eye for all things beautiful. It’s too bad she left us for Paris last year.

Sabine Mirlesse

WHAT I DO: Try over and over again to make good photographs that tell stories words can't.

INSPIRED BY: Books, films, museums, magazines, dance, theater, jazz, classical, bluegrass, folk and tango music, moving to a new city, the beach in winter, the desert and snowstorms. Above all, though, my own emotional experiences coupled with the experiences of individuals I meet around the world. 

LAST THING I GOOGLED: Prices for plane tickets to Moscow, info on how to get a visa to enter Russia, and the opening hours of the laundromat around the corner from my apartment.


image of Shanina: Rony Shram