2020 People

By: Gabriela Yareliz

The other night, I was at the window searching for that Christmas star situation. Hand gripping the window sill that was probably painted over for the hundredth time in 1992, twisting my neck to see if I could catch a glimpse of anything behind the thick ceiling of gray clouds that reflect city light back onto us city dweller earthlings. Nothing. What a year.

We stayed indoors and grew pale this year (though I had my many-a-mile walks with my love in the later half of the year). That said, we all searched for inspiration in different things. I read, I mulled over things and also discovered some new people (and saw how people I already knew evolved). Below are some of the people who caught my eye in 2020. Sometimes, it was just their aesthetic or general vibe— but still— they inspired something. Let’s go!

Nausheen Shah

Photo via Nausheen Shah’s IG

Pakistani jewelry entrepreneur, designer and stylist taking the world by storm. I don’t wear jewelry, but she caught my eye because she is a bold boss. Her work is bold, unique, and she is a multi-hyphenate person who isn’t afraid to stand out. Lesson: Be fearlessly bold.

Heather McMahan

Photo via HeatherkMcMahan IG

McMahan continued to make us laugh. She did big things, quarantined in Canada for filming, moved out of NYC and went back south, and she took us all along for the ride. Also, just this week she married her Italian Stallion (Jeff). I have a feeling she will continue to bring us laughs. Lesson: Never stop finding the humor in the absurdities of life.

Chiara Ferragni and Fedez

Fedez and Chiara receiving the Ambrogino d’Oro, the highest honor in Milan, for their gifts and service to the community.

Chiara and Fedez kept me sane at the beginning of quarantine. I would tune into their live concerts they would do on their balcony in Italy during the lockdown. When they did it with Andrea Bocelli— I cried like a child that day. I will never forget that shared experience of humanity, grief and the solace we were all seeking in the midst of uncertainty. Apart from being a wickedly funny couple, her an entrepreneur and him a favorite Italian rapper, they are very involved and adorable parents. They show that being a parent is the greatest joy and you are still cool. Life is not over after kids. They raised millions for a COVID-19 hospital. They have poured themselves out for their community and beyond. It’s clear to me they know exactly what matters in life. Lesson: Serve, even if it breaks you. Cry with your people. Give to your people. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for it.

Fedez and Chiara honored in Vanity Fair Italia

Chrissy Teigen

From Chrissy Teigen’s IG

This year, Chrissy very publicly suffered a miscarriage. She posted that photo few of us will forget of her weeping in her hospital bed. She is forever real. Lesson: Don’t be afraid to show your pain; you’ll find out it’s not yours alone.

Tina Sadri

From Tina Sadri’s IG

She grew up in Iran seeing the US in movies. Now, she is a boss mom, has her own therapy practice in California and helps her community. Lesson: Don’t be afraid to dream, and when you’ve made it, always give back. Never forget where you came from.

Audrey Leighton

Via FrassyAudrey IG

Artist, photographer, writer and lady. Lesson: Be unapologetic, feminine and strong. We are the protagonists of our own stories. Leading ladies.

Leandra Medine Cohen

Photo via LeandramCohen IG

After allegations of discrimination being part of the work culture at Repeller (né Man Repeller), Leandra stepped down and was publicly held accountable. I knew Repeller wouldn’t last long without her. It was voiceless. With all due respect to the other writers and editors on staff, Leandra was Man Repeller. It was a brand she embodied. Repeller was shuttered. I truly think she is one of the most brilliant voices in fashion writing and writing in general. She stands alone. She is doing the work and growing, as we all are. I know she will be back. Lesson: Don’t be afraid to do the work. Grow. Make amends. Keep moving forward.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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