The New Guard: The 50 Most Influential Women in America

This isn't your traditional Power List. Spotlighted here are legions of impressive women operating largely behind the scenes, pulling levers and exercising outsize influence in their industries. They are the women you call when you want to launch something—be it a startup or a movement—these passionistas with the know-how to make anything happen. We call them The New Guard: The 50 Most Influential Women in America. Meet them. Learn from them. Then join them.

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The Tastemaker: Sarah Rutson

VP of Global Buying, Net-a-Porter
Age: 44 Bona Fides: Rutson rebranded Hong Kong–based Lane Crawford, then jumped to Net-a-Porter to head up global buying. All Eyes on Her: Can she help steer Net-a-Porter's merger with Yoox?

The Eco-Warrior: Yael Aflalo

Founder and CEO, Reformation
Age: 38 Bona Fides: Disgusted with the waste in fashion—the industry is the second-largest consumer of water after the oil business—she launched Los Angeles–based, mid-priced Reformation as the casual- chic label that fashion's tree huggers have been itching for. Big-Name Backers: Taylor Swift Instagrammed her posse wearing a bunch of Reformation "Bill Murray" sweatshirts; supermodel Karlie Kloss is an investor. (@Yaya_Aflalo)

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The Showstopper: Jennifer Blumin

Founder and CEO, Skylight Group
Age: 38 Bona Fides: Blumin is a favorite among hipster designers like Prabal Gurung and Proenza Schouler for transforming unconventional spaces for parties and fashion shows. Breakout Moment: After The New York Times profiled her last year, überagent and WME-IMG cochief Ari Emanuel selected her shop to run New York Fashion Week now that it has decamped from Lincoln Center.

The Multi-Hyphenate: Natalie Joos

Casting Agent, Writer, Stylist, and Photographer
Age: 40 Bona Fides: After working for lensman Craig McDean, she struck out on her own and now boasts Lacoste, Chloé, and Max Mara as clients. Off-Hour Blogger: Tales of Endearment catalogs her passion for vintage fashion.

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Fan Club President: Moj Mahdara

CEO, Beautycon
Age: 37 Bona Fides: The serial entrepreneur founded Beautycon, a live-event series that connects beauty and fashion social-media superstars like Bethany Mota with their fans—and the advertisers eager to court both. Big-Name Backers: Mota and Roc Nation chief Jay Brown own stakes; CoverGirl and Revlon are partners.

The Shopkeeper: Ara Katz

Cofounder, Spring
Age: 36 Bona Fides: With brothers Alan and David Tisch, she helped launch Spring as "the mall for your mobile phone," with one-click-to-buy for more than 800 brands from Marc Jacobs to Public School. Big-Name Backers: Over $30 million in funding from the likes of Josh Kushner's Thrive Capital, Bernard Arnault's investment arm, and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner. (@AraKatz)

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Wonder Woman: Rosie Assoulin

Age: 30 Bona Fides: The former Oscar de la Renta intern cut her teeth with Lanvin's Alber Elbaz before launching her own eponymous label known for voluminous shapes and bold colors. On the Mantel: She nabbed the CFDA's Swarovski Award for womenswear this year—the fashion equivalent of an Oscar.

Content Queen: Shani Hilton

Executive Editor, BuzzFeed News
Age: 30 Bona Fides: Hilton oversees BuzzFeed's growing news operation, including 100 reporters in eight countries. The Long View: Ambitious—overtake established vets like Reuters and AP. (Ahem, Pulitzer Committee.) A-List Friends: "I expect that I will be working for Shani someday," best-selling author Ta-Nehisi Coates said this year.

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The Informant: Claire Cain Miller

Staff Writer, The New York Times
Age: 35 Bona Fides: She's a standout for her zeitgeist-y coverage of Silicon Valley, with pieces on the Ellen Pao sexual harassment trial, the tech industry's not-so-family- friendly policies, and egg freezing as the new corporate perk. MC Predicts: A column and book deal. She's the Valley's Maureen Dowd.

Social Supernova: Jill Hazelbaker

VP of Communications & Public Policy, Snapchat
Age: 34 Bona Fides: Google's ex-communications and public policy director in Europe also worked on Mike Bloomberg's final mayoral campaign with Hillary consigliere Howard Wolfson. Inner Circle: Has reported to everyone from John McCain in his 2008 presidential bid to Google chief Eric Schmidt.

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