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L.A.'s Men of the Moment

BY Allison Mitchell | March 17, 2017 | Feature Features

From the only screenwriter in film history to clock $226 million at the box office before age 30 to a booming restaurateur-turned-brew aficionado, the men of Los Angeles are having a moment. Here, five trailblazers sound off—in their own words.

MAT SANDERS
LATEST DEFINING MOMENT
: Taking famed L.A. design firm and showroom Consort bicoastal

“I grew up in the theater and moved to New York from Florida to pursue anything along those lines. I had no money and was living in a 250-square-foot apartment in the West Village that I decorated in an over-the-top nautical theme—like Pee-wee’s Playhouse meets Ralph Lauren—and it ended up on the cover of Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces. I started to freelance for them, and suddenly I was a journalist. Condé Nast then tapped me to help conceive and relaunch Domino magazine, a dream job. While they were looking for funding to make the relaunch happen, Clique Media Group brought me to L.A. to start MyDomaine, and that’s how I fell into interiors. I was working with Hollywood girls, decorating their houses, and my partner, Brandon Quattrone, and I realized we had to quit our day jobs. In December 2015, we launched Consort’s retail and interior design showroom on Melrose: vintage furniture, wholesale, high-end, repurposed—we have it all. Jessica Alba has been a big part of our story and success. We did a lot of work on her house and designed The Honest Company headquarters in Playa Vista. The business was doing so well, we opened another Consort location in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood in September and plan to launch a playfully chic furniture collection toward the end of this year. We are really looking to grow the brand and become a well-known name. To feel like you’ve made an impact on a community is very special.”

Shot on location at Consort; Styling by Coco Ogburn; Grooming by Jasmin Ponce

JOHN RANKIN
LATEST DEFINING MOMENT
: Ushering in the next wave of craft brewing in the Arts District with Boomtown Brewery

“I moved to New York when I was 20 and ended up attending The Culinary Institute of America years later. I loved New York, but the California lifestyle appealed to me. I landed a job at Soho House West Hollywood and was thrust into the epitome of L.A. culture. It was really amazing. Ultimately, I moved onto The Hudson as general manager, where we built a successful business, and I met my wife, Meritt Elliott; went on to open The Churchill with the same team; and finally opened Laurel Hardware, where I was also a GM before jumping to owning and operating the space. I started to look for new venues in L.A. to open my own restaurant, and I found Boomtown through friends. I walked the 17,000-square-foot space, tasted some of the home brews from head brewer Sam Chawinga, and I had a vision of what it could be. It invigorated me to learn about something I knew little about but had passion for. We’re making full-flavored and complex yet balanced beers with witty names like the Zzyzx porter—a nod to the exit between L.A. and Las Vegas—and the Bad Hombre Mexican Mule. We’re located in the heart of the Arts District. From the murals I’ve been able to put together for our building to the furniture to the graphics, art is a huge part of what we’re doing. Watching it come together and the way people are embracing it has been magical.”

Shot on location at Boomtown Brewery; Wall Mural by DJ Neff

GRAY MALIN
LATEST DEFINING MOMENT
: Revolutionizing aerial photography with an expansion into home decor

“I moved to L.A. for the same reason a lot of people do—I thought I wanted to have a career in film. The initial opportunity came via an internship at Paramount Vantage, which parlayed into a job working for the president of the company. Though it was a great experience, after one year, I left to pursue my dream of being a photographer. My parents thought I was insane. After leaving my day job, I started to take classes and intern for big photographers like David LaChapelle. From there, I decided to take out a booth at a Sunday swap-meet in West Hollywood. The Prada Marfa series first debuted during these days, and I knew I was onto something. All of my aerial photography is shot from a doorless helicopter at varying levels of height and length of flight. It’s not prearranged either; I simply look for natural settings and what catches my eye. Commemorating my largest aerial series, Á la Plage, into my first art photography book, BEACHES, was a huge moment in my career. It was something that I aspired to from the beginning; and my second book, ESCAPE, will be released in October. I am also excited to continue to expand the Gray Malin Home collection by taking my first steps into outdoor furniture offerings, with a collaboration launching April 25 with Santa Barbara Designs, as we both celebrate the color, shape and classic Mediterranean-chic of the 1960s. I’m equally happy to share that I’ll be releasing new aerial beach images from Byron Bay and the Whitsunday Islands. Ultimately, this is what my brand is all about—making every day a getaway.”

Shot on location at Malin’s private residence

JASON FUCHS
LATEST DEFINING MOMENT
: Co-writing DC’s forthcoming blockbuster, Wonder Woman

“I have been obsessed with movies from before I could walk and started acting professionally at age 7. The writing didn’t come until much later. When I graduated from Columbia University, I had just written a spec script about a guy trying to lose his virginity before a meteor hits the world. That never got made but ended up being the sample that Fox Animation read, which got me in the door to pitch for ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT. I had a really dumb idea about the main character, Scrat, triggering the breakup of Pangea, and they said, ‘That’s just dumb enough to get you hired—come write this movie with us for the next 18 months.’ ICE AGE changed my life. I was suddenly able to pursue opportunities I had dreamt of my entire career. My dad introduced me to DC comics as a child. I remember, at probably an inappropriately young age, reading George Perez’s run of Wonder Woman and immediately thought: This is my favorite hero. I’ve wanted to see a Wonder Woman film for almost my entire life, and it’s such a trippy, surreal honor that I’m now able to be a part of bringing it to the screen. I can’t think of a better time to have a film come out with a strong female protagonist at its center.”

Shot on location at Verve Coffee Roasters; Styling by Monty Jackson; Grooming by Cheri Keating

MARK BOOMERSHINE
LATEST DEFINING MOMENT
: Uprooting an established painting career on the East Coast for a chance to break into the L.A. market

“Art was always something I did but my family had been in the automotive business since 1929, and I was expected to follow suit. At age 26, I had nearly 150 employees and had to turn off the art side and focus on the business side. In 1999, I got out of the car business; traveled the world with my wife, Cinda; and started and sold a few different ventures. I thought: What do I do now? Cinda said to me, ‘You’re an artist and you love it. Paint 20 pieces and see if you like that as a daily occupation.’ Quickly thereafter, the Smithsonian-affiliated Booth Western Art Museum put my pop-inspired painting “Tonto” in its permanent contemporary exhibit. In 2009, I launched my art career with a solo show in Atlanta and have been charging forward since. From Voltz Clarke in Manhattan to a board member of the famed Whitney Museum, I have amazing collectors both here and overseas. L.A. is an international art hub, so Cinda and I packed the kids up in 2015 and headed west. I’m excited to launch my first Southern California-inspired collection April 27 at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, an event being produced by Warren Brand of Branded Arts. It’s exciting to see where art takes me—even to the top of New York City’s Hearst Tower, where I created a piece for Swarovski with 5,000 crystals adhered to the paint. It’s an artist’s job to entertain the viewer, so if I have evoked an emotion out of you—whether you love it or don’t—I’ve done my job.”

Shot on location at Boomershine’s private residence

Photography Courtesy Of: