Every April for the last 18 years, we've scoured the earth to bring you a dazzlingly shot portfolio of people who are helping to shape their cultural moment and looking really good while they're at it. This year, we decided to blow things out of the water with a mega-edition of scene-making, earth-shaking, heartbreaking creative folks across a vast range of disciplines. And because the story happened to coincide with our American Dream issue, we asked some of them how they define, embody and/or subvert that elusive ideal. From white-hot fashion duo Eckhaus Latta to lightning-rod singer and actress Zendaya to cultural critic Ta-Nehisi Coates and beyond, here are 70 people we only have eyes for in 2015.
 

MUSIC
SHAMIR
★ ZENDAYA ★ KELELA ★ DEJ LOAF ★ DOWNTOWN BOYS ★   THE MARTINEZ BROTHERS ★ BORNS ★ UNiiQU3 ★ YOUNG THUG ★ MISSY MAZZOLI

MEDIA & TECH
TA-NEHISI COATES ★ RUBA WILSON ★ SARAH KOENIG ★ K-HOLE ★ MAMRIE HART ★ ALEXANDRA MARZELLA ★ CASEY JANE ELLISON ★ CHRIS MILES ★ JULIEANNE SMOLINSKI

FILM & TV
ELLAR COLTRANE ★ GINA RODRIGUEZ ★ DESIREE AKHAVAN ★ SHAMEIK MOORE ★ AUBREY PEEPLES ★ ANDERS HOLM ★ LESLIE JONES ★ BRYSHERE GRAY ★ LILY JAMES

ART
CHLOE WISE ★ PETRA CORTRIGHT ★ ANGELA WASHKO ★ ALLIE POHL ★ NATE HILL ★ SAM MCKINNISS ★ PHOEBE COLLINGS-JAMES ★ ARVIDA BYSTROM

FASHION DESIGNERS & STYLISTS
ECKHAUS LATTA ★ WIL FRY ★ ANDY LECOMPTE ★ RYAN ROCHE ★ 69 WORLDWIDE ★ PAUL ANDREW ★ AURELIE BIDERMANN ★ HARBISON ★ GYPSY SPORT ★ ORLEY

MODELS
HARI NEF ★ BELLA HADID ★ LUCKY BLUE SMITH ★ NATALIE WESTLING ★ TARUN NIJJER ★ AYA JONES ★ MOLLY BAIR ★ CORY BAPTISTE ★ MICA ARGANARAZ ★ SOO JOO PARK

FOOD
GERARDO GONZALEZ / EL REY LUNCHEONETTE ★ SABRINA DE SOUSA & ALISSA WAGNER / DIMES ★ ELISE KORNACK / TAKE ROOT ★ JESSICA KOSLOW / SQIRL ★  SARA KRAMER ★  JANEEN GUDELJ / THE DONUT SNOB ★ ALVIN CAILAN / EGGSLUT, RAMEN CHAMP ★ MILES THOMPSON/ SHED ★ ALEXANDRA WHISNANT / GATE COMME DES FILLES ★ ANGELA DIMAYUGA / MISSION CHINESE NYC


Text by Emily Warman, Liz Ohanesian, Abby Schreiber, James Rickman, Kate Messinger, Emily Kirkpatrick, Jacob Muselmann, Elise Gallant, Vanessa Lavorato, Cathy Erway and Leif Hedendal

Photos by Kathy Lo, Albert Sanchez, Rodolfo Martinez, Stella Berkofsky, Diggy Lloyd, Basile Mookherjee and Danny Baldwin [see individual photos for additional credits]