From the Beautiful People Archives: Drea De Matteo, Eugene Hutz and Sally Singer

PAPERMAG STAFF

For the past 14 years, we here at PAPER have put out an annual Beautiful People issue highlighting up-and-coming actors, musicians, artists, writers, designers, etc. who we feel particularly inspired by, and believe may go on to do great things. To celebrate the April release of our 2011 BP issue, throughout the month we'll be poring through the archives and featuring a few of our favorite Beautiful People of years past. Below, we include the original text and photos from our 2000 BP issue, which included Drea De Matteo, Eugene Hutz, the Razo brothers, Joseph O'Neill and Sally Singer and threeASFOUR.


DREA DE MATTEO


Before her audition for The Sopranos, Drea De Matteo sat in her parents' car, eating a chicken cutlet parmesan hero. She would go on to win the role of Adriana, girlfriend to Michael Imperioli's Christopher, on the show that has launched a thousand stars. A Whitestone Bridge bombshell raised in Queens, 28-year-old De Matteo plays Adriana smart and sexy -- slipping in and out of her Versace. De Matteo grew up in the theater, watching her mother, an underground playwright, at work. And despite her painful shyness and birthdays that always fell on her mother's openings, her acting dreams came true. In the future, she'll be working with her mother onstage and waiting for the riches that come from Sopranos fame. "My character is a little different this year," she says of Adriana. "I'm a little more reactive than active. Maybe we can say that I'm training." Let's hope that means what we think it does. -- Mark Jacobs
2011 Update: De Matteo went on to win an Emmy for her role as Adriana on The Sopranos and has since had critically acclaimed stints on Desperate Housewives as well as FX sleeper hit Sons of Anarchy. She has a daughter with the musician Shooter Jennings, to whom she is engaged and is expecting another baby with any day now. 

threeASFOUR

Meet the irresistibly adorable Adi, Ange, Gabi and Kai (from left) of As Four, the design team whose presentation (as Future Planet of Style) during New York's Fashion Week made the fashion world poo-poo in its Dolce & Gabbana pantyhose. Hailing from Israel, Tajikistan, Lebanon and Germany, respectively, As Four chose to show their outrageously inventive fashions on 44 eight-inch-tall, headless, moving dolls. The madness began seven years ago when Adi and Ange met in Germany. They found Kai on Broadway in 1997 and then met Gabi on Prince Street six months later. The rest is style history. Their clothes are equal parts sculptural beauty and goofy sight gag. Their trademark Jetsons-style flat disk bag sells for $444.44. When asked why they don't design in seasons, they respond in their unique shtick: "Night and day. Light and dark. Cold and warm. Man and woman. The sun always shines on TV." -- Mickey Boardman

2011 Update: Now know as threeASFOUR (Kai is no longer involved), the collective has continued to make their mark on the fashion world with their inventive and futuristic designs. For they Spring 2010 collection, they partnered with Yoko Ono to create a line that incorporated her dot drawings. Eric Wilson described their Fall 2011 presentation in the New York Times  as "gorgeous" and " surprisingly approachable."

THE RAZO BROTHERS

With spiraling rents, Manhattan is finding the new blood that sustains it to be a rare commodity. So the arrival, since the mid-90's, of an entire family clan of cute skateboarding hipsters -- Andre, Tino and Marc Razo -- qualifies as one of downtown's freshest charges of new energy in years. Five years after moving to New York, Andre, a painter who's part of a totally new abstract school, is just now having his first solo show, at Alleged Gallery. Brother Tino, 23, has followed in his artistic path as a designer -- and has eclipsed him as a skateboarder, earning a heap of endorsements. Marc, 24, an aspiring guitarist, says he enjoys the ready access to familial "drinking buddies and pool partners." Even though Andre and Marc often ditched him while skating when they were teens, these days Tino doesn't mind letting his older brothers tag along with him. After all, says Tino, "New York is the biggest skate park around." -- Carlo McCormick

2011 Update: The Razo brothers created a t-shirt line, Verte, in 2002 which has blossomed into a full clothing line. Verte also recently released a line of shoes with Etnies. Additionally, Andre Razo released Full Bleed, a book of skateboard photography with Alex Corporan Ivory Serra in 2010, and Marc Razo helms the annual, insanely fun "Shred For Your Life" guitar-shredding competition. 

EUGENE HUTZ


"I am clinically obsessed with Gypsy culture," avers Eugene Hütz with an all-out punk-rock intensity. Hütz, born in Kiev in 1972, came to New York two years ago as a political refugee and formed Gogol Bordello with other immigrant musicians he knew from playing Russian weddings around town (plus an American drummer, "because you've got to have that American beat"). But the quintet is closer to a cabaret act. "Every song is a story illustrated by pantomime and props," says Hütz, the group's lead singer and lyricist. "It's kaleidoscopic, with rapidly changing imagery of East European and Transyl­vanian archetypes, from predator to commissar to communist to his victim." Gogol Bordello's first album, The Voila Intruder, was just released by Sunken Bell. "We're very proud that we're representing the whole immigrant diaspora culture in New York," Hütz says. "It's branching out instead of just being unto itself." --  Allison Xantha Miller

2011 Update: Hütz and Gogol Bordlello have released four albums since, and are largely credited with introducing Balkan music to indie rock. Last year, the band made their major label debut when they released their 2020 album Transcontinental Hustle on Rick Rubin's American Recordings. Hütz also acted in a 2005 adaptation of Everything is Illuminated alongside Elijah Wood.

JOSEPH O'NEILL, WRITER • SALLY SINGER, EDITOR

Few Economist contributors would consider being photographed by Bill Cunning­ham a career highlight, but Vogue fashion-news director Sally Singer is no ordinary fashion Bessy. After dropping out of Yale's Ph.D. program in 1989, Singer moved to New York to work as an editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux. After she didn't publish the manuscript for Irish writer Joseph O'Neill's second novel, he asked her out on a date. "Out of the ashes of rejection arose the phoenix of love," recalls O'Neill. In 1994, the duo wed. Following a short stint at Elle, Singer landed a job as fashion director at New York, then won her Vogue gig last year. With his wife as unofficial editor, O'Neill has written a third book, Blood-Dark Track (Granta), which is the true story of his grandfathers. The couple's latest project is their 7-month-old baby, Malachy Beckett. The tireless Singer is already back at work overseeing Vogue's fashion coverage. "The good thing about working at American Vogue," she enthuses, is that "everyone in the fashion world returns your calls." -- Mickey Boardman

2011 Update: Although they're no longer together, Singer has gone on to be named editor of T: The New York Times Magazine and O'Neill's 2009 novel Netherland won a PEN/Faulkner Award and had film rights purchased by Oprah's Harpo Films. Their son Malachy, 11, recently premiered a skateboard film with his company, The Infestation.   

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