Nightlife. Everybody knows it's like junior high for legal adults, where the beautiful and the connected are whisked past velvet ropes while the dutiful and well-dressed-but-unknown are left to stand in the cold, saying futilely, "But I'm on the list!"
In this odd little world, where good looks and youth are the most desired of commodities, dwells a creature known as the party promoter.
His job — and they are virtually all male — is to fill any gaps that may arise in a guest list with young, attractive people. The easiest quarry (and the most coveted) are models who are repped by top agencies, but who are working so little that the prospect of a few free glasses of sponsored liquor, plus — oh joy of joys — the potential of a canapé or two, makes more economic sense than charging ramen again at the corner bodega. Promoters are those guys you see cutting through the crowd outside a nightclub or a popular restaurant where the food is terrible, trailed by 8-10 abnormally tall teenagers with very shiny hair, signaling the door people, and obtaining entry for the whole, leggy gaggle. They are paid to do this.
Promoters are great because they submit to New York Times Style section profiles and inevitably get quoted saying things like:
At the Coffee Shop, Mr. Batori found fault with the slightly wilted lettuce on his burger. "That's typical of American agricultural practice," he said. He asked the waitress for extra ketchup.
Promoters facilitate an economic exchange between the impoverished but fabulous and the fabulously wealthy but dull. And they are terribly snobby about it.
And often, they're very frank. A promoter at an outfit called Epic Group sent this email yesterday afternoon, obtained by NYmag's the Cut. It pertained to a party thrown by über style bloggers Scott Schuman and Garance Doré, along with Solange Knowles, at Tiffany's:
Due to an overwhelming response for the Tiffany Event tonight, they have pre-wristbanded their VIP's due to capacity and fire marshall [sic] issues. They will not be able to grant acces [sic] to my guests at Tiffany & Co. this evening.
Any models who rsvp'ed will be admitted to the event, but they cannot bring any guests unless thier [sic] guests are models too.
We apologise for your inconvenience.
Then, at 8:09 p.m., the same promoter followed up:
This is a message retracting the statement from the prior email that only models will be admitted and that their guests had to be models too.
We have been informed that the best looking guests will be admitted wether they are models or not. Models can bring whoever they want to the event. We were worried that good people might be turned away at the door, but have been assured that the best looking people will have no problem.
Just so long as the "good people" got in. That was close.