Next Stop, Stardom: Famous Hoosiers Turned New Yorkers

Who’s who among Indianans on the fast track in NYC, from breakout designers to NBA bigwigs.

Crystal Horton

Cookie maven to the stars, 33
Roots: North Central (1998), Herron (2003). Bagged groceries at the 86th-and-Ditch Marsh.
The Buzz: Dubbed “the Cookie Queen” by Teen Vogue, Horton makes a (lucrative) living selling baked goods to stylish customers like Harper’s Bazaar and Ivanka Trump. They’re available online at
Crystal lives in Brooklyn, like…
Daniel Kukla

Thinking man’s photographer, 29
Roots: North Central (2002). Ran trails in Holliday Park.
The Buzz: National Geographic can’t get enough of last year’s artist-in-residence at Joshua Tree National Park. Kukla combines his science education with his art.
Daniel was featured in The New York Times last summer, as was…
Joey Morgan
Sports-bar king, 32
Roots: IU (2002).
The Buzz: His two locations of Traffic Bar in Manhattan are hangouts for Indiana transplants, complete with crimson-hued shots on game days. Morgan also owns Hamptons hotspot WashOut.
Joey was a frat brother of and plays bar host to…
Joshua Schneps
Media kingpin of the outer boroughs, 34
Roots: IU (2000).
The Buzz: Schneps co-owns the largest private group of community newspapers, magazines, and websites in Brooklyn and Queens, reaching more than a half-million readers. Post-Sandy, his rags raised money for children in need.
Joshua sank the biz at Nick’s a few tables down from…
Matt Bernson
Shoe designer, 34
Roots: IU (2001).
The Buzz: Gisele Bundchen and Sarah Jessica Parker wouldn’t dare go through a summer season without Bernson’s luxurious strappy sandals. He opened a store in Tribeca last year and recently collaborated with Bono’s wife, Ali Hewson, on an ethically sourced shoe line called EDUN.
Matt entrusts his PR to…

Malorie Kaye
Madison Avenue PR pro, 28
Roots: IU (2007).
The Buzz: Kaye helped Matt Bernson, her first client, rise to fame with mentions in nearly every major fashion magazine. Now she has her own office on Madison Avenue and represents 18 emerging fashion and accessories brands.
Malorie got married in the New Jersey hometown of…

Ian Velardi

Designer of neo-classic menswear, 31
Roots: IU (2004).
The Buzz: GQ named him the best new menswear designer in America last fall, and the attention hasn’t stopped: Velardi has created a limited-edition line for Gap.
Ian was featured on Grungy Gentleman by…
Jace Lipstein
Blazing fashion blogger, 28
Roots: IU (2007).
The Buzz: GQ called Lipstein’s three-year-old menswear blog, Grungy Gentleman, one of the “most innovative fashion blogs to know.” Success has led to designing lines for brands like Dickies and launching an online store this month.
Jace hangs at the celeb-magnet Barclays Center, presided over by…
Brett Yormark
Brooklyn Nets CEO, 46
Roots: IU (1988).
The Buzz: Yormark was all over the news during the splashy September opening of the Nets’ new home, the Barclays Center—and his drama-filled love life kept him in the tabloids right next to Jay-Z, one of the Brooklyn NBA team’s part-owners.
Brett has a friendly crosstown rivalry with…

Mike Woodson
Knicks head coach, 54
Roots: Broad Ripple (1976), IU (1980). Hired his former high-school coach, Bill Smith, as an advisor for the Knicks.
The Buzz: New York magazine called him the “perfect coach” for Madison Square Garden’s home team.
Mike is a New York magazine darling, as are…


Heather & Christopher Tierney

Downtown nightlife royalty, 34 and 33, respectively
Roots: North Central (1997 and 1999), IU (2001 and 2004). Heather worked at Yogi’s in Bloomington, and Chris served at Scotty’s.
The Buzz: These siblings own two hot downtown hangouts: Apotheke cocktail bar and Pulqueria, a Mexican-food lounge. Their latest venture is The Butcher’s Daughter, a vegetarian cafe and juice bar.
The Tierneys prefer apartment living below 14th Street, like…
Grace Rex
Fresh-faced actress, 27
Roots: Bloomington North (2004), Ball State (2008).
The Buzz: Rex has a part in the upcoming Kristin Wiig–Ben Stiller movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Previous credits include Contagion, a recurring spot on The Good Wife, and a bit role on Boardwalk Empire last season.
Grace will be coming soon to a theater near you, as is…

Jack McBrayer

Emmy-nominated 30 Rock star, 39
Roots: University of Evansville (1995).
The Buzz: McBrayer has parlayed his role as perpetually cheerful Kenneth Parcell on 30 Rock to the big screen. His distinctive Southern accent helped him land a starring voiceover gig in the recent video-game movie Wreck-It Ralph and screen time with Kate Bosworth and Richard Gere in the comedy Movie 43.
Jack is famous for a concluded TV series, just like…

Austin Armacost

Reality-TV personality, 25
Roots: Franklin Central (2006). Spotted at Mass Ave cocktail bars.
The Buzz: In 2010, Marc Jacobs’s ex was the breakout star of The A List: New York, a rowdy show on Logo TV that followed the lives of six New Yorkers.
Austin is a nightlife fixture, as is…
Jordan Bradfield
Provocateur, 26
Roots: Heritage Hills High (2005).
The Buzz: Time Out New York placed this club kid among the most stylish New Yorkers last year. Now he hosts one of the city’s hottest parties, Le Bain at The Standard Hotel.
Jordan is a westside artist, similar to…
Terence Main
Renowned sculptor, 58
Roots: Cascade High (1972), Herron (1976).
The Buzz: This modernist has been part of New York’s art scene since 1978 and continues to score major commissions, including a new piece of public art for a high-profile outdoor space in Manhattan. Meanwhile, Main’s signature cast-metal furniture can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Terence works in a Brooklyn studio, just a couple of miles from …
(Return to top of story and see the Crystal Horton entry.)

This article appeared in the March 2013 issue.