The Essayist

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Caution: These Kids Are About to Blow Up

Two years after Nancy Jo Sales profiled the "Prep-School Gangsters" selling drugs to NYs finest, she tracked down those same kids. Most of them, she found, had been dating Liv Tyler or pitching Puffy movie scripts. They all went on to own new-media companies. Total nightmares. Cross yourself: this is about to get hellish.

Shawn sits beside Heather at a Mac 8100; they’re designing Danücht’s line sheets, or specifications for production. Shawn is Danücht’s main designer, although he’s a film student at SVA and says what he’d really like to do is direct. “I just do the designing ‘cause it comes easy to me.” With his thick black hair, goatee, and flashing white teeth, he’s the crew’s more adult-looking member; 21, he could pass for 27 (and once dated the girl they all know as Liv — Tyler, of course). He’s making an independent film now that, he says, “is very much about the lifestyle” — meaning their lives growing up in New York. He’s highly aware of the film potential in the abundance of stories they’ve amassed in their years as city kids. They hope Danücht will eventually have a film division. “People are writing screenplays right and left.”

A pair of sweatpants appears on the screen. Heather types as Shawn reads the line for the catalogue: “For the active, on-the-go pimp in us all,” he says.

"Pimping is just chillin’ out in the utmost style," explains Justin, bopping around the office, eating deli salad. "And Danücht’s what the well-dressed pimp should be relaxing in."

Shawn flips through a book of their fashion plates — polo shirts, hats, T-shirts. I LOVE LUCCI — meaning money — one T-shirt says. Others say RIKER’S ISLAND, ATTICA, SING SING, and DANÜCHT: DOWN BY LAW. One just says YOBRO.

"We’re trying to sum up all aspects of youth," Justin says. "Like hip-hop, grunge, street, thug … "

"We need some more girl shit," says Shawn.

Justin thinks. “Hmmmm. I tell you, right now, the shit for girls, it’s gotta be hard, ‘cause girls are coming out hard. Like, ‘Yo, what the deal, bitch, what?’ “

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