Hannah Banana

Twenty-three year old Hannah Bronfman has big plans for the future. “In five years time I see myself owning a restaurant/lounge, having opened a store/dispensary for Green Owl, putting out a rap EP, owning a dog, and being a role model for young girls, promoting a healthy lifestyle.” And these are not the elusive dreams of a naive school girl. As one of the heirs to the Seagram’s family fortune and daughter of Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. Hannah will most likely succeed in realizing all her heart desires and more. But that’s beside the point. Hannah has the intensity and determination of a long distance truck driver. She’s driven, focused and has had her eye on the ball since she stepped out on the social scene a couple of years ago. Green Owl is the umbrella name under which she and her brother Ben, aka Mr. M.I.A. operate a music label, a blog and a store for their ethically produced clothing line. She’s been dating American rapper Asher Roth for two years. She deejays, invests in restaurants, makes art installations – she graduated from Bard College – and has recently taken on acting gigs. She appeared on Tinsley Mortimer’s ‘High Society’ and she plays a hipster DJ in an upcoming movie ‘Grand Street’ – “Im really looking forward to seeing myself on the big screen,” she says proudly.

Hannah’s Lower East Side apartment is situated on the second floor of a refurbished synagogue. It’s quiet and grand, with high ceilings and the old wooden plank floors intact. She greets me in a tiny cream silk robe and guides me to her upstairs bedroom where her sister Vanessa is chilling out on the adjacent wooden patio. “I wanted to keep the patio a surprise for you, Natalie!” beams Hannah. “My friend brought over a bunch of flower beds and pots. I thought they’d look nice here.” I agree. And I’m happy with this amazing patch of sunny delight. While Vanessa tells us about her current juice cleanse – she’s on Day 5 and “a little bit out of it” – Hannah shows me the vintage pieces she wants to wear. “Unfortunately my mom wasn’t available today but she dropped off some of her vintage yesterday,” she says. Hannah’s mom, Sherry ‘Peaches’ Brewer was an African-American actress in the 70’s – she played the role of Marcy in ‘Shaft’ – divorced Edgar in 1991 and remains active in elite New York society and charity circles. There’s a fuschia halter disco gown she used to wear, a Koos Van Den Akker two-piece skirt suit and a romantic yellow dress.

“I would say my style is youthful chic. I am a young lady establishing myself in the professional world. Sometimes I want to dress like a young professional; other times I want to be flirty and girly; and sometimes I just need to whip out the sexy red dress. I mean I am a scorpio…” she winks. Though it spans over two smaller rooms, Hannah’s walk-in closet is not ostentatiously bulging. “I’m a smart shopper. I really only shop for what I need, not for what I want.” She’s a cool, laid back dresser and she swaps clothes with her friends. She loves vintage but feels like she’s “still learning and finding my own style amongst everything that is out there. I shop for what looks good on me and how I feel in the clothes. It’s all about confidence so if I decide to wear shoulder pads I will OWN those shoulder pads! I also like buying vintage and having it tailored to make it a little more me.” Hannah and I spend the afternoon chatting and shooting. And I must say, I learn a lot from her. She’s a young girl with big plans and a bright mapped out future and it astounds me how pure and real she stays in the process. But mostly how much fun she’s having. “I am throwing a party in a few weeks to showcase my new installation on the roof. I wanted to kick off the summer with a cute party. I love to host a good party.” I’m there!

May 18, 2011

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