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Movers & Shakers

We see you: Phoebe Gates

The tech mogul’s youngest child balances activism with her studies at Stanford—and a soon-to-be-launched sustainable fashion platform.

The people—young, old, and everyone in between—who most intrigue us.

Why we’re watching her: The 21-year-old daughter of gazillionaire Bill Gates and philanthropist Melinda French Gates is suddenly everywhere, from Fashion Week in New York and Copenhagen to George and Amal Clooney’s swanky shindig for global changemakers. In between soirées, Gates still finds time for her classes at Stanford. 

Pedigree: Gates grew up in a 66,000-square-feet house which, according to the Daily Mail, has 24 bathrooms, six kitchens, and a man-made beach with sand imported from the Caribbean, but her dad intends to leave the bulk of his fortune to charity. Luckily, Gates inherited the activist genes from her mom. In a piece Gates penned for Vogue voicing her outrage when Roe was overturned, she said, “When you’re Melinda’s daughter, it’s easy to be passionate about reproductive health.”

Phoebe and Bill Gates in eveningwear.
Phoebe and Bill Gates at the TIME100 Gala in June 2022. She often shares father-daughter moments on TikTok. Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Soul sister: While Gates has an older sister, Jennifer, and brother, Rory, she found her soul sister in Stella McCartney. The two bonded over their shared passion for fashion and sustainability, as well as the privileges and pitfalls of growing up with famous dads. Gates told WWD that she particularly admires how McCartney used her immense inheritance to forge her own path, creating change in the fashion world. 

Catch her in the wild: Gates decked out Chanel in Manhattan one minute and accompanying her mom on trips to Rwanda for philanthropic work the next. You have a better chance of catching her on TikTok, where her 220k+ followers tune in for her starry nights out and glimpses of her dad doing embarrassing dad-like things.

Love language: Gates went through some serious (and seriously disgusting) trolling after posting pictures with her African American boyfriend. She snapped back at the racism by, yes, posting more pictures. 

Party spirit animal: The grasshopper, symbol of wealth, innovation and visionary talents. 

Prediction: Gates, a budding entrepreneur, plans on joining forces with her Stanford roommate, Sophia Kianni to launch Phia, which is described on its website as being “The future of fashion.” They promise it’s coming soon. We’ll be here for it.

Hero image: Phoebe Gates during Paris Fashion Week, October 2022. Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images

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