IT TAKES MORE THAN MONEY TO MAKE THE CUT

NORWOOD CLUB

New York, NY
Owner, Alan Linn
norwoodclub.com

The gist: An art-centric meet-and-greet club for creatives. (From their site: “We provide our members with a salon of discovery through a variety of talks and events, food and beverage tastings, and stimulating screenings and performances.”)

What do you look for in a member?
“We want people who haven’t met everyone yet.  The whole point of our club is to introduce people from different disciplines, promote cross-socialization and sharing ideas.  We currently have 1,100 members ranging from Oscar-winning actors, directors, musicians—typically all creative types.”

What is the application process like?
“You would have your initial meeting with either Susanna or Alan where they’ll spend a lot of time detailing the specifics of the club—events that we host, what to get involved with.  They would then speak on your behalf at a committee meeting and choose to either recommend you as a member or not.”

Membership fees:
“This constantly changes, but right now, annual dues are $2,000 with a joining fee of $800.  We also offer a discounted rate of $1,250 for members under 30.”

How can someone better their chances of getting in?
“They can’t bribe us!  People just need to be honest and upfront, and we’ll take you on your individuality.  It’s not about who you know—if your friend is a member, that’s not good enough for us.  It’s about what you can give to us as much as we can give to you.”

How many new members do you take each year?
“It’s truly all about the people because if we meet someone who’s great, we’ll be sure to make room.”

YELLOWSTONE CLUB

Big Sky, MT
General Manager, Taylor Middleton
yellowstoneclub.com

The gist: A members-only private residential ski and golf community for outdoorsy types. (From their site: “This private residential community brings to life all the treasures of a very special mountain resort. Explore the spectacular beauty of the only private ski resort in the world.”)

What do you look for in a member?
“Membership is by invitation only. Our members are typically family-focused outdoor enthusiasts looking for a mountain home with high-quality amenities and service with a vast range of activities offered.”

What is the application process like?
Prospective members must go through a membership application and interview process, along with a financial and background review.”

Membership fees:
“Membership costs include a $300,000 membership deposit, $34,000 annual club dues, and $10,000 property owners association dues. Membership must be accompanied by a real estate purchase of a lot, condominium, custom residence, or ranch starting approximately at $2 million and up to $26 million.”

How can someone better their chances of getting in?
“We have a great member referral program—this is a good way for prospective members to be introduced to Yellowstone Club.”

How many new members do you take each year?
“We average 40-50 new member families a year.  We currently have 420 member families and we limit the membership to 864 residential properties to protect the exclusivity and exceptional, highly personalized service.”

 

THE WILLIAM PRIVATE CIRCLE

New York, NY
Guest Services Manager, Alice Lee

The gist: A concierge service for New Yorkers. (From their website: “The William Private Circle is an exclusive, limited member fellowship of discerning guests, friends and select citizens from around the globe who entrust The William’s prestigious concierge with the management of their daily needs while taking residence in New York City.”)

What do you look for in a member?
We target frequent New York travelers versus New Yorkers themselves, and are centered on traveler services, giving membership status to those that visit the city often and are looking for a heightened experience during their stay.

What’s the application process like?
“It all starts with a conversation to assess our compatibility.”

Membership fees:
“This varies from $850 to $1,500 per year, depending on service.”

How can someone better their chances of getting in?
“We just want someone who will be involved with the events that we throw for our members.  Attending cocktail parties and dinners, sharing ideas with other members, and bringing something to the community.”

How many new members do you take each year?
“We stop accepting new members once we reach 200, and keep membership at that number.  We want to be able to provide our members with individual attention and create relationships, which wouldn’t be possible if the club were too big.”

CORE: CLUB

New York, NY
Founder, Jennie Enterprise

The gist: A professional network for passionate industry execs. (From their site: “We provide an unrivaled setting that lets remarkable people come together. And when they do, they unleash new and transformational ideas that expand their ambitions and help continue to shape the world around them.”)

What do you look for in a member?
The entire concept and essence of who we are is about transformation, and we’re looking for people who are passionate about the world and are deeply engaged in changing it.  Every single one of our members changed the world in some capacity. Our members are leaders, innovators and visionaries across 13 industries—ranging from media, fashion, sports, the arts to finance, business and  technology.”

What is the application process like?
“Entirely referral based.  Each person needs to be sponsored by a current member and is presented to the membership committee.”

Membership fees:
“There’s an initiation fee of $50,000 and annual dues of $15,000, which covers the primary member and their significant other.”

How can someone better their chances of getting in?
“It’s all about accomplishment, innovation and transformation. Doing interesting things in any of these areas makes someone interesting to us.”

How many new members do you take each year?
“We started with 100 Founding Members from 13 different industries collectively  representing the zeitgeist.  It’s a self-selecting global community of extraordinarily accomplished people so there is not a quantitative limit but rather a qualitative one.”

 

 

 

Mick March has reinvented Gilded Age society. Will you get in?


400

Four hundred might be one of the only numbers that has a place in the dictionary. Its definition reads: “The social elite of a community.” But it wasn’t until the late 1800s that 400 had any real value.

Before The Real Housewives of NYC, Mrs. Caroline Schermerhorn Astor dominated Gilded Age New York society, throwing the balls that everyone who was anyone attended. The problem was that her ballroom only held 400 people, and thanks to the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution, there were now many more than 400 high society millionaires in New York City. So she had to narrow down the list of invitees to the absolute most important and elite New Yorkers. She enlisted self-proclaimed society expert Ward McAllister to help her whittle down the numbers, and The Four Hundred was born. Those who made the cut included Roosevelts and Winthrops, among other famously fancy last names.  

The balls were lavish annual parties thrown at the Astor mansion in Manhattan (which was located where the Empire State Building stands today), with supper, entertainment, dancing and over-the-top party favors—apparently she once gave the men silver trumpets! Women wore gowns designed specifically for these soirees and men donned their best tuxes.

While over the years the list has become less and less concrete and the rules have changed, the term Four Hundred still represents class and status, thanks in part to Tony Abrams.  

In late 2006, Abrams realized that the old-world version of society had pretty much dissolved and wanted to piece it back together. He decided to create an elite network that catered to a 21st century crowd by founding a lifestyle management firm called…you guessed it…Four Hundred. “These wealthy families have financial advisors, real estate portfolio managers and more,” Abrams explains. “I wanted to give them what they couldn’t get from those people.” He wanted to help them enjoy the lives they’d made for themselves—help them plan their summer vacations, throw parties, keep their social lives organized. Abrams wasn’t necessarily trying to recreate the glitz and glamour of simpler times, but he likes to think that what his company does is “pretty parallel” to what Astor and McAllister were doing years ago.  

Who are the members? 

According to Abrams, his clients are “celebrities in their own right, whether it be in finance, politics or entertainment.” They are people that work hard and work a lot, and they can use an extra hand when it comes to enjoying life. 

What does Four Hundred offer? 

Members of Four Hundred are given “lifestylists” who will make sure your every social want and need is met. Want to go to a movie premiere? Just let them know. If you need to plan a trip, they’ve got it covered. And the best part is that all it takes is one email. When you first become a client, they ask you about what you like to do, your taste in music, your favorite foods, allergies and more. That way, they can also come to you with ideas. “We’re not experts in paying bills, but we are experts in finding what hotel our client should be staying at and what restaurants they should try,” Abrams explains. And the services are not just limited to your place of residence. “The best perk, in my opinion, is that these families have an army of resourceful executors and lifestylists at their beck and call,” Abrams inserts. Plus, members also receive access to a network of people within modern day high society. “We’ve spent years building this community of influential people, and now’s the time to bring them together,” he says.

Where do we sign up? 

Four Hundred currently caters to about 150 families. They have offices in New York, Miami and Los Angeles and are currently looking to build communities in London and San Francisco. Membership is by invitation only. “You have to be referred to us by a partner or current member. We then review the prospective client with our membership committee, which is made up of a very elite group of Board Directors, to see if they are the right fit for us and we are the right fit for them,” Abrams explains. “It’s a very personal concept, so the client has to be able to open up to us for it to work.” If you are accepted, membership costs $2,500 per month.

It seems like Mrs. Astor would be proud.