At Webutante Ball, Geeks Come Out of Their Cubicles to Party
NEW YORK — If you’re at the top of the internet food chain now, chances are that part of your attraction to and success in the industry stems from the fact you weren’t the most “popular” kid at your high school prom. Or maybe you didn’t even attend and passed the night on IRC instead.
Luckily, the age of geek vindication is upon us, where only the smart survive and sometimes the nice guy does get the girl. For those with lingering prom remorse, the Webutante Ball is the ultimate redo experience. Held Wednesday here, the event drew citizens from all walks of internet-based life to mix, mingle, bump, grind — and proudly geek out.
Founded by Thrillist Managing Editor Richard Blakeley to give twenty-somethings an excuse to emerge from behind their computer screens and dress up for a reason other than a wedding, this year’s gathering — the fourth to date — attracted more than 700 glammed-out geeks to the Marquee nightclub in Chelsea.
“It’s like Revenge of the Nerds, IRL,” Blakeley said. “Honestly I think that now that we all live in public on the internet, we’ve all just come to the realization that we’re all nerds.”
Most guests took the opportunity to don red-carpet attire, several opting to use the designer gown rental service Rent the Runway. There was no shortage of bow ties, but the most notable accessory had to be the boa made out of $100 bills (fake, to be sure) worn by Hagan Blount of Ingk Labs, a New York City-based tech accelerator that invests in disruptive technologies.