Brilliant. Talented. Funny. Determined. Charming. Alluring. Inventive. The women and men in W‘s annual Royals portfolio—as seen here in October’s ten his and hers covers—are all that and then some, and they rose to the top of their fields by sheer force of will. This annual issue has become a treasured tradition—see last year’s class here—our attempt to pay tribute to those in film, television, fashion, and society who have earned the right to call themselves royals, permanent and beloved fixtures in our consciousness. For 2017, we decided to celebrate 25 men and women who dare to challenge stereotypes and conventions by choosing exactly who they want to be—Risk-taking actors like Tilda Swinton and Jared Leto, Renaissance people like Shirley MacLaine and Pharrell Williams, controversial figures like Winona Ryder and Marc Jacobs, forward-thinking activists and philanthropists, like Faye Wattleton and Amandla Stenberg, plus many more. In short, they are the heroes of our time and W’s role models for the next generation. And, yes, it bears repeating: They rule.