You want Jessie Cohan's
job. To hear the stylist tell it, she gets to play with clothes and interesting people all day long. What could be better, really? But, she didn't study for it. She didn't train for it. She didn't have a laundry list of supporting styling roles at the major glossies. In fact, she actually studied art and design — at Brown University, no less — and was working in the basement of an art gallery.
But, that well-worn path wasn't enough for Cohan, who took a leap of faith by striking out on her own as a freelance stylist. Now, she's using that fearlessness — and her talent for merging people, brands, and clothing together in exciting, unexpected ways — at shoots for Nike, Levi's Made & Crafted, Kangol, and a mind-blowing list of advertisers, magazines, and celebrities. Tapping into her artistic background, she brings a unique flavor to the styling scene, even leading costume design for films and music videos, and lending her signature flair to the wardrobes of personal clients. Her favorite accessory? Self-confidence.
How I’m changing the game
“With styling, I get to consult people and brands, so that leads to change. If I’m involved in casting a story, I ask myself how can I push it and make it thought-provoking and not just the typical model that we’re used to seeing. I think a lot about what’s going on in the world politically, environmentally, and how those important issues can be incorporated into what I’m doing. I’m less concerned on keeping up with trends than the humanity behind it. I also studied psychology, and I’m really anti-excess. On shoots, you’d see 20 rolling racks for a photo shoot where you shot eight looks. And, just knowing you’re only going to shoot 10 dresses, yet you have 500 looks — I don’t operate in that way. I offer many options but in the realm of reason. It’s just excess."
What beauty means to me
"Self-confidence, knowing who you are and owning it. Beyond that, though, we need to expand our society’s notion of beauty. There are many different bodies and styles that are beautiful, bodies and styles that deserve to be featured, too."
How I find a balance
"I eat really well, drink tons of water, get as much sleep as possible, and I do yoga and Pilates. Actually, I'm known amongst friends for my at-home facials and my extensive skin regimen — it helps, honestly. Recently, I learned to meditate from the David Lynch Foundation
. I love
Floral Dress, $198, shop a similar style at Reformation
Navy Wedge Booties, $295, available at Ash; Jessie Cohan for Sidney Garber
Rings; Jessie Cohan for Sidney Garber
Hair by Bethany Brill; Makeup by Ashleigh Ciucci; Styled by Laura Pritchard