TO MEET · 07/30/2013
People We Love: Ari Seth Cohen
If we’re not You Tubing piglet or dance-off videos, our recreational time online is spent on Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style, a blog dedicated to the street style of men and women of a certain generation. His vibrant snaps of the older crowd’s wardrobe choices have generated a book and not-yet-released documentary. But Ari doesn’t just itemize where to replicate an interesting outfit and choose select sound bites for his posts; he actually befriends his subjects.
Below, he shares a few words of advice.
What is the hands-down, no-other-one-comes-close most stylish spot?
New York is the perfect city for me to do my job. I spend a lot of time uptown, but I’ve met some incredibly stylish seniors in my neighborhood, East Village, too. I love watching crowds of people walk by and finding the one person who stands out in that group.
How has your approach to your own style changed since launching the blog?
I have learned to curate my wardrobe better and buy quality pieces. Oftentimes I’ll just throw on mismatched prints together, but now I think about how the prints coordinate with each other. I’m learning from the masters of accessorizing, so I am always inspired to up my style game.
Who are those masters of accessorizing?
My two style icons are Wanny Di Fillipo and Derrill Osborn. They are always dapper and incredibly elegant. Their style is really defined by their idiosyncratic accessory choices. Wanny is known for his vests, bright scarves and blue mirrored aviators, while Derrill looks like he could have walked out of a Sherlock Holmes story one day and Pirates of the Caribbean another. Iris Apfel would have to be the queen of accessorizing. She has been collecting for so long and has perfected her look.
I’m open to anything except when someone looks like they aren’t comfortable in what they are wearing. If something is too forced, then it doesn’t appeal to me.
The most arbitrary style rule: “Dress your age”
Five classic wardrobe pieces regardless of age:
A great hat
I’m all about accessories: statement sunglasses, gloves…
A nice white button-down shirt
A standout winter coat/overcoat (For men specifically: a vintage, patterned suit jacket)
Did I forget to say leopard print anything?
What are some specific labels that women of a certain age are especially fond of?
I see a lot of Issey Miyake, but in New York, each neighborhood has a different approach to style.
If you see a stylish person on the street, what’s your approach?
I always start by giving them a compliment and telling them what I notice and appreciate about their look. From there, I tell them who I am and what I do. Women in their 80s and 90s are always excited when I tell them I photograph people 60 and above.
Are most people responsive?
Most people are very flattered, but some are caught off-guard. Some are busy and don’t have the time to stop. I’ve had to run to keep up with 80 year-olds in high heels!
All photos courtesy of Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style
For more wise words and fabulous photographs, buy the book here. (We highly recommend it.)