Fashion Design

Fashion Designer Jonathan Cohen Swoops Into Houston, Bringing the Energy and a Sense of Escape

It appeared like outdated moments at Elizabeth Anthony’s Good friends & Developments Luncheon and Design Presentation. Just after a two-calendar year pandemic hiatus, the 13th annual gathering was on yet again and the Uptown Park boutique was stuffed with energetic Houston consumers curious about impressive designer Jonathan Cohen.

The Mexico City-born, San Diego-elevated designer — who is now residing in New York — is having a great deal of buzz for his creative hand intended prints and determination to sustainability. Cohen debuted his drop collection in Houston even prior to it has been demonstrated to these fashion heavyweights as Vogue, together with his spring collection, accessorized with couture jewellery from Boston-primarily based designer Katherine Jetter, a longtime preferred of the store’s loyal clientele.

The power was so superior-octane (i.e. noisy) as visitors mingled and excitedly perused the collections that Cohen and I escaped to a dressing room on the store’s 2nd ground so we could hear a person one more in excess of the din through a fast interview. Immediately after the prolonged pandemic, the 36-year-old designer is ecstatic to be on the highway all over again to satisfy with customers and communicate about his work.

“For me, vogue has normally been a way to escape. Any wrestle I have experienced in my lifetime, I’ve made my way out of it,” he says.

Whilst the pandemic experienced a good deal of down and heartbreaking times, it authorized Cohen and enterprise CEO Sarah Leff to push the reset button on their organization. (The duo very first achieved 16 yrs in the past as classmates at the Parsons University of Style and design and formally launched the organization in 2011.)  They put creation on hold and seemed at strategies to hold the model going online.

Cohen created masks, pins, brooches, necklaces, headbands and children’s apparel — all applying recycled textiles. He also opened a digital flower store, the place a Cohen-created sketch of a floral bouquet could be obtained on-line and sent to buddies and loved ones to hold in touch.

“It was a way to have interaction with folks and create a perception of community when we ended up all missing it,” he states. “With the pandemic we truly tried using to make the greatest of the predicament as considerably as we could.”

Cohen has continued the online flower store, with the newest supplying titled “Ukranian Roses.” The drawing of a bouquet of yellow roses expenditures $20, with a portion of proceeds donated to Voices of Young children.

Jonathan Cohen and the Italy Connection

After Cohen and Leff ramped up output again previous calendar year, they moved production to Italy, closer to the place they supply their elements. They also made a decision to demonstrate new collections on a timetable far more favorable to shoppers than for the duration of New York Fashion Week. For his spring assortment, in outlets now, Cohen appeared to the strategy of escapism because he intended a large amount of his prints even though in quarantine.

Motivated by the 1988 surrealist movie What Desires May Come, which he watched through the pandemic, Cohen produced textiles for the spring selection that includes smudged floral prints, woven jacquards of bumblebees set towards a honeycomb pattern and air balloon florals. It is produced to “look like these bouquets are truly air balloons traveling into the sky (to express) this thought of transporting to yet another place and working with manner to provide pleasure and escape working day-to-working day life,” Cohen describes.

For the fall collection, he collaborated with a mate to photograph dahlias submerged in h2o. They later on improvised with hand sanitizer instead of water to get the preferred outcome. They also took an up-shut view of the tail of Cohen’s pet fish Selina, generating summary prints that emphasize the strategy of reflection and self-reflection in a write-up-pandemic globe.

Elizabeth Anthony Friends & Trends Luncheon
Jonathan Cohen denim pantsuit with hand painted bouquets. (Picture by Jennifer Greene)

In a commitment to sustainability, Cohen repurposes leftover fabric remnants in a variety of strategies. A number of signature smocked items in the new collections are designed from remnant strips and a hanging mini-gown attributes hundreds of upcycled crystals lined in recycled material that dangle like colourful paillettes.

“I’m consistently pushing the thought of cloth remnants just like I push any collection, to do some thing new with it, to do anything that people today have not found, a new way of seeking at it,” Cohen says. “We do all this get the job done so our consumer does not have to. At the close of the day, she just would like a good gown.”

Jonathan Cohen experienced his moment in the spotlight past calendar year when initially lady Jill Biden wore a striking purple coat with velvet belt from his assortment when she and then president-elect Joe Biden flew to Washington, D.C., to kick off inauguration festivities. The coat was produced from material remnants in keeping with Cohen’s motivation to sustainability.

“And she’s continued to wear it. That is a really crucial message to deliver,” Cohen says. “From a sustainability standpoint, you want pieces that stand the test of time and that can be worn extra than after, that aren’t pattern-centered and that really adapt to your daily life.

“She’s a great case in point of that.”

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