Be Extraordinary Entrepreneur of the Week: Ari Seth Cohen

Jessica Hoppe
Be Extraordinary Entrepreneur of the Week: Ari Seth Cohen
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It’s hard out there for a blogger. Personal style, street style-we’ve seen it all. That is until Ari Seth Cohen decided to put unique spin on blogs such as the Sartorialist and Facehunter by exclusively shooting models in the over 60 set.

Advanced Style shines a spotlight on the true fashion experts, those who have been at it for years-“the silver stylistas.” Besides uncovering some of the most covetable vintage sources in the world (those will be some lucky Chanel-clad grandchildren) Ari found a true message for life. A joie de vivre emminated not only through dress but with an enviably gusto for life.

Ari’s message has brought him critical acclaim-shootings muses all over the world, with an exhibit of photos at Selfridges‘ Forever Shop in London and now a book.

Read below to learn more about Ari and his muses. And don’t miss the Advanced Style party with Tavi at the Ace Hotel during Fashion Week on September 13th. You will not want to miss a very special cabaret performance by 91 year old Ilona Royce Smithkin!

How did you decide to focus in on this particular set of fashionistas?

I was best friends with my grandmother growing up, and was always inspired by her energy and wisdom. I wanted to show that creativity, style, and vitality advance with age, and hopefully help change people’s ideas about getting older. The people I photograph are confident and comfortable in their own skin. They have developed a sense of style that works for them and don’t rely on trends.

What would you say was the key to making your blog a success?

I am showing older people in a new light. Everyone wants to feel good about getting older and the people I feature set great examples for us to live life to the fullest. I think the key to Advanced Style‘s success are the ladies themselves. Their wisdom, fearlessness, and positive outlook on life, inspire us all. They also have great wardrobes! Style is the starting point to a greater conversation on how to live a full and active life.

List the steps you would recommend for a new blogger to gain popularity.

I think its important to have a strong voice and clear direction. It’s good to focus on an idea and perfect it. It really important to develop and interact with your audience. Reach out to other bloggers and create a community of like minded individuals. The hardest part about blogging and digital media is that you can work on a post for a few days, but once you post it, your readers are already looking for your next great post.

How did the book deal come about?

PowerHouse and I have been talking about doing a book for a while now.They approached me about a year ago after seeing Advanced Style and I have been gathering content ever since. The book will be out Spring 2012.

Describe the book and how it is different from the blog.
The book will be a selection of my best photos along with style quotes, tips, and interviews from a selection of the Advanced Style ladies. I am excited to share the wisdom that I have been collecting over the last few years.

What’s next for Advanced Style?
Lina Plioplyte and I are working on an Advanced Style documentary and hope to be finished within the next few months. We debuted a trailer for the project on NOWNESS and it has been very popular. I am also having an Advanced Style party with the Ace Hotel and Tavi on September 13th. There will be a selection of my photos, a gathering of stylish older ladies, and a very special cabaret performance by 91 year old Ilona Royce Smithkin.

What is the most inspiring thing about your work? A memorable quote or moment from one of the ladies?

Every moment is inspiring. The other day I went over to photograph my friend Ruth, who will be 100 years old in a few weeks. When I entered her house she apologized for the mess, she had just been doing pilates and lifting weights, so her excercise mat was on the living room floor. I asked her what the secret to staying vital at an older age is and she replied,”Celebrate everyday, and don’t look at the calendar.” My 80 year old friend Joyce had similar words for me,” The real secret is being in love with life and realizing what you have.”

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Ari Seth Cohen & Mimi Weddell who would always say, "Grace, is what it is, you dance as you sail through life, and furthermore it heightens your living as of the moment."

Ilona Royce Smithkin, 91 Years old: "If you try to imitate too much, then you look like nothing. Never compare yourself, YOU are YOU." ”Feel beautiful inside and you will be beautiful outside."

Lynn Dell 78 Years Old: "Dress everyday for the theater of your life."

Ruth, 100 Years Old

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