Jasmine Contomichalos began her time at Vogue in 2016 and currently serves as the publication's Senior Experiences Editor.
Interview by Brooke Frischer
Jasmine Contomichalos in our Spring Summer 2022 floral knit jacquard dress.
HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH JONATHAN COHEN?
I discovered Jonathan Cohen at the Americans In Paris showroom back in 2019. I remember it well as it was my first trip to Paris Fashion Week, and I was an equal combination of incredibly excited and overwhelmed. I found myself captivated by the JC prints and bright colors. It is no secret that Anna is not a fan of black, So I'd become somewhat addicted to wearing bright, patterned dresses [Contomichalos began her time at Vogue as Assistant to the Editor in Chief, Anna Wintour]. I asked Jonathan and Sarah if I could borrow a piece to wear at the cocktail party that evening, to which they kindly agreed...and the rest is history!
THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS CHANGING AT SUCH A RAPID PACE. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE OF FASHION? ADDITIONALLY, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MOST EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE OF FASHION?
It is such a pivotal moment in the fashion industry, with a focus on thoughtful consumerism and sustainable practices. Although this is fantastic news, these practices can be costly to incorporate. It's a key time to help fund and support young designers either personally or through initiatives such as the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which Jonathan Cohen was deservedly crowned runner-up of back in 2018!
FOR YOUR PHOTOSHOOT, YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO STYLE YOUR OWN LOOK. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE PARTICULAR OUTFIT YOU WERE PHOTOGRAPHED IN?
I chose the floral knit dress because you can dress it up for a more formal work look or down in cowboy boots for the weekend. The matching cardigan is great for the colder months too, or to mix and match with jeans. Ditto the blazer, which can be worn with the matching pants, over a mini skirt as pictured, or even solo with a belt. It's also about [choosing] versatile, transient wardrobe pieces!
Jasmine Contomichalos poses in our Dancing Floral Wool Blazer from our Fall Winter 2020 collection.
YOUR TIME AT VOGUE STARTED IN THE ROLE OF ASSISTANT TO THE EDITOR IN CHIEF. HOW DID THAT POSITION HELP SHAPE YOUR CAREER?
It changed me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. My entire work ethic shifted for the better and I also made friends for life. The beauty of being in such a role is getting a 'behind the scenes' of all the different departments (which helps guide you towards your next best career path).
YOU HAVE BEEN THE SENIOR EXPERIENCES EDITOR AT VOGUE FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS. HOW DID YOUR ROLE SHIFT IN THE PANDEMIC?
We spent a lot of time hosting events on Zoom, which I quickly came to realize takes a lot more production than one would expect. It is much easier to hide behind a camera, which makes it difficult to read others, and when it comes to events, keep attendees engaged. I now cherish in-person moments and never take 'IRL' (in real life) for granted! That being said, having worked on Zoom across multiple time zones, I'm much more proactive at staying in touch with clients, colleagues, friends, and family scattered across various continents.
YOU HAVE A VERY ECLECTIC FASHION SENSE AND HAVE SAID YOU LOVE EXPERIMENTING WITH NEW LOOKS. WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU WANT TO TRY NEW STYLES?
I think I'm subconsciously influenced on a daily basis, whether it's through a photography book (gotta love a Slim Aaron's poolside glamour moment!), modern street style, or going down a rabbit hole on Etsy. I wear a lot of my grandmother's clothing too. She had some amazing pieces, from old Celine to Pucci. My grandmother was very special to me and I love that I am able to keep her memory alive through fashion.
Jasmine, at left, wears our Pressed Orchid Robe Dress.
HOW DOES YOUR LOVE FOR INTERIOR DESIGN INFLUENCE YOUR PERSONAL FASHION SENSE?
For the most part, I'm not sure it does! As with many things, I would say my interior style has developed over the years and I now prefer more of a clean, mid-century modern aesthetic. I'm sure this is partly due to living in the United States as my interior style was previously more European. I do love a pop of color though, which is definitely reflected in my personal fashion sense!
WHAT KIND OF INFLUENCES DID YOUR MOTHER HAVE ON YOUR STYLE?
A huge one! Despite living across the globe from each other, I still regularly ask her for outfit approval, but that wasn't always the case. Growing up, I would get frustrated with her as 'everything had to match.' She would dress me in these printed two-piece sets and I remember saying I wanted to wear a Spice Girls tee shirt and light-up sneakers like the cool kids! I've now come full circle though, as I am all for a matching printed set or a puffy sleeve!
HOW HAS YOUR MOTHER BEING A FORMER BRITISH VOGUE EDITOR IMPACTED HOW YOU APPROACH YOUR WORK?
My mother has an exceptional work ethic which she has undoubtedly instilled in me. She loves and is so good at what she does. I have looked up to her from a young age and ultimately decided to follow in her footsteps.
Jasmine, at far left, with fellow Vogue 100 members on the steps of the Palace of Versailles.
IS THERE A MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER THUS FAR THAT HAS BEEN MOST MEMORABLE?
This is a tough one! I am lucky enough to have an abundance of memorable moments but most recently, our LA trip, which kicked off with a tequila tasting hosted by Kendall Jenner. It was our first post-pandemic adventure and everyone was thrilled to finally be traveling and having fun. A close number two has to be our trip to Versailles, where we ended up running through the empty halls and exploring the palace after hours.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WORK IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY BUT AREN'T SURE WHERE TO START?
I think it's important to understand that it's not an easy industry to break into which can be frustrating. Take the time to really hone in on your skills and figure out where you'd best fit and be happiest in the industry. I interned for a good 2 years, so trust the process! There's a lot of opportunity for growth, but you have to be patient.
You can read Jasmine Contomichalos' work at https://www.vogue.com/contributor/jasmine-contomichalos