The New York Life: Ari Seth Cohen, Shining a Spotlight on Aging Gracefully

-New York, NY - 9/26/14 - New York Special Screening of "ADVANCED STYLE". The film is written and directed by Lina Plioplyte and co-written by Ari Seth Cohen. The film examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to aging. -PICTURED: Ari Seth Cohen -PHOTO by: Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix -Filename: KBU_14_4830347.JPG -Location: Quad Cinemas Editorial - Rights Managed Image - Please contact for licensing fee Startraks Photo New York, NY For licensing please call 212-414-9464 or email

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to Ari Seth Cohen, the creator of Advanced Style (, that certainly holds true. His street style blog documents, as he puts it, the “fashion and wisdom of the senior set.” In addition,  Cohen has also made the images he captures into a best-selling book and film, also titled Advanced Style,” now available digitally and on DVD at

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To give you a little background as to where this love affair began, Cohen’s grandmothers were his best friends growing up. “I noticed a lack of older people in fashion campaigns and street style sites,” he recalls. One of the Cohen’s grandmothers, who attended graduate school at Columbia University, told the young Cohen to move to New York if he wanted to be creative. The blogger duly began his photographic career when he moved to New York City in 2008.

Cohen is passionate about his subjects and society’s treatment of older people. “I think that people neglect, forget, or ignore older people and don’t realize their worth. They don’t realize that they still want to be heard and still have a lot to offer.”

It was such a pleasure to sit down with someone who truly represents BELLA’s tagline of “Beauty Defined by You” and why his “New York Life” story is one that must be told. 

01_ADVANCED STYLE_Photo Credit to Ari Seth Cohen

How would you describe yourself?

I’m a lover of everything old.

03_ADVANCED STYLE_Photo Credit to Ari Seth Cohen

What is your favorite part of NYC?

I love walking the whole city – that is what I do for work – but especially the Upper East and Upper West sides, finding incredible women. I am privileged to hear their life stories every day.

04_ADVANCED STYLE_Photo Credit to Ari Seth Cohen

This is our Beauty Issue, and we love the fact that your subjects are women of a certain age. Why did you choose to focus on older women, and what is it about their beauty that attracts your photographer eye?

My grandmother, Bluma; we were best friends. When other kids were playing outside, I played dress-up in her closets and hunted for antique treasures in her dresser drawers. As a child I couldn’t wait to get old and to have as much fun as my grandmother did.

Also, I always thought it was so ridiculous that the fashion world focused on just younger women for so long. These older women have an exuberance and vitality that you can only have when you have lived a long life and amassed a life’s worth of wisdom.

05_ADVANCED STYLE_Photo Credit to Ari Seth Cohen

What inspired you to create your successful blog, Advanced Style? What do you want readers to take away from it?

The inspiration was the streets of New York and the women I was meeting every day. I just moved to the city and came across these incredible women and wanted to share their style and stories. I wanted to change people’s perception of aging. I want readers to take away joy and hopefully lessen their fears of the aging process.

06_ADVANCED STYLE_Photo Credit to Ari Seth Cohen

What inspired you to become a (street style) photographer?

It happened organically. I just met all of these incredible women and had not taken a photo before, but they compelled me to start taking pictures. One day I borrowed my roommate’s camera because I wanted to document what I was seeing on the street and I saw this lack of imagery in the advertising world. I thought that these are the kinds of women we should be paying attention to.

07_ADVANCED STYLE_Photo Credit to Ari Seth Cohen

Can you tell us about your book and film that centers on the women you capture in your photographs?

My grandma was a librarian, so it was always a dream of mine to publish a book. The book is a compilation of my favorite work from my blog, as well as about being a vital creative person. The film is an extension [of that]; it dives in deeper and shows the process of how I started this project on the street. Now, these women are recognized internationally for their style and their spirit.

08_ADVANCED STYLE_Photo Credit to Ari Seth Cohen

What would you consider your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment is hearing people say how the women I photograph have lessened their fears of getting older and inspired them to live their lives differently.

09_ADVANCED STYLE_Photo Credit to Ari Seth Cohen

What advice would you offer up-and-coming photographers?

To trust your eye, photograph what you love, and be able to relate to your subject matter.

10_ADVANCED STYLE_Photo Credit to Ari Seth Cohen

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