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my fashion life ADA KOKOSAR

Meet the stylist and street-style star who opens her beautifully curated loft to talk individuality in fashion and drawing inspiration from New York.

Photographs by Adrian Mesko. Words by Jane McFarland. Fashion by Priscilla Kwateng.

The word effortless is frequently overused, but when it comes to describing stylist and consultant Ada Kokosar, no other adjective will do. Instinctively pulling together looks in her capacious, open-plan loft in New York’s Tribeca, Kokosar’s styling savvy is evident, layering a dress over a skirt and combining prints and colours in the innate way only a professional can. ‘You could define my look as simple,’ she says of her personal style, which routinely consists of voluminous silhouettes, a monochromatic palette and utilitarian-inspired details. ‘It’s more about my mood – I am very free in my style.’ Both her compelling heritage – half Slovenian, half Italian – and isolated upbringing in the Italian countryside have shaped Kokosar’s individual approach to style. ‘I looked a bit different from the other kids because I was super blonde. I had this strange name that is very rare in Italy. I got bullied a bit as a kid, but instead of being brought down, I raised my personality. I thought, “I’m different and I feel cooler.”’

At 37, with a dishevelled shoulder-grazing mane (‘it’s all natural, but my secret is John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde spray’), she is a doppelgänger for Chloë Sevigny. A favourite with photographers Tommy Ton and Vogue’s Phil Oh, she’s been a street-style mainstay for years. ‘It’s been a while now, and you get to know each other and respect each other’s profession. The other day after I styled a show, I bumped into Phil and Tommy and they stopped to compliment me on my work,’ she says. Despite the wave of photographers in her wake, Kokosar doesn’t feel pressure when getting dressed, nor is she likely to slavishly follow trends or be spotted in the season’s ubiquitous cult items. ‘The thing I enjoy [about street style] is the diversity. It’s more about standing out with your own voice and being authentic. I want to represent that.’

Managing an international client list including Calvin Klein Collection, Diane von Furstenberg and Numéro magazine, while balancing the logistics of the job (travel, late nights and fittings), it’s the adventure of travel that keeps her going: ‘I was recently in Hawaii – it’s beautiful. I hiked up a volcano. It was super-inspiring to see these beaches with black sand, blue crystal water and palm trees.’ The Style Report learns more.

‘I was born and raised in a little village outside Milan. It was amazing because it was all fields and I could just enjoy nature. I came to New York three and a half years ago. At the time I was working more in New York than Europe, so it was very organic. I was really fond of the energy here – I just felt that I had so much more to give. I used to call New York an open office. You go downstairs for a coffee and you can potentially meet someone to collaborate over something – it’s just always happening.’

I’ve been into my style since I was a teenager. I used to dress in my own way, trying to create trends. I was gothic and then into hip-hop – I was trying to discover myself. At the time I was about to go to university to do psychology, and my mum, who isn’t in fashion at all, told me, “Ada, as your mum I will always support your choice, but you have a talent, you’re super creative and I think you have to pursue something that is related to your creativity. So you can either do architecture, design, fashion, art… think about it!” Then I felt I could commit to fashion.’

I’m a freelancer, so I work for different brands and magazines. My life is never the same one week to the other. I don’t know where I’ll be in a week! The only thing that is consistent is that wake up and I meditate for half an hour. It helps me to focus and centre myself. When you engage your creativity, it’s very demanding. New York gives you a lot, but it takes a lot from you too.’

I’m Italian so I enjoy cooking at home, but in New York, you feel the energy calling from outside. You feel like so much is happening that you can’t stay at home. But I can’t handle this life everyday, so I am trying to cook more at home. Seeing friends, going for walks, going to museums and reading books, going to hot yoga and doing lots of meditation – it’s very important for me.’

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CREDITS: HAIR DAVID TIBOLLA AT EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS MANAGEMENT. PRODUCTION SAMANTHA TREYVAUD.

The Style Report
The Style Report
THE STYLE REPORT