It’s the newest edition of Jews of Philly Fashion, introducing you to the Chosen few who dress our city. They might mix wool and linen, but they’ve got some strong opinions on mixing stripes with florals. In this space, we’ll talk to designers, sellers, buyers, influencers, models and more. This week, we spoke to Jesse Weinstein.
For Jesse Weinstein, 21, it all goes back to kindergarten. Presented with a blank notebook for doodling, meant to last for the whole school year, Weinstein filled every page on the first day. As he remembers it, the teacher balked at his request for another notebook. Unjust as it may have seemed, it’s hardly stopped Weinstein from drawing.
“That’s the only thing I’ve ever had interest in, was drawing on the back of my worksheets, goofing off in study hall, somehow turning a project in school into an excuse to make any type of illustration or graphic design,” he said.
Weinstein, the grandson of boutique owner Joan Shepp, is a student at Temple’s Tyler School of Art. He’s illustrated comic books, and his prints have appeared on limited-edition T-shirts and hoodies. His drawings are featured on high-end Avant Toi scarves and last fall he was profiled in The Philadelphia Inquirer, which described his work as “a little Jean Michel-Basquiat, a tidbit of Salvador Dalí, and a whole lot of a socially aware Gen Zer who daydreams in weird shapes thumping in Technicolor.” Indeed, his work does have the look of someone who started doodling and then took the practice as far as it could go.
It’s all pretty exciting for Weinstein, who is deciding whether to finish out his time at Tyler. Not that he’s not enjoying it — the professors, he said, are insightful, encouraging and offer him real challenges. But there seems to be a little more freedom just over the horizon.
“I’d rather follow these opportunities that allow me to just be me and make what I want, and people seem to be real receptive to the things I make, which is really awesome, and I’m really happy about that,” he said. “I do the best I can, you know?”
Where do you think you’ll be living in 10 years?
I love my friends, but there’s no way I’m not moving out of the country if we go full-tilt fascist.
What clothing trend would you like to see make a comeback?
I’d love to see people leave trends behind and come up with their own ideas, so that fashion becomes more personal and less mass produced, and that will lead us slowly away from societal norms set by the fashion industry.
What’s something you can’t believe you used to wear?
I remember wearing Nike Elite athletic socks when I couldn’t throw a football.
What’s the worst thing you’ve watched in quarantine?
The worst film I’ve engaged with has been “Tau,” on Netflix. It was rubbish.
What item of clothing should more people be wearing?
Everyone should wear jackets. Nothing is cooler than a dope tactical jacket with many pockets.
What person’s style do you admire?
I really like Daniel Arsham’s style. He dresses like a future person with practicality in mind.
What talent would you most like to have?
If I could have any talent/gift, it’d be problem solving, so I can help others and figure out how to do a Rubik’s Cube without Google.