Vogue100’s Afternoon in the Studio with Jonathan Cohen and Micaela Erlanger

As an homage to Cohen and Nyong’o’s shared Mexican heritage, the final product was literally and figuratively layered with meaning. The sweeping red cape in silk faille paid tribute to one of Nyong’o’s first appearances during the start of her career, and underneath, a black leather harness dress was inspired by the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. “It was a really collaborative process,” Erlanger smiled. “We all shared the same vision, one that was very authentic to Lupita but in an edgier way.”

Cohen went straight to work pumping out sketches as a starting point. “As a man designing for women,” Cohen began. “My focus is always ensuring that I’m creating a look that is respectful, powerful, and evokes confidence.”

For the main event, attendees settled into Erlanger’s expansive and highly coveted closet for the sit-down discussion. Of course, a core conversation point was Lupita Nyong’o’s custom Cohen look for the premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. A longtime client and friend of Erlanger, Nyong’o was eager to not only make a statement but to tell her story on the red carpet.

With many of the usual red carpets on pause due to the Screen Actors Guild strikes, the two took a moment to reflect on how the process has changed over the years. “The narrative has finally evolved from designers making all the final red carpet decisions,” Cohen explained. “Today, it’s so refreshing to work so closely with my celebrity and private clients. The creativity that sparks from these special and intimate relationships is unmatched.”

Before guests bid the afternoon adieu, everyone made sure to grab a gift bag filled with RéVive skincare. The bio-renewable technology-driven brand was the perfect setup for a busy week ahead, attending Vogue’s 2023 Forces of Fashion conference.