Why Chicago Native Jazzelle Zanaughtti Is One Of The Coolest New Models Around

 In Interviews, Style

Being discovered by Nick Knight is not something that a lot of models can claim, but for Chicago-native and ultimate cool girl Jazzelle Zanaughtti, that’s exactly what happened. Fresh off of an exciting debut with Public School, Zanaughtti is earning buzz for her androgynous look and laid-back attitude.

Photo courtesy of NYMM

Photo courtesy of NYMM


You recently made your most notable debut with Public School for the Spring ’17 collection. What was that experience like for you?
It was really cool to be a part of a brand that is so progressive. I loved the fact that they make their clothes for everyone, not just male or female. And from the get-go, they’ve all been super down-to-earth, cool people and I really appreciate that.

How were you discovered?
One of my favorite artists, Nick Knight, somehow found me on Instagram. Shortly after, he brought me out to London to work with him. I was already on my way to New York for reasons besides modeling before meeting him. Once I had moved, he linked me with his friend, Kat Davey, who helped me set up meeting with a bunch of agencies. New York Models ended up winning my heart.

In addition to modeling, what are some other hobbies you dabble in?
I’m pretty all over the place because I like to try and keep things fresh and new, but I guess one of the main things would be drawing. I sketch a lot. I’ve been wanting to be more active and start painting, maybe try to get into a gallery. Along with that, I do what some would call performance art, others would call me a club kid or drag queen or just flat-out insane. I’ll host events and I’ll create a new character and act as them. I’m obsessed with music and my friends and I will literally just sit around and listen to music for hours. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

Your look is very unique and non-gender specific, which makes you able to transform in many ways—when did you first start experimenting with your appearance and how would you describe your personal style?
I started experimenting with my style from a very young age. It started off with how I dressed. As I got older and was allowed to wear makeup, that came into the picture as well. But I really started expressing myself freely once I moved out of my mama’s house and to Chicago on my own when I was 17. It was an extremely liberating experience and the result is what I look like now. Not a boy or a girl, just a creature. I can be whoever I want and I love that; I feel limitless. I would describe my personal style as emotional. I dress how I feel always. It’s all about finding your moment and living in it!

What are you looking forward to the most as far as your modeling career?
I think traveling is definitely number one! There’s never been anything I want more than to see the gigantic world we live in.

Also, I think just seeing designers work in person. I’ve been watching shows on the internet and reading magazines my whole life, but until modeling, I would have never gotten to see them up close and personal. It’s like going to a museum where you can touch and feel everything. I just think it’s really cool to move past the 2-D realm.

See Zanaughtti and some of her fellow new faces from New York Model Management in the exclusive NYMM SS17 film to kick off an exciting New York Fashion Week season.

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