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Jess Blanch
Editor-in-Chief, RUSSH

‘There is nothing as raw and energetic as not being tied to a notion of having already achieved success.’ With early dreams of becoming a criminal lawyer, luck would have it that fate intervened with other plans. What began as a naïve ambition has seen her evolve into one of the industry's best. Believing wholeheartedly in the power of a blue jean and white tee, she treasures her place in the diverse creative community she’s created above all else. Knowing never to wait for permission to go after what she wants, you’ll find her marching to the beat of her own drum as a champion of emerging creatives, models and minds, the best of the business on the brink success.

 

We welcome you to our latest Aje Insider, RUSSH’s revered Editor-in-Chief, Jess Blanch.

Describe your journey to where you are today

It began with not knowing what I didn’t know and a rather naïve ambition to create something that others felt they could relate to and be a part of. What a wild ride it has been.

Tell us about your journalistic style and what drives your work

To be honest, running RUSSH doesn’t allow me time to write much anymore. My first ever articles were for a newspaper and back then, that was the best place to start because it has a very set formula that requires discipline. Once you’ve mastered that craft, finding your voice to write about something you truly care about comes easily.

At RUSSH, our writers get to write what they feel, driving an emotional connection through telling stories of creativity and human experience.

Have you had any key mentors / muses that have shaped your work?

Yes, I’ve been lucky to have many mentors across business. My muses sit on my beside table and inspire my work daily. Leonard Cohen, Joan Didion, Anais Nin, Bukowski, Susan Sontag, Patti Smith. I pick them up when I need them.

Who is the RUSSH woman in your eyes?

They have – above all else – a creative mind.

“At RUSSH, our writers get to write what they feel, driving an emotional connection through telling stories of creativity and human experience.”

Championing creatives is inherent to the RUSSH DNA, why is this so important to you?

It is the essence of what RUSSH was built on. As an independent title we have been a vehicle for emerging creatives and models since the beginning. We’ve shot a supermodel on a suburban basketball court with school children and paparazzi in tow and taken a relatively unknown Cara Delevingne for a day on Coney Island without a permit and walked away with a cover shoot. Our photographers are often still assistants when they start shooting stories for us. We host dinners for artists ahead to support their exhibitions and really get behind bands that are starting out just because we like how they sound.

We stand by our icons but RUSSH is about ‘becoming’. There is nothing as raw and energetic as not being tied to a notion of having already achieved success.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned during your career so far?

Never wait to be given the permission to change your life to be the way you want it. It will never come. You have to claim that all on your own. It’s taken me a really long time to learn this.

Which is your favourite issue of RUSSH since taking the helm?

It’s always a future issue that is being created in my mind. A utopian version that hasn’t been compromised due to actual deadlines, model and collection availability and uh, budgets.

Whether anyone will ever get to see one of these issues remains a mystery.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

It’s without a doubt being part of the large and diverse creative community that makes up the RUSSH family.

“We stand by our icons but RUSSH is about ‘becoming’. There is nothing as raw and energetic as not being tied to a notion of having already achieved success.”

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

My earliest memory is wanting to be a criminal lawyer like Perry Mason, which was a show from the 50s I used to watch as a child on daytime TV. Mum was on the phone and didn’t know.

I would have made a terrible lawyer, I’m way too soft.

Since then I’ve wanted to be a writer. Like a real writer, of books and long think pieces for very important magazines. So basically, a dinosaur.

Can you give us some insight into your style philosophy?

Honestly? I have a new baby, a dynamic daughter called Sloane and a business in an industry undergoing huge change. My philosophy is to find the nearest clean item, put it on and just hope people don’t think I’ve really let myself go.

I buy only out of need and with the intention of owning it forever or wearing it until its threadbare. I am constantly editing back what I own as my only real style goal is to live with less.

“I buy only out of need and with the intention of owning it forever or wearing it until its threadbare. I am constantly editing back what I own as my only real style goal is to live with less.”

You know your way around a perfect blazer, what are your other ride or dies?

Blue jeans, white tee-shirts, a good black swimsuit, man-style pant suits, matching tracksuits and white sneakers (I currently love the adidas Jerry Seinfeld styles because they aren’t as heavy as the Balenciaga S). For any slightly fancy evening event, either a black tuxedo with a statement earring or a heavily sequinned pair of pants or a dress.

What is your most treasured piece in your wardrobe?

A YSL smoking jacket found in a local market and all of my Old Céline. As the years go by the quality of these items astound me.

What does your star sign tell us about you?

Capricorn. Uninterested in an interesting way.

 

Is there anything exciting on the horizon you can share with us?

Yes, go to russh.com or follow our Instagram as we are working on some new digital projects I think you will love.

 

Aje Insider : Jess Blanch

Photographer : Ivana Martyn

 

Shot in Sydney, Australia

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