Jewish Fashion Icon of the Month: Jeff Goldblum

Jeff Goldblum
Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, The Capitol Studio Sessions. Courtesy of DECCA Records.

There was really only one name in contention to kick off our Jewish Fashion Icon of the Month series. Did you see Jeff Goldblum’s zebra print pants and sweater on Instagram last week? My daughter and I spent all afternoon WhatsApping each other about it. We are obsessed, and we are not alone.

 

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In September, he scooped GQ’s Icon of the Year award in London; next, we saw him perched front row at Calvin Klein’s spring 2019 show in New York. October 22nd — his birthday — saw an explosion of “Jeff Goldblum is a fashion icon” tributes in his honor. This does not happen to most people when they hit 66. So what is this newly-minted style icon doing right?

Jeff has always been hot, of course, but with a slightly geeky flavor. The Fly-era Jeff had a cult appeal; a whole generation later fell for his nerdy charm as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park. In recent years, though, Goldblum has gone mainstream as a bona fide fashion star.

Style watchers put it down to a meeting with stylist Andrew T. Vottero on a shoot in 2014; they’ve been working together ever since. For the past four years, the pair has been having an absolute blast, with Jeff rocking a half-and-half Prada shirt on Jimmy Kimmel (and beating rapper Pusha T in a Twitter poll to decide who wore it better), an all-white tux at the Venice Film Festival, and a gold lamé tuxedo and shirt combo at the GQ awards that inspired the magazine to declare, “We all need to be more Jeff Goldblum”.

That’s not your cue to rush out and bag yourself a gold tuxedo, though. The key to Goldblum’s late-blooming fashion icon status is not necessarily about what he wears, but how he wears it. The thing is, he is clearly having the time of his life.

 

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I experienced the Jeff-ness of Jeff when he performed with his jazz band, the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, in San Francisco last year. We wandered into the theater 15 minutes before showtime, and there he was — wandering around, microphone in hand, chatting with the audience and asking for volunteers to act out their most recent text conversation with him. Whether he was answering questions about his outfit or asking the audience to guess the San Francisco neighborhood based on the name of its local laundromat, he had the unfakeable charm of someone who is just really, really enjoying himself.

Goldblum’s entry in Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List for 2018 summed it up beautifully. The magazine described his style as “a pure shot of joy” — and there’s no better reason for finding your fashion mojo than that.

Susannah Cohen
Susannah Cohen is a fashion journalist, e-commerce editor (specialist subjects: lingerie and diamonds) and Jewish mom. Recently relocated from London to the West Coast, she’s feeling a lot more spiritual these days.