Artist Insights

Jenn Finkelstein

November 24, 2010, by Dan Grant

Jenn Finkelstein is one of those people that can make a good shoot truly spectacular. In an industry where photographers endlessly gripe about the lack of quality stylists, the Montréal-based artist is in constant demand because she possesses the flair for matching up the pieces in ways you can't not linger over.

Much of the industry bemoans her lack of availability, and considering Jenn is now expecting her first child and has other projects in the works, her schedule isn't about to open up any time soon.

She already knew she was one of my favourite stylists... maybe that's why I managed to get enough of Jenn's limited availability (sorry photographers) to get her perspective on what it's like to be a key figure in Montréal's dynamic fashion scene.

Regardless of how I got this, I'm grateful.

  • Folio
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    Kelly Craig
    Kelly Craig (Folio), in Z!NK Canada, by Yann Ostiguy
    styling: Jenn Finkelstein; makeup & hair: Leslie-Ann Thomson (Folio)

    The obvious first question: What made you decide that you wanted to be a stylist?
    To be honest, I just happened to all into it. Straight from school I was interested in a creative outlet for my visions. Design wasn't what I saw myself doing right away and when the possibility arose to work alongside some great creative teams, I jumped on it.

    You are blessed in Montréal with scads of talented local designers. Is there anything about the Québecois aesthetic that sets it apart from other regions?
    I think that is actually one of the issues with segmenting Québec designers into a local region. Talent is talent! I don't think that if you are from NYC, Paris or any other major fashion centers that you have any geographical qualities that set you apart from the rest of the world. We have some very talented designers that are from Québec and hold international weight. I am always excited to work with them, much like any of the other designers that I respect!

    You've worked A LOT in recent years with fellow Folio artist Steven Turpin (makeup & hair). Do you find clients often trying to book you as a team? How did you end up working together so frequently in the first place?
    I think that people try to push and niche collectives into teams. Steven is a very talented artist and I do enjoy working with him. Chemistry on set is very important; however a true artist can adapt and work as part of any team. There are a really great bunch of artists in Montréal and I am always excited to create new teams and be part of new visions!

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    Albert (Next), in Z!NK Canada, by Geneviève Charbonneau
    styling: Jenn Finkelstein; makeup & hair: Sabrina Rinaldi (Judy Inc)

    You're definitely regarded as one of the most talented stylists in the country. Do you have any plans on taking these skills to another market one day? And if so, where would you go?
    For the past year, I have been in talks with some international television stations as well as some rather interesting projects that are on an international scale. I have also had the opportunity to consult for some very interesting and influential musicians. Hopefully some new projects in collaboration with these artists will be coming to fruition in the coming year!

    Who is one (at least one) Canadian photographer that you have never worked with and would like to?
    I have had the opportunity to work with some great photographers. Each and every one has a different outlook on the way they see beauty. I am more than satisfied with the talent that I currently work with. If I had to answer that question, I would have to say Max Abadian (

    I constantly hear from photographers that good stylists are really hard to come by. Why do you think that is?
    As previously stated, chemistry on set is rather important to the outcome of a project. It is important to put a team together that meshes well. I would say that these days, many people call themselves stylists and few are rather proper about that profession. As some of my fellow stylists will know, it's not just about putting clothes on a client.

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    Isabelle Giguère (Montage), in Z!NK Canada, by Donat
    styling: Jenn Finkelstein; makeup & hair: Steven Turpin (Folio)

    What is the most common mistake you observe new models making when you work with them?
    Not shaving their legs and underarms before a shoot!

    Do you still get the same sense of excitement pulling together a shoot as you did in the beginning?
    Yes, I do! I still get the night-before-flutter that comes with going on set the next day. For me, being on set is my sort of canvas and I await the chance to make that canvas beautiful!

    What is the most expensive piece you've ever had damaged on a shoot?
    I once accidentally spilt orange juice on a Dior shoe box. The pumps were on the models feet in perfect condition but the orange stained box rendered them non returnable!

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    Laszlo (Folio), in Z!NK Canada, by Mackenzie Duncan
    styling: Jenn Finkelstein; makeup & hair: Steven Turpin (Folio)

    Melissa Auf Der Maur or Béatrice Martin (Cœur de Pirate)?
    Trent Reznor

    You're engaged and having a baby! Does that change the way you look at fashion or style?
    My fiancé is a stylist as well. He works on international artists, mainly in the hip hop genre. He is very well known for his Vintage Frames Company, as well as for his fashion archive. He has definitely shown me another outlook on styling and fashion history.

    I would have to say that I have seen that other products in certain communities can be considered haute couture without them being from the typical haute couture makers. As well, I am MUCH more conscious of baby clothing and fashions, as we will soon have a little one around!


    Blogs We Follow

    Cailin Hill (The Model Burnbook)

    Natalia Zurowski & Jasmine Chorley Foster (The Business Model)

    Madison Schill & Addison Gill's (Mind Over Model)

    Ania Boniecka (A n i a . B)