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Jasmine Cephas Jones, the actress who originated the dual roles of Peggy “And Peggy!” Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in Hamilton, might’ve taken her final bow at the Richard Rodgers Theatre last December — but she’s only getting started. In between guest-starring on the final season of HBO’s Girls and prepping for her Super Bowl performance with her fellow Schuyler sisters Phillipa Soo and Renée Elise Goldsberry, she recently teamed up with Lou & Grey on a collection of tops and jewelry inspired by her native Brooklyn, which launched earlier this week — and sold out in less than 24 hours.
The capsule’s ultra-soft T-shirts and sweatshirts, emblazoned with phrases like “Brooklyn Original,” “Groove Baby,” and “Love Will Conquer,” are a perfect representation of Cephas Jones’s personal style, which skews casual and comfortable — a far cry from the restricting corsets she wore daily while playing Peggy and Maria. Below, she discusses her newfound obsession with hats, her longtime love of Doc Martens, and the benefits of trying on potential purchases in-store over buying online.
Tell us how your new collaboration with Lou & Grey came to be.
When the brand called me initially, I thought they wanted me for a modeling thing — it wasn’t until our first meeting that I realized they wanted me to do an actual collection! I’d never done fashion before, so I didn’t know what it would entail. I knew it wasn’t going to be a huge collection — just some tops and a few pieces of jewelry — so [in terms of inspiration] I wanted to boil it down to a few things that really give you a sense of who I am.
Brooklyn was the first thing that came to mind. I’m from Brooklyn, it’s where I was raised and where I went to school. Also, music — which is something I obviously love!
After that first meeting, I went home and started brainstorming. I wrote about 20 different phrases in my journal, just things I liked. I even drew some ideas for graphics. When it was time for our second meeting, I actually came in with too many ideas!
What do you typically gravitate toward when you’re getting dressed?
My style changes constantly, to be honest. It all depends on how I’m feeling that day. My go-to is a ripped-up, baggy jean with a big button-up shirt. And Doc Martens! I wear my Doc Martens everywhere.
When it comes to jewelry, too, I’m a minimalist. I like a nice watch, or a thin, delicate necklace — exactly the sort of thing that’s in my collection! I do like to wear a lot of rings, though. Two of my favorites are from my mother; she gave me one for my 12th birthday, the other for my 20th. Another one I love has a silver Om symbol, the sign for universal peace, which is always a nice reminder.
I like to pick up new rings when I’m traveling, or from places on the street here in New York. Brooklyn has lots of fairs where you can find really good stuff; I love Atlantic Antic in the summer. I actually own a bunch of rings from Lou & Grey, too!
Where else have you been shopping lately?
I just recently cut my hair, so I’m really into hats now. Especially berets and caps. I buy a lot of them from street vendors — there are some great ones in Park Slope.
I also love shopping at Brooklyn Industries. I’ve gotten some amazing jackets there, and really cool, funky dresses. Plus, the store is right around the corner from me, five minutes away from my house! And I love going to Zara, of course. Really, though, if I see something I like in a store window, I’ll go in. I’m most definitely an impulsive shopper.
Do you prefer shopping in stores or buying things online?
I’m more of an in-person shopper, just because of my body type. I’m very curvy, and I like to try things on in person. Online shopping is great, but I can never tell how something will fit my body. So I prefer to go into stores and try things on — it takes more time, but it’s more satisfying because I’ll know whether something actually fits.
What’s the last great thing you bought for yourself?
I’m half English, and my family lives in England. The last time I went to visit them, I found this awesome coat that I love — I’m wearing it right now, actually! It’s this gray fitted peacoat from a brand called White Label From the White Company.
I just bought a new pair of Doc Martens, too. I’ve worn Docs my entire life, but right now, I think I only own three pairs total. One’s this deep burgundy color, and then the other two are black and made from a softer leather. I wear those ones almost every day.
For almost two years, you played two roles in Hamilton six days per week. Did you ever find yourself starting to dress like your costars, whether intentionally or not?
No, no — [Phillipa, Renée, and I] all have very different, individual styles. I think we only shopped together once. It was actually really fun, and afterwards, we were like, “We should do this more often!” But we never did. We were just always so busy, seeing each other all the time. If we weren’t working, we were spending time with our families.
Do you ever miss your Hamilton costumes?
I mean, those costumes were absolutely beautiful, and they really helped me get into character when I put them on. They were freakin’ awesome! But those corsets, the tights, all those buckles — I really don’t miss them.