Ilana Kohn

Made in NYC but worn pretty much everywhere, Ilana Kohn has been designing and making clothes since 2011. We absolutely adore her and her style! We caught up with Ilana at her studio in New York, talked about cats, and wanted to try on just about everything. We're excited to feature her today on the blog, meet Ilana!

Tell us about your brand.
IK: Oh man, it was pretty round about and not at all intentional.  I worked as a commercial illustrator and when the Recession hit, all my work just dried up.  Literally overnight.  So I decided to go back to school for something completely unrelated and not particularly creative, Historic Preservation (historic architecture).  I got bored not having a creative outlet, so I started teaching myself to sew & pattern and one thing led to another.  I started selling one-offs through a blog and then before long was creating actual 'collections,' albeit sewing them myself (OY).  By the time I was ready to graduate, I decided that I'd rather dive in full steam ahead with the fashion thing, so I found a small place to begin manufacturing, began doing wholesale and almost ten years later here we are?!

I love all your Caturday posts! What's a typical C
aturday like for you? And please tell us more about your sweet kitties! 
IK: Lol, a typical/ideal Caturday pretty much involves sleeping in as late as possible, ordering breakfast from Seamless then proceeding to watch a ton of Netflix.  Then probably a nap and then some more Netflix.  And tons and tons of kitty snuggles all the while.  They are demanding and wouldn't allow it any other way.

Who do you make your clothes for? What do you hope people feel when wearing them?
IK: For ourselves for the most part.  Every season we sit down and it's just a discussion of, well, what would we like to wear next season? ;)
What seems to be the constant in your life?
IK: Kitties.. And the husband too..!  And as erratic as our day to day agenda is, I have to say we do have some nice routines around the office like starting the morning off kind of slow by sitting around the kitchen table, toasting our bagels, making coffee & catching up.  We try to do the same for lunch but more often than not, we get so busy as the day goes on that we're all just kinda grabbing bites here and there when we can..
What is the most challenging part of your process? What is the most fulfilling aspect?
IK: L O G I S T I C S.  Fashion is a business with a MILLION crazy moving parts and coordinating all of those moving parts and keeping track of/hassling them is pretty much my full time job.  I design on the side, lol.  That said, I would have to say the most fulfilling aspect of this job is when it all comes together and we can really see it pay off.  Like when samples first arrive, it's like christmas in here.  And when production ships and we finally get our goodies.  Those are the things that really keep us invested in this craziness.
What is your personal definition of fashion?
IK: For me, it's just about feeling good in what you're wearing.  If you're feeling it, you're doing it right, that's fashion.
Is there anyone or anything that inspires you? 
IK: Really, the team is a huge huge inspiration.  Everyone has their own super unique style and manages to take an item that we all wear and make it very much their own.  We always come up with ideas based on the way we wear things or things someone's been eyeing or pretty often, someone will come in with some vintage that we all get excited about.  We've been known to make someone on the team strip and give us their pants.. 
What has owning a business taught you? 
IK: That's it's a very good thing that I've always been very organized?! 
What does a day in the studio look like? 
IK: Ha, every day is so absolutely different.  Fashion is a cycle and depending where it's at, I could be doing anything from working on patterns or coordinating vendors to book keeping, answering emails to answering more and more and more emails...
I can live in your jumpsuits! Which one is your favorite? 
IK: I'm pretttttty stoked for the Tia Coverall coming out very soon!  It's like, hello!  Sexy mechanic!
What are the first five songs on your current playlist? 
IK: Erm, what playlist?
On more serious note, Beyonce or Rihanna? 
IK: Grandma is too out of the loop to really have an opinion on that unfortunately...

Thanks Ilana! You can check out her collection here
Special thanks to Elli Lauren for the amazing photos!


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