Ladies! Whether you're a mama or not, it does not matter, because my chit chat guest today is for all those ladies out there who love them some seriously great fashion! I have to say I'm a bit obsessed with American designer, Ilana Kohn. Her label is probably one of my favs and she is definitely designing for someone like myself. Ilana Kohn's collections are known for their laid back cool designs with striking prints. Easy to wear and absolutely stunning on. For those who adore jumpsuits, Ilana Kohn is your women! She has perfected the jumpsuit to look classy, effortless and cool all at the same time. I had the opportunity to chat with Ilana, (very exciting) read on to find out more!
1. TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
My background is in illustration. That’s what I did professionally for close to a decade before arriving in fashion.
2. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN WOMENSWEAR BRAND?
I always loved clothing and had a desire to make my own. I started sewing while I was in grad school and the company just kind of ‘happened.’ It was so natural. And I couldn’t be happier with where it’s all led me!
3. WHEN DESIGNING, WHAT KIND OF WOMEN ARE YOU DESIGNING FOR?
Me! Every collection starts & ends very selfishly with me pretty much designing only what I want to wear. Granted this is not entirely true, because if it were I would only design jumpsuits…
4. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE, DOES THIS INFLUENCE YOUR COLLECTIONS?
I would describe my personal style as pretty pathologically causal and tomboy-ish. This absolutely influences my designs! Case in point, I loathe designing skirts…And on the rare occasion that I decide to attempt one, they always come out pretty meh because I’m so ambivalent about them in the first place…
5. BESIDES YOUR OWN LINE, WHO ARE YOU FAVOURITE WOMENSWEAR DESIGNERS?
I’ll go ahead and list the obvious, love me some Suno for their prints & Isabel Marant for her perfectly slouchy, tomboy-ish silhouettes. I absolutely love Black Crane as well. No one does perfect, comfortable simplicity like Momo.
6. WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR EACH COLLECTION? DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CAFÉ, BOOKSHOP, WEBSITE, BLOG YOU GO TO FOR INSPIRATION?
Inspiration is usually pretty random for me for the most part. I did, however, just discovered the most amazing little African Mart around the corner from my studio though and you can bet I’ll be in there with a camera in a month or so when it’s time to start designing AW14!
7. IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO BE THIS BE? WHY?
So many people I would love to collaborate with but one I’ve been fantasizing about in particular would be Loeffler Randall. I would love to work with them to create some prints for their amazing shoes & bags!
8. WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT DESIGNING YOUR OWN LINE?
What’s not to like? J I enjoy every bit of it, even the stressful bits. I love having my freedom and being able to fully enjoy being able to devote every waking minute to bring creative and doing what I love most.
9. DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHEN YOU ARE DESIGNING? IF SO, WHO ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
There’s been a lot of Spoon & Sunny Day Real Estate blasting around here lately. I’d say it’s pretty 50/50 in terms of having music on though. I can’t really do email with music playing..
10. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
I’ve received so much generous advice from people since I started, it’s hard to narrow it down. I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the DENYC program this summer, however, and that has for sure been one of the most valuable learning experiences of my career. I would hugely encourage anyone in the design biz to apply!
11. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR US?
Just enjoy the journey and don’t stress. Stay grounded and be content with the moment. It makes the journey so much more pleasurable.
12. ANY UPCOMING EVENTS, NEWS, COLLABORATIONS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?
SS14 is going to market next week so if you’re in the industry, be sure to come see me at Capsule to see the new collection!