Ilana Kohn isn’t new to the creative world. Before she launched her line in 2010—filled with the sort of refined pieces that attract attention with their controlled prints and strikingly understated cuts—the Pratt-trained artist worked as an editorial illustrator for seven years, drawing celebrities and senators alike. But, unsatisfied with the hectic, hustle-hustle nature of the freelance world, she headed back to her alma mater for some structure and a master’s degree in historic preservation. It was then, with a sudden lack of creative projects, that Ilana began making clothes on the side—and people ate them right up.
Once she wrapped up grad school in 2011, Ilana was ready to take things to the next level: This season, for the first time, she’s designing her own textiles. “It’s much more labor intensive,” she notes. “Before, I just went to fabric stores in the Garment District. Now I have to sit down, design, and wait for samples.” The spring/summer 2012 collection also marks the first time Ilana’s working with a factory—she had been sewing everything from her Fort Greene apartment. But even with all these changes, there’s one thing that has remained constant throughout the years: her own style. “I live in jeans and T-shirts, and, except for a preference for Isabel Marant over Hanes today, that same unfussy aesthetic is still my go-to.” —jiayi ying