Ilana Kohn Gets Her Skate On
And shares how growing up in JNCOs influenced her line.
Taking in the relaxed yet put-together pieces in Ilana Kohn’s eponymous line, you might not guess that the New Yorker by way of D.C. defines her own style as “tomboyish and pseudo-grunge”—an aesthetic fueled by her adolescent passion for skating. Here, she shows off her bad-ass side and opens up about what all that has to do with the silken magic she makes now. —jiayi ying
Showing off her skills at a NISS event.
“I was a skater kid from sixth grade all through high school—it was my whole life. One of my friends started doing it, and I thought it was awesome. That picture is from a NISS competition—the National Inline Skating Series. We drove all over the place for it. I remember my friend Daisy and I being the only girls out there with all these guys—busting up rails and beating ourselves up.”
A high school-era, skater-chic snap from a trip to New York.
“To this day, I still have half a right eyebrow from when I took a faceplant during my sophomore year of high school. I fell off the handrail and went boink, boink, boink down about twenty steps, landed on the bottom, and smacked my head—that put a bit of a dent in my confidence. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve called 911—about once a month, somebody had to take a trip to the hospital. I realized just how serious it was around my senior year—it’s a rough sport. You take a lot of chances.”
Ilana, in red, dressing up with her friends in middle school.
“But there was definitely a whole fashion side to it all that appealed to me—the baggy clothes, the tomboy-ish look. I was never, ever, ever much of a girly girl, though clothes have always been my weakness and my love. I had the most enviable thrift-store stash, and I was already dying shirts and sticking little patches on stuff in middle school. My friends would come over, and we’d do little photo shoots of ourselves. Even today, I won’t buy things for the house sometimes, but clothes? That’s where every cent goes.”