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Meet Ilana Uretsky of Karen Raphael Styling in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ilana Uretsky.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I live and work in the West Hollywood neighborhood.

The short of it is, I’m from NYC. I thought (begged) I would be there forever. I thrived on its creativity!

I am also a wife and a mother of two bright girls! This aspect of my life has become increasingly challenging just because of the facts. I have more sh*t going on.

I’ve always loved styling. I had magazine cutouts of outfits, next to articles about Rachel Zoe, plastered all over my walls at home, school, and camp! I wouldn’t let my friends shop with me, it was my safe space. The styling world seemed so glam. I interned at showrooms like BPCM and Lisa Weiss. I did editorial shoots all over the city. I went to college, got a Masters in Fashion Marketing from The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in NY, ended up rerouting to art therapy, and then, sorta bumpily- landed in LA.

I luckily met my boss, Karen Raphael, in the most casual of ways right when I moved (thanks, Gabby!), and things made sense to me again. We have been a team ever since!

The long of it is… this job is a b**ch! I did not realize how much schlepping there would be! If you don’t know how to navigate the alleys of LA, you will never find parking. Speaking of navigation, you MUST plan your day with which showrooms give out food and water, otherwise you’ll go #hangry, and then no one will loan to you. Make friends, not foes (nobody likes a buzz kill), but don’t go overboard. EVERYONE needs a styling assistant named Brandon. Most of all, be kind. It’s great to secretly love all the things you should hate about a job. And if it still feels like it’s your passion, and your heart is in it, you’re doing something right.

This world has become a constant game of “Instagram vs. reality.” It can get weird with “where to draw that line,” but it has also allowed so many creative people to bring light to their new selves.

I really enjoy bringing home and sharing some of my work life with my girls. Showing them that there a personalities to this world. You don’t have to be just one thing. Be the best version of yourself, but explore and allow yourself the creativity to be other things too!

Like I said, this job looks glamorous. (And trust me, it is – it’s like playing dress up in a dream house closet.) But blood, sweat, and tears (like hauling body bags of clothes, collapsing clothing racks, chasing delivery trucks, the list goes on…) go into that glamour. I’d really like to take this opportunity to thank the village of family, friends, and co-workers that allow me to keep dressing up and showing up!

Has it been a smooth road?
Are smooth roads a thing? Cool!

Honestly, just life. I started working in this industry at 22. Since then, my life has just changed. I’ve had blessings and hardships, makeups and breakups. I got married, relocated, had kids. Ultimately, your lookout is just different.

So yeah, there have definitely been some hardships, but I guess… you just roll with the punches, right?

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Karen Raphael Styling – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I work as a styling assistant for Karen Raphael. We do styling for celebrity red carpet events, award shows, as well as personal styling.

Karen is a legendary stylist in her primmmmme, she has created nothing short of an empire in less than ten years. ALL I know about this styling world is because of her.

I think what I am most proud of in the company is that we all respect each other and there is mutual admiration for one another. It’s rare where you can really find a workspace that feels like home.

We are also really keen on each other‘s strengths and weaknesses. For example, between the three of us, I by far have the worst memory. So I never handle scheduling LOL.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Oh LA! There is definitely no place like it.

I always said before I moved here that LA was the best place to vacation, it has it all. But now that I live here, I’ve definitely come to find its quirks.

Like why can’t I have a store open 24 hours like a bodega in NYC? I think that’s really all I’m mad about, that I can’t get ice cream after midnight. That, and bad drivers. Sorry if you think I’m one of them #NotSorry.

That said, Los Angeles it really is a unique place where you can combine city with suburb, glam with ordinary, and morph together this melting pot of a life for yourself.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Lynn Abesera Photography

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