Illustrienne, pronounced “ill-lust-ree-uhn,” was born out of a need to wake the soul and
spark creativity. Everyday.
A combination of illustration + quotidienne (daily in French), illustrienne is a portmanteau.
What’s a portmanteau?
It’s French for a large upright suitcase and also the blending of two or more words.
In Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice in Wonderland:
An ode to a city where visions
of romance bloom and the language of love inspire. It’s the daydream to live like a Parisienne.
You can find Karen illustrating in the wee hours of the night, listening to podcasts or audio books, and dreaming about couture and her pied-à-terre in Paris.
The idea of Illustrienne started during lunch with her husband. Karen wanted to create a world where she could nourish her soul, feel alive, and as inspired as she felt in Paris that day. To feel the spark of imagination and to be able to express her visions of all the things she loves.
Karen believes everyone is an illustrienne. It’s not about one big swoop of change to become creative. The smallest of steps is what counts— doodling for fun, sending love with cards, journaling for the soul, making lists of dreams, wrapping presents with flair, cooking a bold dish, writing honest stories, or taking classes to grow. It’s about delighting the daily by brightening the heart.
La Vie Illustrienne.
Karen Koh is the founder and illustrator of Illustrienne. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in Fine Arts and then pursued her lifelong dream of becoming a fashion designer at F.I.T. in NYC. Karen completed her design degree at Polimoda in Florence, Italy. She has worked for fashion lifestyle brands— Ralph Lauren, Calypso St. Barth by Christiane Celle, and Tommy Bahama.
Currently located in Los Angeles, she lives with her husband, their two boys and little girl.
A longtime fashion lover, Kris is known to search the ends
of the earth for her dream items. Even putting other people to task with helping her hunt for
them. She’s that great at rallying people and building a team. After graduating from USC with a
business degree, she worked in San Francisco as a fashion buyer for two years. Her gut feelings are her
strength, and she’s right 99.999% of the time about fashion, food and lifestyle trends. So on a whim, without a job, she moved and joined
Karen in NYC.
A former Senior Director of Merchandising at Ralph Lauren, she followed her entrepreneurial spirit and worked at a startup to launch a luxury fashion brand. She is now in charge of helping to organize all things chic related to the Illustrienne online store operations. Kristen is based in NYC with her husband, their two boys, and baby girl.
You can find Kristen looking impeccably chic and browsing the windows of Chanel on Madison Avenue or making to-do lists at her favorite French cafe.
Linda Fujita, also known as Linz, Fuj, Yuyu, and her personal favorite noun, Auntie, is Chief Thoughtful Presenter. A former Senior Director of women's design at Ralph Lauren, she was one of the sweetest bosses Karen ever had. Linda would buy her thoughtful gifts to cheer her up for all the long hours they’d worked to meet their deadlines. She bonded with Karen and Kristen at Ralph Lauren, but it was outside of the 650 Madison Avenue headquarters where their friendships took flight. A copious note-taker and organizer, you can always find Linda with a pen and notebook in hand, jotting down ideas, wish lists, or to-do lists. She lives in NYC with her husband and son but soon you'll find them migrating east - "Water Mill here we come!"
You can find Linda obsessing over the latest sneaker drops, fashion trends (bags! shoes! clothes!), rap lyrics (roddy rich!), anything really!