If there's anyone who knows anything about the jetset lifestyle, she's Ilona Selina, founder and creative mind behind Route London New York.
Last week, I had the utmost pleasure of catching up with the darling fashionista who, for the most part of July through November, has been busy preparing for her blog relaunch.
With that all set and a big move to London on the way, the ever-traveling, ever-ambitious lifestyle guru took us around the West Village all while sharing her life story.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I’ve always liked fashion. I like to dress up. The reason why I started sharing my fashion online is because it was what my friends were looking for. People were telling me that I was inspiring them with what I wore so I thought why not put it online, go public, and share!
Wait, so how old were you when you started your first blog?
I think I was like thirteen? Or fourteen? I started way before Chiara was big. I followed all of those huge bloggers right from when they first started.
So, why fashion? What draws you to it? What makes it such a big part of your life?
I don’t know. I guess I love dressing up! I’m a very creative person. I paint, I and I take pictures. I think [fashion] is another form of expression.
Tell us about Route London New York! How did it start?
It started when I moved from London to New York. The reason why is because I quit my previous blog. I stopped writing and I missed it so that’s why I started Route London New York. I wanted try a more professional platform and really do something with it.
In that case, where do you see the blog going?
With the relaunch, I see it becoming more of an online lifestyle magazine with topics ranging from fashion to beauty to travel—anything you really need in your jetset lifestyle.
Well, you're definitely our quintessential jettsetter! So much of RLNY has revolves around your many adventures. Do you have any travel tips?
Before you go anywhere, it's important to do your research! Know exactly what you will be doing. I am a sucker for overpacking. I always bring too many clothes. Planning your trip in general. Planning what you're going to wear, planning your beauty regime—cutting that down obviously because you can't bring all your beauty products. Research and planning are my top two tips.
What do you do in your free time? Or, what do you do when you're not blogging?
Well, I'm a student at New York University. So, I do that. But, I also work for an e-commerce start-up and I manage their social media, marketing, and I do a little bit of PR for them. In general, in my free time, I spend a lot of time with my family when I can. I like to paint, too!
Painting! Are you working on anything right now?
No, not right now. The last painting I painted was around a year ago and it was a huge canvas of a wave. I dedicated it to the crisis in Ukraine—that turmoil. I like to paint abstract.
Art seems to be a big part of your life. Any museums you like in particular?
In general? I like the museums in London. So, the Tate Modern is one of my favorites. In terms of art I like contemporary art and I like photography a lot. So I think any great gallery in Chelsea is a good choice.
Tell us more about you!
Okay, haha, well I'm originally from Ukraine. I grew up in Austria though so I consider Vienna and Austria my home. Ever since I was very little we used to travel a lot so I've seen most of Europe. I've been to Egypt, I've been to a lot of parts in America and Asia. I particularly enjoyed Seoul—that was amazing, a whole different world. I went to an international school, grew up in a loving family. I have three much younger siblings so I'm very motherly to them.
Okay, here's a cheesy question. Who's your style icon?
You guys are going to laugh. My mom! We're like sisters because of our very small age gap. I've always considered her my sister, my best friend, and my mom all in one. I think she's the person that got me into fashion, really, because I grew up watching her get dressed up for events, galas, and she always looked amazing. She has a huge influence on how I dress today.
Do you think you influence your sisters' styles?
Well, they're really little. I think they're too young to appreciate fashion. But, I definitely think that in the next couple years they will be looking up to me and my mom for style inspiration.
We know you dress one of your sisters!
I do! I started an Instagram for my oldest sister and she loves it. She's always like Ilona when are we going to go dress up and take pictures for my Instagram?
Aww, that's adorable! Okay, here's another cheesy one. Is there anything you're currently coveting?
There's a lot of things that I want! What do I not want? I think these are from the last season but I really want these Givenchy boots. Do you know the one that flips over and hides the heel? Do you know which one I'm talking about? Yea, I need those in my life!
Okay, now the serious question. Word has it you're officially moving back to London. Are you excited?
Yes, very. I feel like because I lived there a year before New York—just a year—I feel like there wasn't enough time for me to really take advantage of the city and I feel at home when I'm there so I'm really excited about it.