The Amazing Ilona Royce Smithkin

[Photos Ari Seth Cohen/Text Maayan Zilberman]

One of the things we love most about living in New York is meeting gems like 90 year old Ilona Royce Smithkin while going about our day. Ari met this beautiful lady on the street recently and insisted I meet her to discuss our mutual interests in painting, dancing, and making our own lingerie.What most first notice about Ilona are her long eyelashes that she crafts out of her own flashy red hair. With a youthful figure and delightful ease in conversation, its obvious she is also a performer with plenty to tell.
I’ll be sitting down with Ilona this weekend to discuss it in detail.

Stay tuned for tips on making your own clothes, how to balance careers, and who should wear false eyelashes..

  • Hi I have just started following your blog and I love it, I am a mere child turning 70 this summer, it is terribly easy to settle for boring comfartable (OK that was a typo, but it is so funny I am going to leave it) clothes, I was a hippie so beige just doesn't work for me. Keep inspiring me to be wild and daring and live like every day is a party!

  • Those are the most amazing eyelashes I've ever seen!

  • She's great with color! What a fun looking lady.

  • She really is a gem!

  • Carla

    LOVE HER!!! Please, Be SURE to find out how she makes those lashes!!! I can see my red haired self looking just like her at 90!! So full of life and joy!!

    Thanks Ilona for being a great role model for the rest of us!!!

  • What a fabulous woman. Love the lime and turquoise and her indomitable spirit.

  • miuku

    Love her! Maybe she is originally from Finland? Ilona is very popular name here. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Makes me think of Louise Nevelson.

  • I'm glad you met Ilona. I did too – about 11 or 12 years ago. I was her downstairs neighbor in the West Village and I was a film student. I made a film called ILONA, UPSTAIRS which has won a number of awards. It's 25 minutes long and is for sale via my website


  • Awesomely inspiring, love this lady, and this whole blog! :)))

  • My goal is to be on this blog in a few years.

    Excuse me while I go and ditch my gray sweater.

  • Tash

    She's so sunny

  • A

    Finally, a unique soul who expresses their divine………….no trend! Hooray for Ilona………and an amazing artist, wow.

    You would be great woman to meet and share with.

  • Anonymous

    So amazing….kisses an love from Brazil Glaucia Cruz