The fashion illustration of Kareem Iliya have been described as ‘ethereal’ and ‘mystical’. His depiction of the female figure and their accessories is created with watercolours and inks with often vibrant colours which appeared to radiate from the page. However his aim is to create something graphic, yet soft and beautiful. Depending on the assignment, he combines watercolours, inks, pastels and various textured papers along with working on Photoshop on his Apple Mac to manipulate the final image. For him, a successful fashion illustration is an image which grabs your attention and holds it, making you wish for you. (Obviously this has been achieved for me, wanting to know more about his work).


Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1967, Kareem moved to Texas in 1976, where he studied fashion design at the University of Texas before continuing his studies at the prestigious Institute of fashion Technology in New York. Taught the watercolour technique by his brother when he was ten, his initial approach was to sell his design ideas via his illustration. In the development of his style, he was thrown out of one illustration class since he refused to follow the manner requested by his professor. Graduating in 1990, Kareem started his career by working for Giorgio Armani before becoming a freelance fashion illustrator in 1992. His illustration have since appeared in many fashion magazines, but his greatest buzz was for his work to appear in W magazine which he had followed avidly throughout his college years. The other publication he longed for his work to appear in was Visionaire, and he was fortunate enough for his illustrations to appear in some of the early issues.


His illustrations have appeared in numerous publications worldwide including The New York Times, W Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar (USA & UK), Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Time, Visionaire, Interview, The New Yorker and the various editions of Vogue including Vogue Gioiello (Italy), Vogue Pelle (Italy), British Vogue, Spanish Vogue, German Vogue, and Japanese Vogue.  Advertising clients include Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Perrier-Jouët, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Ave, Barneys NY, H&M, Bloomingdales, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, Fendi, Shiseido, Adidas, and the Waldorf Astoria New York.  He has worked with several advertising agencies including Pentagram London, McGarry Bowen New York, AR New York, Leo Burnett Chicago & Canada, Ogilvy & Mather Paris, and BMF Australia.


His website , blog, illustration and contact :


Social network :


His artworks :

She’s like a fire burning up the debris
oh I need to loosen up my collar to breathe

she flies through the night
Yeah she’ll keep burning till the break of dawn
Like a star in the sky
She lights the place up when she walks in the door”


People see her smile, they think she’s happy.

People see she goes to party every night, they think she’s having fun.

But no one, no one can see no one know the behind those smiles, those things.


I left because you never ask me to stay

You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.


“  I’m the one “for a good time call”

Phone’s blowin’ up, ringin’ my doorbell

I feel the love, feel the love

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink

Throw ’em back, till I lose count  “


Everything has beauty

But not everyone sees it.


More illustrations by Kareem Iliya :



Why We, Arjutu like Him ?

His artworks are so beautiful, graceful, mysteriously , fashionable, stylish.

Don’t you think?

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