Nili Lotan is an Israeli-American fashion designer and founder of Nili Lotan Design Studio. Lotan’s work has been featured in outlets ranging from Time Out to Vogue, and her designs are frequently worn by celebrities, including Demi Moore and Reese Witherspoon. We recently had the chance to sit down with her to talk about her new collection as well as her plans for this year’s Fashion’s Night Out, which will take place Thursday, September 8th. Check out the interactive map of FNO’s events around NYC by clicking here.
Q: What are your plans for Fashion’s Night Out this year?
Nili Lotan: On September 8th we will be celebrating Fashion Night Out . Tomorrow night, designers and fashion stores are putting after hours shopping extravaganza events. This year we are celebrating Fashion’s Night Out with a huge sample sale! Lots of cashmere sweaters ,shirts,coats etc. While the sale is going on the guests and shoppers can enjoy cocktails courtesy of Buldog Gin and wine courtesy of Tishbi (Editor’s note: said Tishbi wine comes straight from Israel’s Galilee region). There will also be DJ’s and plenty of gifts. gifts
Q: What is the inspiration for your new collection?
Nili: My new collection, for Spring 2012 consists of 2 stories. An American, Western inspired story and a nautical inspired story. For this, I looked at elements from Navy uniforms as well as the nautical French Rivera in the 1930′s.
Q: Does your Israeli heritage have a big impact in your work?
Nili: Of course! I draw my inspiration from my life references . I was born and raised in Israel, so my sense of aesthetics was developed through my childhood in Israel. It was polished and fined tuned in my 30 years working and living in NYC but the Israeli references always there.
Q: Tell us a little about your work environment and your design process.
Nili: I create at my design studio in TriBeca where I have a complete sample room that I call my “lab” where I develop all my creative ideas and create the collections. The process of creating a collection takes about three months, and at that point the collection is presented in two showrooms NYC and Milan to buyers from all over the world. They place their orders and then the production process starts through two distribution centers so the collection can be shipped all over the world. My flagship store is right above my studio – there I get to meet private customers, shoppers and present the collection within the frame of my aesthetics and my vision.
Q: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today! And good luck at tomorrow night’s event!
|Nili Lotan is an Israeli American fashion designer best known as the founder of the Nili Lotan Design Studio, a designer clothing company.
Early life and education
Lotan was born in Netanya, Israel. Her father, Moshe Shapira, was a well-known real estate developer there.
She served for two years in the Israeli Air Force before attending Shenkar Fashion Institute in Tel Aviv. Lotan notes publicly that her early life - growing up of European parents in Israel - and military service have been important influences on her approach to design.
Lotan’s career began in 1980 after relocation to New York City. She subsequently worked her way to the post of head designer at Nautica and Ralph Lauren; having spent years previous perfecting her craft as a senior designer for Adrienne Vittadini and Liz Claiborne.
In 2003, moving on from her corporate design roles, Lotan opted to launch her own collection under the Nili Lotan label. Military-style jackets quickly became Lotan’s trademark at her new company; and the brand has since evolved into producing a full range women’s of clothing for all seasons. Lotan now sells her signature clothing in over 150 stores worldwide.
In 2006, Nili Lotan opened her first store in Tribeca New York where she combines her design studio with a retail space.
Lotan’s fashion philosophy is well documented: "Fashion is about change and evolution that is based on one’s personal references and point of view. We express ourselves creatively through the clothes we propose and wear. I believe in individual expression through contrast and contradiction. Therefore, I would like to offer variations of styles and textures that may be eclectically combined to reflect a woman’s personal style, mood or attitude."
Notable celebrities known to wear Nili Lotan clothing include Paris Hilton, Sandra Bernhard, Liza Minnelli, Martha Stewart, Demi Moore, Frances McDormand, Amanda Peet, Reese Witherspoon, and Helen Hunt.
Nili Lotan clothing has received editorial recognition in the following publications: Bazaar, Teen Vogue, Vogue, Marie Claire, Fader, Elle, German Vogue, NY Times, Ok!, Senken, NY Time Magazine, and Oprah Magazine.
Lotan's efforts in the fashion world have generated feature articles in New York Magazine, New York Sun, New York Post, Lifestyle Magazine, Time Out NY, Ha'aretz, Vogue, Woman's Wear Daily, Big Time, German Elle, The Wall Street Journal, and Maariv.