To say that we are a more than a little bit obsessed with the latest arrivals from Calexico cult favourite Nili Lotan, is potentially the biggest understatement since “Bradley Cooper was only alright in a Star Is Born”.
But it turns out, she’s so much more than just a few amazing pieces of clothing. Here are 10 things you definitely didn’t know about our favourite Isareli-born-but-still-a-New-Yorker-at-heart designer…
1. Her and Ralph Lauren go WAY back.
No seriously. After graduating from Shenkar Collage of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv, Nili moved to the city that never sleeps to front the design teams for some of the most iconic houses including Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne and Nautica.
2. GOOP is obsessed with her. OBSESSED.
Running multiple profiles and features on her, Queen Goopy herself (Gwyneth Paltrow) swears by Nili and only Nili for all travel outfit options. Drawn to the functionality of her pieces, we can just imagine her now, aviators on, her glossy blonde hair billowing in the wind as she relishes in a moment of Tomboy chic on her way to get a facial made from the stem cells of the purest nightingales…
3. Her time in the Israeli Defence Force greatly influenced her aesthetic
With all women obligated to fulfil mandatory military service for the IDF, Nili conveys that the military aesthetic has been engrained within the brand’s DNA since day one. Drawn to the functionality and utility of a uniform, Nili has worked to recreate this concept within the life of a modern woman in a way that pays homage to her culture and experiences. In fact, her husband’s military pilot uniform stems as the inspiration for her first collection, with each season then carrying on the tradition of tying in a military reference, through colour or style. (Additional fun fact: Her military ID number is on the label!).
4. She doesn’t do shows or run ads
Hang on. What?! This one is news even to us. Set on letting the clothes hold relevance to a woman more intimately, Nili Lotan refuses to shoot large-scale ad campaigns or pay to promote them in magazines. It’s so crazy that it’s actually genius.
5. She uses Instagram as one of her main forms of inspiration
That’s right. Her design process starts with going through her Instagram archive. While she also finds inspo in vintage clothing, books, art and music, she finds that instagram helps her gain direct insight into her customers, what they are wearing and what they need.
6. She is the CEO and sole designer for her label
Talk about lady boss goals, Nili Lotan isn’t about to let anyone take the reigns when it comes to her label. With a background in art and fashion, she prides herself on the learning curve that comes with the management and business aspects of growing a brand.
7. She is a Mum
Dedicated as any woman is in the strive towards work-life balance, Nili opened her studio and storefront in Tribeca, so that she could never be too far from her home, her daughter’s school and the shared sense of community.
8. Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid recently discovered her pieces and thought they were pioneers and trailblazers…
Classic Gen Z thinking they found her first. Too bad Heidi Klum, Selma Blair, Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, Chrissy Teigan, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Eva Longoria have been wearing her for yonks.
9. She wants her pieces to feel like a second skin for women
With a philosophy that starts and ends with the idea that you clothing should be all about making you feel good, Nili has been quoted as saying “They should be pieces that you feel at home in, that you wear for many, many years and become like a second skin”.
10. She goes to India every year
From formulating her own cotton voiles to perfecting fabric colors “in the lab,” Lotan is meticulous about overseeing every step herself. Even the so-called “mistakes”—a loose button here or an off-kilter hand-blocked pattern there—are made on purpose. “I go to India once every year—I love it there,” she says. “Many people go there to manufacture, but some feel that it’s too cheap and the workmanship has too many imperfections, too many mistakes. I go exactly for that reason. I love those imperfections, and as long as they’re done by someone’s hands, to me, that’s what makes handcrafted pieces so beautiful and unique.”