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Q&A With Nili Lotan

October 24, 19

What inspired this collection? Who are your favorite artists and places to visit

Resort 20 is a modern approach to the rock and roll attitude of the 70s. Jimi Hendrix was a major source of inspiration this season, with his flamboyant, eclectic and androgynous style. Following his footsteps, this collection mixes military pieces with silk ruffles, endless detailing with a classic graphic tee. There’s always an element of rock and roll in my collections but this season brings something edgier and darker while still sophisticated, clean, and sexy.


I’m always driven to minimalist and abstract art of the 60s. I love the work of Israeli painter Moishe Kuperman and Agnes Martin. I also adore brutalist sculpture, especially the work of Brancusi and Noguchi. Tel Aviv is one of my most favorite places to the visit- the food, the music, the sun is really the best of the best and it feels like home. I love to visit the contemporary art museum in Tel Aviv and discover artists there, too.


How did growing up in Israel influence your aesthetic? 

Israel has a deep influence in my design. Many of my original pieces were directly inspired by my time in the Israeli military- the shades of army green, the pant styles, the utilitarian details. The color story of Israel is also a continual part of my design process as well: Shades of the desert, blues of the Mediterranean, army greens. These colors resonate with me most and are intuitively part of my process. I’ve designed entire collections around desert-inspired clothing, galabias, army jackets, pieces I grew up surrounded by while growing up in Israel - it’s what authentic to me.


What are some of the key materials you use in your collection and why do you choose them?

I always use silk for my elevated, evening wear pieces. High quality silk has the power to make you feel sophisticated, sexy, and chic, as the design itself should. I use a lot of wool, cotton, as much natural fiber material as possible.

Resort 20 is a modern approach to the rock and roll attitude of the 70s"


What are the key pieces of every Nili Lotan collection and how are they updated for this season?

Every season includes classic white cotton shirts, every-day cotton pants. I always design a range of evening silk tops to pair with evening-wear pants or back to basics with denim. Military inspired pieces or details are an essential element to every collection I design. This season, the cambre jacket and the East Hampton pant with tape bring that military component. The Cami dress is another staple of mine- it’s become a classic, a must-have for any wardrobe: versatile, easy to wear casually with a jacket and a boot or styled up for an evening event. Resort 20 features the cami in new shades of ivory, a grey-scale tie dye, and a rich, sharp red to bring that rock and roll spirit.


We love animal prints at Kirna Zabête – why do you love them and how do you style your favorite animal-printed pieces? 

Animal prints have become a key element to my collections- they maintain that signature rock and roll sensibility that I am endlessly inspired by. I love the leopard print Rosalin coat from this collection- Styled with a classic and sophisticated top like the Demi and a signature black pant, I think the leopard becomes very chic and simple as opposed to chaotic. The piece is timeless and can be reinvented again and again depending on how you wear it. 

“Many of my original pieces were directly inspired by my time in the Israeli military- the shades of army green, the pant styles, the utilitarian details."


How would you describe the Nili Lotan girl? Who are Nili's muses and where is she wearing your pieces? 

The Nili Lotan woman is a renaissance woman- a multi-dimension woman with lots to do, places to be and a wardrobe that can take her from day to night, casual to sophisticated. I envision my woman as genuine and authentic, sophisticated and chic, a woman who toys with the expectations of femininity all the while maintains her sex appeal and confidence. A woman whose sense of self is defined not by the clothes she wears but the attitude she brings to them. I see my pieces being worn by the women on the streets of Tribeca, Paris, TLV, anywhere where women are being the fullest versions of themselves.


I have my few fashion icons that I continually turn to- Jane Birkin, Lauren Hutton, Bianca Jagger. I also love Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendricks- I find that musicians and artists have something innately cool and natural about them- an attitude and very self-assured.