INTRODUCING KOBI HALPERIN
It’s such a special feeling to buy a piece when you actually know the designer, and you can see the face, the story, and the energy behind what you’re wearing. That’s why I was so excited to co-host a fashion show event with Kobi Halperin at Neiman Marcus two weeks ago.
When Chicago blogger Ali Stone introduced me to Kobi last year, I was beyond excited. I started Tel Aviv Couture more than a decade ago to be a voice for Israeli designers in the U.S., and this was an opportunity I wouldn’t even have dreamed of. Bringing designers by myself from Israel was always so challenging because the seasons and the business culture are totally different. But Kobi is established and well known in the U.S., selling in all of the biggest department stores (Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, etc), and his collection is just unreal.
THE STORIES BEHIND THE STYLE
Kobi and I clicked immediately, like love at first sight. His clothing is amazing: he makes all different styles from trendy cardigan sweaters to the amazing kimono I wore in Barcelona. He is based in New York and does a lot of work with his wife Sagit, who was at the event with him. He is also a parent like me and has two kids, and it’s so wonderful to know that you can connect with the personality behind your clothes. He has this really amazing sweet, kind personality, and very contagious energy that makes you feel amazing right away. We have that energy in common, and that love of making people feel amazing.
One of the things I love so much about Kobi is how flattering his clothes are, and how he really makes the effort to understand women’s minds and bodies. His designs are very body-conscious and include all different kinds of body shapes and ages. His pieces are all amazing quality and he always manages to find the perfect balance between trendy and timeless so that you can wear his pieces forever and always feel stylish and classy.
After meeting Kobi, I had the feeling you get when you buy something new or meet some really cool person, and you want to share it with your friends right away. So when he asked me to help with his event, the partnership seemed so organic. I’m very very picky with the events that I do because I invest and go all-in with every event that I do. The most important thing is that the people coming to the event get the most amazing experience, which certainly happened at this event!
THE NEXT LEVEL RETAIL EXPERIENCE
With the age of social media and online shopping, I’ve heard so many people say that retail is dying, but I know retail will never die. I know it because our job as people in the industry is to make retail a really special and unforgettable experience.
Kobi’s event was definitely unforgettable, so much so that I could ignore the pain of breaking my pinky the day before. They actually wanted to operate on me that night, but I said absolutely not, and they gave me a temporary splint to wear instead. It was a crisis for me: I couldn’t go to Kobi’s event in an ugly splint! So I went to an art supply store and bought a bunch of glue and glitter and rhinestones, and with the help of my fashion designer friend Nicole, made the splint into an accessory (even though Kobi joked that he expected Swarovski).
We started the evening with some one-on-one styling sessions. It was great to show people the collection in person, because the textures and dimensions are so rich and complex that photos just can’t do them justice. And in a store like Neiman Marcus, with so many designers, it’s easy for one designer to just get lost, so I’m really happy that people were able to get to know Kobi and his pieces.
After greeting everybody, Kobi talked about his collection, and we had a mini fashion show so that people could see the clothes. People absolutely loved the pieces and they were really amazed to see how relatable and accessible they were. This collection was creative too, with lots of elements of velvet and fringe, like his statement vests. I thought it was so clever how he took the whole current generation of boomerang into consideration, because fringe looks so good when you do the boomerang. I helped to introduce the clothes, and even got my own little model moment when I walked the runway with the blazer I was wearing that matched one of the models.
NEIMAN MARCUS: AN INSTITUTION AND AN INSPIRATION
We had the event at Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue, which was completely perfect. Neiman Marcus is such a classic Chicago institution. It has been just pure pleasure every time I have worked with them, and I love how they are so good at taking care of their people and making them feel amazing. They are also one of my favorite retailers because they are a one-stop-shop for all different kinds of designers and price points. I’ve learned that I have to go in there with a list now because it’s so easy to get lost in all the amazing clothes they have.
When I first moved to the states twenty years ago, one of the first shops I went to was Neiman Marcus. I was in a really bad situation and couldn’t afford anything, but I was just drooling over the windows, and I would just walk in and look at everything for inspiration. It always reminded me that I just loved fashion so much, and inspired me to follow that love and reach for my goals and work hard to be where I am today.
Doing the event at Neiman Marcus was amazing because that kind of store can be an intimidating experience if you don’t know anyone there. But with an event like this it is relaxed and fun, and really takes the shopping experience to the next level. After the show, a lot of people were trying clothes on, and Kobi and I were helping with styling. I know not everybody can afford a stylist, so events like this are a perfect way to get that intimate, friendly experience of not only buying clothes but connecting with other people, and even the artist behind what you’re wearing. We closed the store really late because people just didn’t want to stop shopping, and we didn’t want to stop styling. Even if you weren’t able to come to the event, you can still shop some of his pieces here:
Thank you so much to Kobi Halperin for having this event and bringing your amazing pieces to all of us, thank you to Neiman Marcus for staying with us until so late, thank you to everyone who came for having fun with us, and thanks to everyone who followed along for always supporting! Make sure to sign up for my email list so you don’t miss my next events and your chances to elevate your style and shopping experience.