Studio Tour: Nili Lotan®
We visited the designer in Tribeca, NYC, for a look at her new collection of hand-knit sweaters.
What you’ll find in Nili Lotan’s spare Tribeca studio: a small atelier for sketching and sewing, handpicked works by up-and-coming artists and—of course—thoughtfully crafted clothes. What you won’t find? Any bells and/or whistles. It’s the same function-over-flashiness approach that Nili has taken with her designs, beginning with her first five-piece collection of pants and jackets in 2003, inspired by the sort of thing that she wanted to wear. “My designs are a true reflection of my personal style and lifestyle,” says Nili—which, these days, means Pilates before work, a full day at the studio and dinner in her neighborhood with her husband and three kids. “The best advice I’ve ever gotten?” she says. “Open your own business after you turn 30 and live in walking distance from where you work!”
“I’m always really proud of the finishing…you can literally wear something inside out!”
For her most recent collection of knitwear, Nili explored territory a lot farther from home—Antarctica, actually. “It all started with one piece of fabric. I was holding it in my hand, trying to create some sort of story in my mind, and it somehow took me to winter in Antarctica,” the designer explains. In addition to photos of snow and ice-covered landscapes, her mood board includes pictures of traditional Irish Aran sweaters and pages torn from old knitting books, which inspired her styles’ unique twisted textures and details. “Most of the sleeves have a hole for your thumb, so you can use it as a glove. And I’m always really proud of the finishing…you can literally wear something inside out!”