One thing Klein, an old pro with the media, has proven is that a little attention can go a long way. Kopelson is part of a new crop of local dermatologists who’ve learned that while doctors who hire publicists often don’t get a tremendous amount of respect in the medical community, staying afloat in the sea of self-promotion that is L.A. takes a little chutzpah. Case in point: Santa Monica dermatologist Ava Shamban may have graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, but it’s her appearances on Extreme Makeover and Extra that drive new patients to her practice. And Rebecca Giles, a recent transplant from Northern California, lures Malibu moms (many of them famous) into FIX, her glam B&B Italia–outfitted skincare clinic, by offering a VIP back entrance and an entirely private waiting room.
Kopelson’s swagger isn’t the only thing that sets him apart from most dermatologists. Sure, he wears a white coat. But it’s a kimono-style side-tie number that hits just below the belt of his black jeans. Then there’s the two stainless steel earrings, the elaborate tattoo on his left arm and the black snakeskin boots. Add to this his physical stature—he has the height (six feet one) and presence of a smallish grizzly bear standing on its hind legs—and it’s fair to say that he’d be a standout at any American Academy of Dermatology gathering. The offices he shares with Feldman are also unusually chic, with sleek white leather sofas in the waiting room and a Murakami painting on the wall. Credit goes to his life partner, interior designer Peter Dunham. An Oxford-educated Englishman raised in Paris, Dunham outfits the homes of celebrities such as Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. He and Kopelson have been together for 11 years, and through their combined efforts much of Hollywood is living and looking far better than they deserve to.
Feldman, 53, cuts a more traditional profile, favoring subtle Manolo Blahniks and trim skirts and a more conventional, if well-tailored, white coat. Her life at home in Manhattan Beach with her husband and eight-year-old twin girls is a little more removed from the industry fray, although she has her own set of impressive insider credentials. A lifelong Angeleno, she was raised in stately Hancock Park and graduated from the elite all-girl Marlborough School and USC medical school. She and Kopelson met 18 years ago as residents at UCLA. Feldman’s own entirely lineless skin is also an impressive calling card. “I like to say that I’m the poster child for Botox,” says Feldman. “And I’m about to be the poster child for the Pearl.”
Feldman is referring to the brand-new $250,000 laser that she and Kopelson just bought for their practice. The very latest in cosmetic technology, the Pearl is said to eliminate fine lines and hyperpigmentation and to improve skin texture with far less injury than more ablative lasers. “With the Pearl, you peel on day two, and then, by day four or five, it’s all done,” says Kopelson.