Exclusive: Nili Lotan Collaborates with Inez and Vinoodh on a Pop-Up Campaign to Inspire Hope

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Like many living in America today, the events of the past year have the left Israeli-born, New York-based designer Nili Lotan wondering how to react. And since her brand is such a personal one, she wanted to share how she was feeling with her customers via a politically charged four-month long traveling concept store—the first of which opened this May on 87 Mercer in Soho. “When you walk in, you are stepping into my state of mind,” she said. But rather than feeling oppressed by the current political situation, Lotan’s space seeks to be the physical representation of hope, resistance, and innovation. On the wall are photographs taken by her friends, the photographers Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, which are inspired by the Emily Dickinson poem, “Hope is a thing with feathers.” They feature Conie Vallese, a young Argentinian artist, who wears Lotan’s signature white slip dress and a feather coat. She walks around various locations in the city; against the grain. “From the beginning, I’ve been incorporating socio-political messages in my collections,” said Lotan, who is known for her military motifs, as she served in the Israeli army before becoming a designer. “It’s part of my DNA.” You can find a clenched fist print exclusively at the pop up in May, with more protest iconography to come.