Tribeca fashion house Nili Lotan builds its brand piece by piece

The look for less

Today, her clothes can be found in 250 high-end retailers worldwide. Lotan waited until 2016 to open his own store in Tribeca. It also has stores on Madison Avenue and in East Hampton. She debuted in Palm Beach in January and is negotiating two locations in Los Angeles.

“I designed my collection for hard-working women like me, who think like me about clothing, in the sense that it’s not jewelry, it’s functional and empowers you,” Lotan said.

This summer, she will promote her first men’s collection. In September, it will present a line of bags, belts and small leather goods, after marketing a few first versions. Eventually, Lotan predicts that accessories could account for 70% of sales, which is typical of the luxury category.

Fourteen years after Nordstrom first approached her, in 2018, Lotan finally agreed to sell to the chain. After Barneys closed in 2020, it branched out into Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. Yet department stores account for only 30% of wholesale trade; small shops make up the rest. Online sales account for approximately 30% of turnover.

For the most part, Lotan avoided fashion shows and publicity. This has allowed it to maintain lower prices than other luxury brands.

At Barneys, she benefited from being on the floor next to more expensive labels, such as The Row and Yves Saint Laurent.

“People realized they could get my clothes for less,” she said.