Fashion / Style

New York Designer Swoops Into Houston With Fashion Wisdom, Women Love and Paris Inspiration — Inside the Mind Of Kobi Halperin

Bringing Some Beauty to the World — and a Champagne-Filled Tootsies

BY // 10.21.22
photography Jacob Power

New York based designer Kobi Halperin loves women. He loves to design for them, bringing them joy and strength through his fashions. He also enjoys providing a touch of beauty into a world that is currently not so beautiful. These are just a few of the personal revelations that the Israeli-born designer shared in conversation with PaperCity during a recent midday presentation at Tootsies.

Halperin was accompanied by a brilliant collection of both his namesake label Kobi Halperin and his relatively new venture as creative director for Ungaro, reviving the French heritage label of Emanuel Ungaro.

“I just love the idea. For me Paris is always a source of inspiration,” Halperin says of his year-old partnership. “So when this opportunity came I thought it’s amazing because the truth is I’m in love with this woman that is basically representing Ungaro.

“Every time after a war or after something happens that is meaningful, there is a celebration of getting dressed again. So I thought this was the perfect opportunity to bring back this brand in combination with being respectful to the heritage of the brand but brining myself into it also.

“It was the perfect opportunity to bring something new to the market . . . Ungaro is a brand that makes you smile.”

Kobi Halperin's designs under the re-introduced Ungaro label on the catwalk at Tootsies. (Photo by Jacob Power)
Kobi Halperin’s designs under the re-introduced Ungaro label on the catwalk at Tootsies. (Photo by Jacob Power)

Halperin allowed that as the father of two girls and as a fashion designer it can sometimes seem difficult to justify designing beautiful clothes.

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“So I really kind of took it to heart and I was really trying to understand what I do, why I do it and especially coming from Paris Fashion Week,” he says. “Here we are in Europe while there is so much suffering happening but still the Eiffel Tower is sparkling. So I thought about it a lot and I realized that we can actually bring some beauty to the world.”

That beauty was reflected in both collections displayed on the racks in Tootsies— Kobi Halperin a bit more casual, “but not in the LA way of casual,” and Ungaro more sophisticated. It boils down, Halperin points out, to how the subject feels after dressing.

Champagne flowed and the ladies swooned over the designs, many scooping up several pieces to take home.

252_KobiHalperin_JPP (Photo by Jacob Power)
Fady Armanious, Leigh Smith, Shelby Hodge, Kobi Halperin, Kelley Lubanko at Tootsies (Photo by Jacob Power)

“You stand proud. You feel good about yourself. It makes a difference,” Halperin says. “When you feel confidence and beautiful you are making everybody around you feel better. So I think it’s giving some power to what we do. So that’s the way I can justify what I do.

“I am working and designing for a woman who celebrates getting dressed every day. Bringing this energy and good spirits to the world which I think is meaningful in these days.”

Before launching his eponymous label seven years ago, Halperin had served as creative director of Elie Tahari and Kenneth Cole.

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