Designer Kobi Halperin’s love of fashion is infectious and working with clients makes him downright ecstatic. This is a man who knows the importance of connecting with the women wearing his clothes, and the care woven into each piece.
Halperin is a veteran designer, serving as the executive creative director at Elie Tahari for 13 years and the executive creative director at Kenneth Cole Productions for three years, but it was the advent of his namesake line in 2015 that set him on a new journey. During a visit to Tootsies, Halperin is only too happy to bring customers along on his adventure.
“It’s interesting because there was no difference between my first collection and when I worked for other people. It’s always about achieving a level of satisfaction and being able to touch people and make them smile,” Halperin tells CultureMap. “That is much more important than my name on the clothes.”
His passion for customers was evident during his personal appearance at Tootsies, as he pulled together elements for each woman, encouraging her to take a risk and gently guiding her in a different style direction when needed. Despite dressing head-to-toe in all black, his personality is light and laughter, cracking jokes while dispensing advice.
“It’s amazing to be one-on-one with the customers. That’s what keeps me going,” Haperin says.
His spring collection at Tootsies seems hand-picked for Houston weather and beyond. Lace detailing, fluid cropped pants, bright tropical colors, and lady-like elements highlight the collection. He drew his inspiration from New York City and Hong Kong, two of the world’s most vibrant cities and encourages women to ignore the calendar and wear what they like, when they want.
“Come to New York in May and June, and people are dressed like they are going to a resort,” Halperin says. “It’s about a woman feeling good in her clothes. Why not wear the kaftan to a pool party with amazing sandals? Why not?”
That same attitude follows into fall where the tropical vibe takes on a subdued color palate, but maintains the same attention to detail and joie de vivre.
“Me? I focus on the full glass,” says Halperin. “Know your strengths and know other people’s strengths. I am lucky to surround myself with good people. I don’t have hobbies. This is what I love to do.”