Victorian - Oriental
Kobi Golan's Story
We went into his studio, which is his apartment. Studio apartment with three sewing machines, work and cutting surface, a cute sofa, and a small kitchenette. “Wait, is this your apartment?” One of the girls asked, “yes,” he answered. “So, where do you sleep?” She continued. “This is my bed,” Kobi points to his work surface; “I built the surface for my final project at school so I would have a place to work.”
I met Golan (22) during a fashion tour with Liraz Cohen, known as Fashion By Liri. Kobi was the last designer we came across on the fashion tour. It was a bonus because we were out of time and I’m glad, I met him.
My connection to Kobi’s creation was immediate. His artwork is so unique and impressive. I was amazed to find that at the age of 22, he reached such a high and remarkable performance level, and I can only imagine how far he will go in a decade.
Golan grew up in a family of fashion designers and tailors. His grandfather was the first to start the tradition in Israel, and he had a store in Nahalat Binyamin (fabric district in TEL-Aviv). Kobi’s father inherited the store, and the practice and the love for sewing passed on to Kobi.
Photographer Michael Topyol / Model Rona Segev for Juicy
Kobi is a child prodigy.
There is no other definition that suits him and his talent. When he was 14, his parents enrolled him in the Fashion Academy in Rishon Lezion. They did not know what to expect; After a short time in which Kobi was ahead of his time in fashion illustration, the teacher told his parents that there was something unusual here, and she wanted to be his mentor in private.
In Israel, we say, “A good teacher is a teacher for life,” this how Kobi describes his mentor. “I owe her everything. She taught me fashion illustration, sewing, image-making, and everything I know about making clothes.” At the age of 18, Golan had already was an intern at Vivi Blaish’s studio.
For those of you who do not know Vivi Blaish, he is a veteran Israeli designer, one of the best we have in Israel. Vivi Blaish is considered by many Israeli fashion designers to be a pioneer and mentor. He paved the way for them outside the borders of Israel.
He did an internship with Roberto Cavalli during the ’90s until he opened an independent fashion line.
Balaish and Golan’s intergenerational connection is fascinating, and this is evident in Golan’s designs. Feminine cuts, sheer, meticulous drop for sewing, fabrics, buttons, and other additions.
1st & 3rd photos by Michael Topyol / Model Maya Barsheshet * Middle Photo by Eran Elster / Model Diana Vorsin
For his final project at Shenkar, he decided he was going for something ethnic that incorporates Bedouin embroidery. Kobi’s father used to make Jalabiyas in the past. When Kobi was looking for inspiration for his project, his father took him to a market in “Rahat,” and there he realized he would do something that incorporates Bedouin embroidery. He went to the Laqiya Festival to learn from Bedouin women the technique of embroidery.
The Victorian influence came later in the project when, during his research, Kobi noticed middle-class women during the 19th century and their form of dress. They lived in palaces but obscured their presence; they dressed like the palace’s curtains, and he saw it resembled the Bedouin embroidery and decided to combine them; As a graduate of two degrees in history, Kobi’s inspiration magnetized me to his brand, and it was clear to me that I would not leave his studio empty-handed.
I dare say that Golan is probably one of the leading candidates to succeed Blaish and Elbaz in the Israeli-international fashion world (and remember well where you read it for the first time).