Illumination of Hope at New York Fashion Week

Designer closes runway show with Israel’s anthem.



(Kittibowornphatnon /

In the world of fashion, where creativity meets culture and runway shows are often hailed as spectacles of innovation and artistry, Israeli-American designer Kobi Halperin  infused his first-ever solo collection with a powerful message of hope and faith. At New York Fashion Week, amidst the glitz and glamor, the finale of his show resonated far beyond the confines of the runway, closing with the stirring notes of Israel's national anthem, "Hatikvah." Entitled "Illumination of Hope," the designer's collection was a testament to resilience, optimism, and the enduring human spirit. 

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The illumination of hope
For the designer, the decision to conclude his show with "Hatikvah" was deeply symbolic. It represented a gesture of solidarity and support for Israel, a nation often synonymous with perseverance and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. More than just a fashion statement, it was a reaffirmation of faith and an expression of hope for a world where peace and harmony prevail. 

“I am so overwhelmed that it has made so many people cry and so many people actually feel good about themselves. That’s more important than anything else — it’s more important than the statement of the fashion. I felt completely exposed in a way and it felt good. I really put my heart and soul on the runway with the concept and the clothes and the fashion,” Halperin told the New York Jewish Week, adding, “I felt very lucky and very humble that I was able to bring everything from inside me and share it with everybody.”

Inspired by heritage
After earning a degree in engineering and design from Israel's Shenkar College, Halperin relocated to New York City twenty-five years ago where he worked for Elie Tahari, Kenneth Cole and Emanuel Ungaro before launching his own label in 2015, The Times of Israel reported.  

“The whole collection was basically inspired from my heritage.  I was raised in a religious family and if there’s something that I miss, it’s the idea of Shabbat. It’s not necessarily the religious part, I love the idea that there’s an ending, but then a beginning of something else. For me, I remember this amazing moment in Israel on Fridays: Everything is shutting down, the stores are closed, the music changes, the sky is changing,” Halperin explained, adding, “Lighting the candle is the clear moment of the beginning of Shabbat. The wax dripping symbolizes sadness and the memories of the people that are not with us any more. But candles are also the light at the end of the tunnels and are optimistic and hopeful.”

Ultimately, the "Illumination of Hope" was more than just a runway finale; it was a statement of defiance against despair and a testament to the enduring power of hope  illuminating the path forward with optimism, faith, and a steadfast belief in the human capacity for resilience and renewal. As the lights dimmed on another unforgettable New York Fashion Week, the echoes of "Hatikvah" lingered in the air—a reminder that amidst the chaos and uncertainty of our times, hope remains our most powerful ally. 

“It’s hard for me to justify fashion with everything that’s happening around us right now. That’s why I love the idea of taking this opportunity to gather and be together — to find what we have in common and respect that we think differently about specific things, but still recognize that as people we actually can have hope and pray for something positive,” Halperin explained. 

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