Guten Morgen Tel Aviv
Meet Nina (Katharina Hoeftmann Ciobotaru). She's a writer, and a poet, and a mother, and a partner, and so many other things. We're excited to have her as a part of our story.
The first on the list is Nina, a German who made Aliyah to Israel after finding love. Germany and Tel Aviv have always been two of my greatest inspirations- the Bauhaus, the architecture of Tel Aviv in proximity to the Mediterranean. When I met Nina I felt like she really spoke to the spirit of the brand in a way that felt smooth and natural for both of us. Her energy, the passion she has for life and for people made me fall in love with her.
Nina is wearing pieces she chose from our Essential Classics collection and our new Shibori Collection, for which we dye each piece by hand in a Japanese technique. We use only natural fabrics, and the entire process is done from beginning to end in our studio in Tel Aviv.
Nina is wearing the Mary Dress Coat
What is your favorite thing about Tel Aviv?
You have so many different vibes in the city: you have the south, which is a bit more undone, and the north which is a little bit fancier. You have the beach, which is such an important place to me because the sea always gives me inner peace and helps me reflect.
All in all I must say the people in Tel Aviv are the best. Everyone you talk to has interesting stories and nobody is afraid to say their opinion. I’m the kind of writer that needs lots of inspiration from people. The people here are beautiful and not just from the outside, they have something very raw and undone. It’s inspiring on another level. I think I was always a writer, but I only started to really be a writer when I moved to Tel Aviv. My first book is called Good Morning Tel Aviv, so it’s very clear that it was the main inspiration for me.
Nina is wearing the Sophia Top.
What does modern femininity mean to you?
Femininity today is much more how you as a woman feel sexy and how you want to present yourself. I think that the femininity we have in our western culture is very rich and wealthy: we have a lot of opinions, we can be strong, we can be soft. You can have a whole portfolio of feelings, both good and bad, and accept them within you. I think that’s the new femininity. You are a mother and a businesswoman, a writer and a wife, a lover, a friend. It’s sometimes overwhelming and the world that we are moving in is very complex, but on the other hand, we have a lot more opportunities
Nina is wearing our White Kimono Top & Cotton Bandana.
Do you feel like femininity and this whole complex form of femininity is something you think about when you're getting dressed?
I was always very versatile in what I liked, depending on my mood. I have rediscovered that clothes can be sexy, that you can be sexy. I do have two children so most mornings I just wear something comfortable. I have to wear comfortable clothes now, and because I live in a very hot country I also have to wear very good materials. When I was 21 I would buy all of these vintage dresses that were polyester, because it was more important for me to look good. Now I wouldn’t accept it anymore, I need natural materials and comfortable materials. I’m not willing to give it up, but you can always see that this is Nina’s style.
Why is sustainability important to you? How does it pop up in the things that you buy and the way that you live?
We are all aware right now that the climate crisis is real and that there is an end to the resources we are using. I think it’s also pretty known that the fashion industry is one of the highest polluters, so you have to be aware. I do find it difficult to find good products, especially in Israel. It’s harder to find real clothes where you can be sure where they are made. The main thing is to buy less, which I’ve already been doing for a while. When I buy something, I try to buy pieces that are really lasting and that I will wear–maybe a few basic pieces that I combine with a few more special pieces. I can’t say I’m perfect, I still do the shameful fast fashion buy from time to time, but all in all I try to generally buy less and look where I’m buying.
What attracts you to writing?
Living. I think it was Hemmingway that said if you want to write you have to live more than you write, so living is the very main part. There are writers who can come up with fairy tales and fantasy, but I’m not one of those writers. I’m a writer that has to live and see and listen to people. I always wonder when I see people on the street, what’s their relationship, what are they thinking? What are they talking about, but also what are they not talking about that is there hanging between them? I think this is what causes me to want to write–to understand humans, to understand relationships, to understand myself and my own relationships and all of these different cultures, and how everyone has a different take on what we all see. We are all living in the same reality, but if you ask three people about the same situation, each one will tell you a completely different story.
I was always a writer, but I also said that if I didn’t make enough money from writing I would just do something else. I was completely delusional. I was in Mongolia about two years ago, and after two weeks of not writing I started feeling so uneasy. I realized I missed writing, I just needed to write something. I’m a writer! I have two children, so I do have a responsibility, but I will always write. It’s a big blessing that I’ve been able to make a living doing it. I don’t know how many people there are that are doing something that really makes them happy for a living, and I don’t take that for granted.
Nina is wearing out Botany Blue Blouse.
Nina׳s Playlist now on Spotify
Photography: Natalie Michelson