This spring, Barneys New York launches Nili Lotan’s urban-inspired capsule collection, N.L. (Issue). The designer needs no introduction to the millions of women who covet her easy, versatile approach to city dressing. Known for her sophisticated simplicity and utilitarian tendencies, Lotan is the master of relaxed luxury. Now, through her new line, she doubles down on her vision of clothing you can eat, sleep, and breathe in.

Consider the capsule less of a departure and more of an extension for what Lotan already designs. She draws inspiration directly from her local Tribeca neighborhood of young mothers, working professionals, and artistic individuals with modern sensibilities who want a weekend style that feels as good as it looks. “The N.L. (Issue) woman is the same cool and chic woman who buys my main line,” says Lotan. “N.L. (Issue) is for that busy, multitasking metropolitan woman, but on her off-duty time.”

That sense of modern ease resonates with the five women we tapped to wear the collection for the line’s latest lookbook. A snapshot of New York City’s incredible diversity, these creatives come from radically different backgrounds, and are pursuing a vast range of passions alongside their modeling careers. We asked them what inspires them about life in NYC, and how they’d describe their own personal style.

 

Lua / Model and Painter / Art Student at NYC’s Cooper Union   

NILI LOTAN Yorke Cotton Poplin Shirt / NILI LOTAN Cotton Twill Crop Pants

The Window: What inspires you about life in NYC?
Lua: Seeing art, going to museums, and going to see films. Walking around without being on your phone, just being present. Being around people who are creative and having great conversations!

Describe your NYC style.
I’m pretty simple. Usually jeans and a T-shirt will do. If I go out dancing, I love to feel like I can move and not wear something that would restrict me. But, in the end, just feeling good with yourself and what you’re wearing is key. So for me those good jeans are my favorite all around.

 

Adot / Model / NYC Via Iowa, Egypt, and Sudan

NILI LOTAN “Muscle Tee” Cotton Tank

The Window: What inspires you about NYC?
Adot: I come from Iowa, which is like 80 percent white. Now I live in Harlem, and did you know there is a street there called Africa? New York makes me feel like I am home. I can walk down the block and someone will call out, “Hey, sister!” The city is so alive with different cultures. It amazes me that a place like this exists.

Describe your NYC style.
I like extra. I am all about over the top: big fur coats, big glasses, high heels. Whatever I wear, I make it extra! Casual does not exist in my book. I am grateful to be a woman, and I like to celebrate it.

 

Frances / Model, Actor, and Writer / Comedy-Improv Performer 

NILI LOTAN Tiara Cotton Terry Sweatshirt / NILI LOTAN Azalea Silk Charmeuse Maxi Skirt

The Window: What inspires you about life in NYC?
Frances: I love the people I meet here. I have a 40-minute subway commute from where I live in Brooklyn into Manhattan, and I’ve seen it all—happy people, sad people, people from all walks of life. The energy is what makes this city so amazing.

Describe your NYC style.
If I’m going to my job, I have to be super comfortable but also functional, so I tend to go minimal. And whatever I’m wearing has to have a pocket! If I’m going out, I want a pop of color or some kind of accent, something that catches the eye. Got to dress to impress in NYC! Ha, no, really, I am pretty low-key.

 

Remy / Model, Art Photographer, Feminist Activist / Born in Venice Beach, Raised in Hawaii

The Window: What inspires you about life in NYC?
Remy: I grew up on a tiny island, so what means the most to me about New York is the diversity in population and cultures, and such a broad expanse of opportunities.

Describe your NYC style.
When I’m dressing for the day, I keep it simple. I always have Venice Beach and Joan Didion in mind, so I’m usually wearing some kind of denim (I collect vintage denim!) and classic sneakers or flats. If I’m going out, I wear things friends or colleagues have designed. Where else but New York could you pull together an incredible photo-ready look that’s completely made by your friends?!

 

Victoria / Model, Pharmacology Student at LIU Brooklyn / Competitive Track-and-Field Athlete   

NILI LOTAN Mora Linen Shorts / NILI LOTAN “Muscle Tee” Striped Cotton Tank

The Window: What inspires you about life in NYC?
Victoria: Definitely all the new and unique people I meet every single day.

Describe your NYC style.
I dress for myself, whether I go out or stay in. A lot of people seem to dress for others, but I try and put together looks that make me feel strong and confident, whether that be a dress or Docs and cargo pants.

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