Soap Opera Digest|March 16, 2020
Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B) and her real-life partner, Dominique Zoida, had no idea that their casual lunch in Florence, Italy, with designer Hicham Ben Mbarek, better known as Ben, would result in a transatlantic partnership with his latest Benheart store, located in the heart of Beverly Hills.
Soap Opera Digest: What was it about Ben that prompted you and Dom to want to go into business with him?
Katherine Kelly Lang: Ben’s story is so inspiring. It’s a long story but when he was younger, he had a heart transplant. He was lucky enough to get a heart and when he woke up, he felt like, “Wow, this was amazing. This was a gift given to me and so now I want to give to the world.” He had a vision of doing that, so he started making belts and selling them on the sidewalk, and he grew quickly to having his own small store. It was like a closet but from there, it just kept building because everybody just loved what he did. His work has got a lot of his heart behind it. It’s not just like, “Here’s a piece of clothing.” It comes from somewhere else: his passion, his love for life and people, and his gratitude, and I think you can feel that in the product. It’s more like a way of life and not just a fashion plan. That’s the idea behind it. Digest: What does Benheart carry? Lang: We feature leather hand-tooled jackets, belts, shoes, handbags and wallets. The pieces are 100 percent handmade in Florence. Benheart is not just a fashion brand; it’s a lifestyle. We knew a store like this would do well in Beverly Hills. It’s very much an L.A. type of store.
Digest: Describe your own passion for fashion.
Lang: It’s something that is an extension of yourself. It shows your mood that day. It should be an extension of who you are.
Digest: What’s your personal dressing style?
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March 16, 2020