Katherine Kelly Lang
Is Keeping Just As Busy Off Set As She Is On B&B
Is Keeping Just As Busy Off Set As She Is On B&B
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?
Lang: Casual: jeans, T-shirts and sneakers, sandals or boots. Party: a dress and high heels. Work: whatever the wardrobe picks out for me that day.
Digest: How did you manage to open just before Christmas? That must have been very hectic.
Lang: Yes! When it all came in, we were scrambling at 5 in the morning to unload in one day. We were nervous, but everything got done. The store really came together in, like, four days. There was nothing in here. It was amazing.
Digest: How did you and Dom meet Ben?
Lang: We met through friends of friends. And when we went in his store [in Florence], Dom and I just fell in love with the whole feeling. It had the artisan feel of Italy because everything is getting so watered down [these days] and it’s nice to hang on to that feeling and help support that and make it stay alive. Ben’s vision and what he wants is to have to match his stores everywhere. You can see on the wall here; it names where every Benheart store is, so we have the same kind of feel and atmosphere — and, of course, the fabulous items.
Digest: No kaftans?
Lang: No, no, this is a separate store. We’re involved in a lot. I have my kaftan line [www.katherinekellylangkaftans.com]. I have my line I do for Kelly’s Kloset in Australia. I have the bathing suit line I’m co-designing so yes, this is our first brick-and-mortar store. It’s bringing a brand from the heart of Florence to the heart of Beverly Hills just because we love it so much. We love Ben, who is the creator and founder and our partner, and we’re just so excited to be a part of it.
Digest: Your mother, Judy Lang, ran her own clothing stores. Was she an influence here?
Lang: I was raised in fashion, with my mom having clothing stores ever since I was little. I worked in clothing retail and in my mother’s stores in high school. I always loved fashion. Being in the entertainment business, everything is all about fashion. B&B, too, is all about fashion. It’s always been part of my life. So, she has had input with some suggestions: “Maybe you should do this or maybe you should do that.” But it’s different.
Digest: For fans who can’t make it to L.A., can they shop online?
Lang: Yes. We can ship, but we’re not putting everything on the website, and we keep eyeballing the site to see what people want.
Digest: Your real-life love of horses seems to be a theme in your Benheart photo shoots.
Lang: I used to ride on a horse with my mother from the time I was 3 years old, and my love for horses just grew from there. It’s always been a passion. I love the connection you can have with an animal like that. I had a horse when I was in high school. She was my best friend. I’ve had many horses since them. I trained and practiced jumping, dressage and endurance long-distance racing.
Digest: Do you still ride?
Lang: No, not right now. I just don’t have time. For the last several years, I did triathlons instead of horseback riding. I usually do something physical or sporty.
Digest: Have you ever had any riding injuries?
Lang: I’ve had falls here and there but nothing serious. Everything is all healed now.
Digest: Do any of your children share that passion?
Lang: No. I would always take the boys riding with me when they were young. They finally said to me, “Mom, we only ride because we see how happy it makes you.” After that, I didn’t have them come riding with me.
Digest: Besides B&B, Benheart and your fashion lines, you’ve been doing other projects, as well.
Lang: A lot of new, exciting projects. I’m busy, busy, busy. I was working on a Christmas movie for 2020 with Richard Karn [ex-Judge Jon Oplinger, B&B] called THE CHRISTMAS DANCE.
Digest: How do you juggle it all?
Lang: Thank God, Dom can do a lot of behind-the-scenes work and I can be in front of the camera. It takes a good team.
Just The Facts
Birthday: July 25
Hails From: Los Angeles, CA
Iron Man: Began dating Dominique Zoida in 2014.
Meet The Brood: Lang’s children are sons Jeremy, 29, Julian, 27, daughter Zoe, 22, and granddaughter Zuma will turn 2 on May 7.
How Are Things At Forrester Creations? “The B&B family is amazing. Going strong. Everyone comes to work and gives 100 percent. Lots of smiles and hugs.”
The Secret Of Her Success: “Work hard and show up. Be prepared. Enjoy and love what you do. Be kind.”
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