Natasha Koifman: is there anything she can’t do? As the matron of NKPR and Toronto’s IT Lounge, a celebrity lounge for TIFF, not to mention her events and fundraisers she puts on during the Toronto International Film Festival, it seems that Natasha is unstoppable. We had a chance to sit down with the Queen of PR to discuss all things TIFF, including her last twenty years in the scene, and share her professional take on how this festival season will play out.
After moving back to Toronto from New York, Natasha worked for Liberty Entertainment Group and helped host a lot of the Festival after parties at this time. She had a huge involvement with these festivities and when she started her own agency thirteen years ago, Visa Canada became one of her first clients, who were a major sponsor of the festival. Whether it was independently, with Liberty Entrainment Group, or with NKPR, Natasha has always worked with the festival. Ten years later, the IT Lounge came to fruition.
“TIFF came to us with the initial idea for the IT Lounge. We are neighbours, and they thought how it would be interesting for both parties. We came together and it just made sense, because it’s their 40th year and our 10th year anniversary, so it really was the coming together of the decades,” Natasha said. “At the end of the day, we are a PR agency, so it’s all about telling the story, and it made sense to us because it was a cool story to be able to talk about.”
As for fashion on the red carpet, Natasha believes we will see a lot of black, and potentially many jumpsuits, mimicking Naomi Watt’s stellar plunging neckline black jumpsuit from last year’s festival; as well she predicts that there will be a lot of mid-length dresses, hitting mid calf under the knee, from designers like Pucci, Anthony Vaccarello, and Zuhair Murad. In terms of accessories, she is a purveyor of delicate pieces by Jacquie Aiche.
In the lounge, Natasha did curate the products and brands she believes are the essentials in her, with her overall mission for the celebrities, publicists, managers, and media of the IT Lounge to have a fun experience and get through the Festival. From the tote bags provided to in the IT Lounge, including products by European clothing brand Tom Tailor, Saje Natural Wellness, Barilla Pasta, Cross Pens, and Goody, to the Natasha’s own fragrance TWENTY-SIX, in collaboration with Aromachology, the actors, film makers and industry delegates in attendance at the Festival will be given a piece of Natasha’s Toronto to take with them.
All the proceeds from Natasha’s new perfume will go back to her charity of choice, Paul Haggis’ Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ), which supports build schools, drive healthcare, and support dignity initiatives in Haiti. Her perfume is handcrafted with Haitian vetiver, a fragrant grass that grows along the coast of Haiti, and combines twenty-six ingredients to inspire, including peony, rose, patchouli, and sandalwood. The collaboration was a natural fit, as both Natasha and Aromachology wanted to design a gift that gives back, and with 100% of the proceeds going back to APJ, this was a perfect marriage. This past weekend, Natasha and the NKPR team hosted the seventh the APJ Festival Gala at Casa Loma, which celebrated the APJ Community and honoured Susan Sarandon for her long-time commitment, dedication, and support for the organization’s work in Haiti.
“This is the year of the woman. At the festival, we have Jane Fonda, Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman and Helen Mirren, who are amazing, icons and we as a city have an opportunity to celebrate them,” Natasha explained enthusiastically.
Keep up with everything Natasha is doing for TIFF and beyond by following her @natashankpr on Instagram and Twitter.