The best Israeli jewelry designers
The Israeli shopping scene is more than just big-name shopping mall chains and a network of manic markets. Though your guidebook will surely direct you towards Mahane Yehuda or the infamous Dizengoff center, what it won’t tell you about is the up-and-coming community of Israeli jewelry designers bursting onto the scene. Scattered around Israel, with a majority along the pedestrian-heavy Dizengoff street (in central Tel Aviv) and Shabazi street (in Neve Tzedek), are a number of innovative artists crafting handmade, customized earrings, rings, bracelet, necklaces and accessories. We’ve got the inside scoop on where to find the best Israeli jewelry designers—the ones who put the ‘jew’ in jewelry.
Not your typical Israeli market
Ever bought handcrafted calendars from a seasonal pop-up Israeli market inside a Florentine club? Ever stocked up on warm weekend stews during those chilly winter months in the basement of a mall in Tel Aviv? Ever witnessed someone shape an intricate sterling silver wire bracelet in seconds in the middle of the street? If not, than these unique markets should be at the top of your shopping list. Take a break from Carmel Market's screaming vendors and cheesy gifts to experience the true Israel at these A-typical markets. From art up north to homemade food to items that cannot be boxed into a category, here’s our list of the most unique Israeli markets.
A stroll down Shenkin Street - the shops that stood the test of time
Fleeting shops may come and go but the more things change, the more they stay the same. Shenkin street used to be the busiest and trendiest street as far as shopping in Tel Aviv went, but over the years, the rapid turnover rate and high rent has affected the success of many neighborhood boutiques. Just steps from the Carmel Market on one end and intersecting with Rothschild Boulevard on the other, the never-ending street has seen its fare share of shops open and close. However, whether it’s because of their booming success, some miracle act or a stubborn resistance to accept defeat, a handful of designer boutiques have managed to stand the test of time. These are four of the fashionable stores that are still going strong on the once-trendy straight away.
Fierce and fabulous Israeli fashion designers
Though internationally known for its wedding dress designers, Israel’s fashion scene stretches far beyond chiffon and tulle. From Maya Negri to project runway winner Alon Livne, Israeli fashion designers are making their mark in the industry as they dream up new collections and seasonal styles that don’t require a reservation. With elegant evening wear, casual flare and accessories to match, step outside the malls and into the boutiques of these top Israeli fashion designers to get a taste of their artistic genius.
The top Israeli wedding dress designers
There’s nothing more picture perfect than a White wedding in the White City. Any day of the week, you’re bound to stumble upon a wedding ceremony or sunset wedding photo shoot just by walking along the sandy shores of one of Israel’s beaches. When the words “Israeli wedding designer” pop up, we often think of the greats, like Berta Bridal. However, there are many aesthetically captivating and popular bridal gown designers like Inbal Dror and Israel’s “Project Runway” winner, Alon Livne, who do not require a reservation two years in advance. It’s worth a trip to the Middle East just to check out these handpicked studios. Come to the Holy Land, take in the sights, sample some great food, shop ‘til you drop, and try on some breathtaking dresses. If there’s a place to find the one and have some fun, this is it.
Vintage meets contemporary at Pais Studio
Thirty-four year old Avishai Pais has each foot in two separate fashion worlds. As the owner of hidden-like-a-perfect-secret Kassima Vintage, he curates an enviable mix of coveted Israeli treasures from bygone eras. With six years under his vintage belt, he has catered to the best of local Tel Avivian celebs and style-setters, and has most recently plunged head first into his latest role: crafting his own namesake brand - Pais. The modern, tailored designs are crisp and classic, with painstaking thought to what works best on the female form. Stay tuned for an exclusive, limited edition collection marrying a dynamic dialogue between found vintage fabrics and contemporary styles - sure to be a sell-out series. 23 Nachalat Binyamin St, Tel Aviv (052-8649928/facebook.com/pais.avishai)
February's brand you need to know: Balagan
To many, Warsaw and Tel Aviv seem worlds away. To Hanna Ferenc-Hilsden and her partner Agata, the cities have much in common. They share a word: Balagan, and a similar design aesthetic. The pair’s exploration of the latter has led to an opulent accessories brand. “The simple elegance of Polish design combined with the casual and universal look that characterizes the Israeli street,” says Hanna. The result is high quality leather goods, with an edge. Producing mainly shoes and bags, Balagan have got the modern day girl’s needs down. “Convenience and functionality is the supreme goal determining the direction of our design”. © PR The Avoda bag is roomy, laptop-friendly, streamlined and chic — a must-have for any working gal. It is, in fact, the manifestation of their design aesthetic: “Timeless, commitment to quality and detail, and classic”. For those sporting a slightly edgier style, the Masa Backpack is calling your name. And, our personal favorite, the Shuk Fanny Pack, whose adjustable straps allow it to be worn as a clutch and a shoulder bag, too, is a classy take on festival fun. The Balagan duo not only understand the modern day working girl, they embody it. Hanna runs the show in Tel Aviv, and Agata in Warsaw, the two meeting every so often to design, manage production and photograph their collections. This allows them to continue to be inspired and expose their brand to a wider clientele. Balagan is definitely one to watch. 5 Hamifal
Fashion meets tech with Tamara Anna Efrat
Israel is at the forefront of technology and that trickles into every field – even fashion. Case and point, textile designer Tamara Anna Efrat. With a background that includes working as a stylist, a set and costume designer and behind the scenes for major brands like Yigal Azrouel and Victor & Rolf, Efrat has also presented at Tel Aviv Fashion Week - all of which has helped hone her cutting, sewing, knitting and embroidery skills, as well as her computer software and technical skills. Today, she works in several mediums to produce her housewares, fashion designs and accessories. We spoke with the designer to find out more about what’s on the docket to come. © PR How did you get into textile design? I have been fascinated by craft since early childhood, but my passion for fabrics came from my grandma. She was born in Poland in a small town of tailors and she taught me all about cutting, sewing and embroidery. She survived the Holocaust thanks to her sewing skills. How would you describe your aesthetic? I am strongly influenced by the Japanese aesthetic and craftsmanship. I just came back from a month-long visit there, updating myself with recent Japanese work. I hope that my own work reflects the precision, gentleness and thoughtful detailing characteristic of Japanese craft and art. What kind of products do you make? I see myself as an interdisciplinary designer. I make products and objects that refer to traditional crafts and introduce contemporary techno
Little Street: where modern art trumps fashion fads
Little Street is set to become the go-to brand for the urban girl. Edgy clothing with a sophisticated, feminine influence, this fashion transcends trends. Lital Palace David, the founder of Little Street, always considered fashion a hobby, rather than a career. This changed while Lital was studying for her Masters in Child’s Psychology. She quit, enrolled in a fashion design degree, and established her brand in 2011. © Zohar Shitrit Fashion fads are of no concern to Lital, who focusses on “design aesthetics for independent women, who like to dress in a unique and different way, without changing trends.” Instead, she turns to art for influence - Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, and Andy Warhol. These influences are very clear, particularly through Little Street’s use of color; each season Lital introduces a different, bright color, alongside her typically monochromatic palette. The White City is another big influence, with Tel Aviv’s landscapes and textures inspiring patterns and form. The pieces are made from quality, natural fabrics — knitwear, leather, cotton and some silk — and are cut to show off a women’s body, in an understated manner. “My goal is to make my client feel young and edgy, while wearing an effortless outfit.” Little Street’s current collection features tie-waist details, alongside tactile, winter fabrics in blacks, whites, and greys, and a section jackets. © Zohar Shitrit Little Street Boutique and Studio, 5 Baa
Israeli designers you'll want to know
Since the age of 17, Alon Livné has worked in premiere luxury European houses to become one of Israel’s most prestigious fashion designers, having trained at Alexander McQueen in London and Roberto Cavalli in Florence. After winning “Project Runway” in Israel, demand for Alon’s work skyrocketed. In February 2013, he was invited to participate in Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week where he presented his Fall-Winter 2013 collection at Lincoln Center. The collection was described by critics as, “a darkly beautiful and wonderfully constructed collection of evening looks…well-tailored and chic.” Alon Livne presents his collections regularly at MBFW New York, and his Bridal line “Alon Livne White” is recognized worldwide for its luxurious, innovative and outstanding designs. Those searching for pieces from one of Israel's finest and most well known dress and womenswear designers should have no problem finding their dream piece here.
Gadi is one of the leading stylists in the Israeli fashion industry with seventeen years of experience. His lifelong work includes productions for television, movies, magazines, catalogs and personal styling for leading artists and celebrities.This season, Gadi Elimelech presented an unbelievably stunning bridal collection characterized by a classic minimalist design and an emphasis on detail. The dresses are delicate with artistic ornamentation around the hip, neck and arms. Gadi chose fabrics consisting of Chiffon and crepe white silk to create wearable dresses for brides desiring a simple, carefree, yet elegant style.
Tres as a brand is an effortless choice for Tel Avivian woman. Their flattering pieces are impeccably tailored and geared towards the urban and fearless stylish citizens of Tel Aviv. The brand’s wide range of products gives clients of any age and style a variety of clothing choices for all hours of the day. While the variety of styles is large, two things are guaranteed in every product: quality and sophistication. The current collection includes evening and day dresses as well as individual pieces. Aimed at pleasing the fashion forward clientele, Tres’ philosophy is to create garments that make women feel beautiful, confident, and most importantly, uniquely Tel Avivian.
Only one year after graduating with honors from the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in 2006, Anna Fleet opened a studio under her name in Tel Aviv with a couture ready-to-wear bridal line. Born into a family of sculptors, Anya developed aesthetic sensitivity and a fascination for art & fashion design from a very young age. Stemming from a wide range of inspirations, she uses the finest fabrics to add sophistication and elegance to each gown. Each dress is meticulously handmade to measure, using various combinations of lace, ornate beading and hand embroidery.
Aviva Zilberman fulfilled her ambition to offer definitively modern fashion by founding her own high-end ready-to-wear house. Since the brand launched, its mission was to create a day wardrobe that will allow women to reveal the elegance that they all possess, even if it is challenging to express it. Her vision of fashion is the result of the continuous effort to create the perfect structure of garments and her concern of realistic proportions and sizes for women. She creates elegant collections that contain powerful and delicate structures, where a masculine strictness and a feminine sensuality are clearly present, and where outfits lay on the body with extreme precision. Come by the stunning boutique to browse through the selection of memorable items.
Shopping in Tel Aviv
The best shopping in Tel Aviv for fashionable menswear
While many fierce and fabulous Israeli fashion designers focus on women’s clothing, designer menswear is on the up-and-up in Tel Aviv. From casual chic to Jaffa street fashion, we’ve toured the White City in search of the best fashion boutiques for men. From Showroom at the base of Rothschild Boulevard to Story in Sarona, these are the top five stores to frequent for menswear when shopping in Tel Aviv.
The ultimate guide to Neve Tzedek
Shabazi Street, the main axis of Tel Aviv’s breezy Neve Tzedek neighbourhood, is brimming with covetable local and international fashion brands, designer accessories, restaurants and a touch of je ne sais quoi. From its humble beginnings as Tel Aviv’s very first neighbourhood, its ever-charming real estate has soared in recent years, making it one of the White City’s most eclectic and indulgent shopping destinations, and a hub for French expats.
Shopping in Tel Aviv: the best fashion boutiques
Fashionistas from all walks of earth swarm the busy Tel Aviv streets year round on a hunt for fierce fashion. While the less versed travelers are drawn to big shopping malls and smaller markets that test out their haggling skills, the real magic takes place inside the city’s boutiques, which house cutting edge Israeli and international designers. From the hip Showroom on Rothschild Boulevard to designer digs on Dizengoff, shopping in Tel Aviv has never been so popular. That’s why we’ve come up with a personalized style guide to the best fashion boutiques in Tel Aviv to fulfill your shopaholic needs. Leave the cash at home, this trip will need some serious platinum.
The best markets and malls in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv shopping offers a wide range of Israeli designer wares, big box chains, indoor and outdoor markets as well as artisanal merchants and flea market finds. Here is a list of the best shopping malls and markets in Tel Aviv – whether it is a special souvenir, handmade craft or just some simple retail therapy you are after. You'll need to refuel after your exhausting shopping spree. Why not sport your new jewelry and wardrobe with some fine dining at one of the best Tel Aviv restaurants.
The best boutiques in Jerusalem
A pinch of nostalgia, a generous helping of romance, and a sprinkle of vintage and retro make up Naama Bezalel. This boutique store solidifies Naama's passion for fashion. The Jerusalem-born designer, who graduated from Shenkar College of Design, is a senior Israeli fashion designer in the industry. Her love of aesthetics was inherited from her mother and shines through every colorful clothing piece she sells. Today, she runs a chain of nine stores and a spacious studio that sells feminine and flattering collections for daytime and eveningwear. Her brand features loose cuts and comfortable garments for modern women to feel stylish. Own a little piece of "Naama nostalgia" today.
With a background in theatre, Rina Zin started out in accessories and children's clothing design, where she opened her first brand store in Yavne, her hometown. Today, she owns four boutiques and an outlet shop in Israel and they are all thriving. The Jerusalem branch of Rina Zin is located in a beautiful antique structure, with a European historical atmosphere and an equally beautiful urban garden. It is a gift to own one of her special creations, designed from start to finish with the utmost thought and care.
This trendy fashion shop brings some of the most elegant and refined clothing and shoes from European designers to the Holy City. Rive Gauche redefines high-end couture in Israel, offering the hottest trends the minute they hit Europe right in our very own backyard. When you try on an item at Rive Gauche Jerusalem, you can feel the love that goes into the selection of every piece of clothing. No "fashion," just authenticity.
Noami Vintage (formerly "Now, Me")
Naomi Vintage sells secondhand clothing in Mahane Yehuda that looks and feels fresh off the hanger. The shop carries natural fibers like wool, cotton, linen, silk and leather. Beatrice Bellemere, owner and visionary of Naomi, explains, "I have a sense for quality-made items and enjoy helping my customers look good." While you feel as though you're dumpster diving for hidden gems in other secondhand stores, Bellemere helps her customers find flattering clothes in a calm, organized manner.
As Adi says himself, his store is "an unusual one." After returning to school at age forty to pursue his dream of shoe design and manufacturing, Adi Kilav opened his first shoe store. Today, twelve years later, he has two stores in Israel and an online local store as well as an Etsy account for international buyers. His classic contemporary take on shoes allows him to be daring with bold color choices while keeping his footwear comfortable. He runs a limited edition of his leather creations to keep ideas fresh and customers engaged.
The best malls in Israel
Ramat Aviv Mall
Looking for a laidback, relaxed environment, away from the bustling Tel Aviv’s city center? With over 130 shops, including Spanish chains like Bershka and Zara, a MAC counter, Diesel and G-Star, plus local gems like Cala and SOHO, Ramat Aviv mall has a lot to offer without the stressful crowds.
Tel-Aviv Azrieli Mall
Azrieli Mall is the place to frequent if you're a homesick tourist seeking some retail therapy. Glide up and down its escalators, and weave in and out of Gap and H&M to escape to anywhere, USA. But at the end of the day, its uniquely shaped triangular, circular and square towers are distinctly Tel Aviv.
Haifa Azrieli Mall
The location of Haifa Mall, part of the Azrieli Group, in the southern area of the city makes it especially accessible and attractive. The mall has hundreds of stores selling fashion, optics, shoes, toys, and a wide range of restaurants, coffee shops and entertainment venues fit for the entire family.
Alrov Mamilla Mall
This luxurious shopping avenue connects the city center with the Old City and walking through it will take you to Jaffa Gate. Beautifully constructed, Mamilla Mall is home to many international brands and designer stores. Between the shops are a handful of restaurants and cafes.
The best Israeli Markets
Specializing in fresh produce and clothes, Carmel Market is Tel Aviv’s largest and busiest market. With dozens of stalls selling fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables and the likes, you can take in all the sights, sounds and smells the Carmel Market has to offer while hunting for the cheapest bargain. The market is especially busy on Fridays, so be sure to get there early for your Shabbat fixings.
Mahane Yehuda Market
An intoxicating fusion of colors, scents and sounds, Mahane Yehuda is Jerusalem’s biggest and oldest market. The stalls here sell everything from fresh produce to clothing and in recent years, Mahane Yehuda has also become a yuppie hub with designer boutiques and top chef restaurants.
Jaffa Flea Market
Poor quality bric-a-brac lies alongside vintage treasures and antique furniture in Jaffa’s flea market. Of all the places to work your haggling skills, this is it. Even just wandering among the clothes stalls, traipsing around secondhand stores or grabbing some authentic street food is enough to make for a blissful day.
Sarona Compound, a 140-year-old former Templar colony, is the first culinary center of its kind in Israel. An 8,700-square-meter market houses dozens of specialty food shops from all around the world. Inside the market, you’ll find everything imaginable from Dutch cheese to waffle towers and even Asian buns. Just outside the indoor market, dozens of clothing, book and shoe stores line its lanes, interspersed with lily ponds and grassy areas to relax.
Old City Market (Arab Souq)
With a distinctive Arabian nights feel to it, the Arab market – or souq – located in the Christian and Muslim Quarters of the Old City is a labyrinth of alleyways lined with shops selling everything from handmade jewelry and exotic scarves to hookahs and ceramics.