Wednesday, October 20, 2010
|Kaf-Gimel Yordei Ha'sira streets is a tiny two block street at the entrance of the new Tel Aviv port. A small detail commented in earlier article. Tel Aviv has so many little details, we sometime forget until reminded.|
I have been meaning to write updates on lots of places mentioned before on the blog and cover new ones. After getting a strange comment on the New Port of Tel Aviv article fron 2007 I was nudged to get started. The last few weeks I went to the new Tel Aviv port on Saturday nights. Tel Aviv starts buzzing again after the sabbath as evening comes. This year, fall has been warmer than usual and no real rain yet. Some people want the summer to be over already, with temperatures in the 30°s Celsius (85 to 95 °F) most of us can understand the complaints. It's been a hot summer and as we near November we hoped for cooler weather. This year the heat was so strong it affected vegetable prices. Poor farmers were getting very low yields and the vegetables were small and dry. Last month prices went up three to four times normal, even the government was wondering what was happening and investigated the problem.Read More...
Monday, June 23, 2008
Looking good is important in Tel Aviv. This flies straignt in the face of the very confusing image of the rough and schlumpy Israeli woman. The image that Israeli women tried to portray in the 1950's was of pioneering all can do superwoman. Milk the cows in the morning, raise the kids in the day, guard the border at night. But the city reality of Israeli women was a little different. Fashion and beauty supplies came with Europeans very early on. Whatever Israeli women could not afford local companies made here. Jump forward 50 years to 2008 and the Israeli woman, a mix of every imaginable culture is very much interested in fashion and beauty. There are a dozen Israeli beauty supply companies, some with international reputation. Ahava started out as a Dead Sea specialty company, and Jade is well knows here but a bit of a 'hidden secret' outside Israel.
A crema counter with samples and plenty to buy.
Let's face it, Tel Aviv is not considered a fashion center. I would say YET! But if you are a woman, this city is nothing to laugh about. It's true that most Israeli designers have looked elsewhere to develop their careers and their businesses. But women still want to look beautiful and there is plenty of products and services to help them. In the beginning of June Tel Aviv hosted a Beauty City 2008 fair. About 30 makeup, hair, and fashion companies gathered at the Tel Aviv fairgrounds and showed off their "product". It turned out to be a mix between a fashion show and a 50% off sale. Let's face it, these little bottles of beauty don't come cheap. Some of the names in the makeup category: Estee Lauder, Lancome, Hugo Boss, Jade, Revlon, Ahava, L'Oreal, and Dove. In the hair section: Wella, Pantene, Nivea, Shuki Zikri, and Gillette.
The big practical attraction was the 50% discount on almost everything on display. This is a big deal for women who like good products but don't like to pay the high prices. The more expensive products from Estee Lauder, Shisheido, Lancome, and Jeanne Piaubert were discounted a little less, but still 20% to 30% was offered.
Beautiful in design, the Revlon booth.
The fair also offered a fashion show every hour or two. Cloths from Gucci, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, and Dolce & Gabbana were on display worn by about 25 young models. Beuty City 2008 showed also how Israel has grown up in the fashion and beauty area. There are still many international brands who consider this market small and in transition. This is simply the phase Israeli women are going through, both economically and culturally. But the women here definitely want to look and be seen as beautiful. So when the late comers look back at 2008 they may regret not making Israeli women beautiful today. But that again is just a speculation on the future. Read More...
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Frankie the nanny made an amazing discovery the other day. In her search for a bag, she has been browsing large and small stores all over the city. She stumbled upon a neat little store on Iben Gvirol that makes original custom bags. Dafka & Shain is one of four stores selling the creation of Dafna 'Dafka' (colloquial: 'in spite of' or specifically, precisely) and other Tel Aviv designers. Dafna 'Dafka' designs these 'amazing bags' according to nanny Frankie. So I joined sam-d for a visit to the tiny store on 125 Iben Gvirol. If you are munching on a falafel or sucking down a cold coffee you would miss this little store. But DON'T! Dafna designs and manufactures in the store itself these simple colorful designs. She uses extremely durable and environmentally friendly materials. The main material is an industrial leather with cotton fibers that is as durable as good leather and is even water and scuff resistant. She makes a variety of designs from large wallets (at 120 NIS) to large bags (about 300 NIS). The larger bags can also serve as book or laptop bags for the more discerning and fashionable Tel Aviv students.
Don't pass up the tiny front of Dafka & Shain at 125 Iben Gvirol
The mainstream design is made up of the main compartment and a flap with a sewn image. Dafna will custom design the colors of the bag and the flap and will custom choose an image from a wide selection of classic and funky designs. If you have a favorite picture or an art piece she will print an image to size and sew it on your bag. The images are printed with water and wear resistant ink and sewn onto the leather. This makes for a colorful and durable bag.
Colorful sample bags you can take with you, or use for inspiration
Dafna gave us a short history of her creation as a career. She started out as a painter and illustrator and stumbled upon the idea of decorating bags with original paintings. Then came the design phase and she quickly realized that there is more to this than just her painting. She settled on using bright colors and illustrations ~ and as they say in the biz... the rest is history. Today she has a flow of customers from the environmentally and animal sensitive to the style seekers. She wanted to create a simple and beautiful, yet durable and environmentally friendly bag. So searched and found this leather substitute that is mostly used for upholstery. The material is imported from Italy and at the small quantities she buys can cost as much as good leather. This is what keeps the bags unique. Other designer offer similarly priced bags from real leather, but this is where Dafna says 'DAFKA' NOT! ~ and this is where you can be unique too. -- Dafka and Shain, 125 Iben Gvirol - 03/546-5152 or Dafna 'Dafka' - 050/7373-145 Read More...
Friday, January 18, 2008
Nana's (a portal for blogs and discussions) fashion section (http://fashion.nana.co.il)
Hello again. I have been out for a while, mostly trying to figure out what would work by reading and researching other blogs. I also tried to read what popular blogs and writers say. It seems to me that besides being controversial people try write interesting material for a specific group. Writing about Tel Aviv, specially the "things" (i.e. stores, events, food, buildings) tend to interest only people who want to know something else. When I wrote about places to shop, there seem to be interest from tourists and foreign Real Estate investors (American & Canadians). When I wrote about the gym on Iben Gvirol seems like young Americans wanted to know the difference between one place and another, not just that specific gym. A blog is not like a newspaper. Even with a few contributors, focus seems to be more useful to readers than wide coverage. Sometimes as a blog writer, we forget that in a newspaper there are tens or even hundreds of writers! But the benefit of a blog is the personal viewpoint and the interest of the writer. I am not saying that in the NY Times the food editor does not like going out to eat as much as I do. Maybe he does and maybe he is even better at writing about it. But he is not in Tel Aviv and does not eat a mix of flavors and cuisines like people here now. Hopefully you don't need the writing at the level of a NY Times editor or writer to enjoy what is going on in Tel Aviv.
So what's next?I am going to write about what I see. Not just the "things" but the behaviour of the people. I think this is more interesting, specially since it's very different than other places. Some of the differences I think have to do with the blend of cultures. It's very hard to describe, but it's fantastic!
http://fashion.walla.co.il is a popular fashion destination.
Walking down the street in central Tel Aviv is a mix of fashions that one would not see in most big cities. Certainly not in New York, LA or even Milan. First of all, the population in Israel varies from recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union to Jews from Iran and Ethiopia. Second of all, Israel also has second and third generation Israelis from all over the world. Literally! the population in Israel has background from everywhere. Third, the is a wide gap in social, economic and religious background. All these blended together is thrown onto a new culture of fashion consumerism and a geographic location not exactly European or Asian or even African. At the traditional European fashion corner you will find most of the brands from the big fashion houses in Italy and France. At another corner is the American contingent, from Levi's jeans to Ralph Lauren upscale designs. Than add a little corner of Arab/middle-eastern influenced designs, specially for women (I would also add the Indian/Sri Lanka/Pakistani influence here). Finally, there is the encompassing everything Asian "knock-off" but not exactly. By that I mean fashion which is an attempt to clone every other known brand but with a twist. A large amount of clothing and accessories find their way from China, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam and a few other small South-East Asian countries.
How does that translate to everyday fashion? Well, it's hard to explain, but it's a great idea for a project of photographing people on the street. For the most part, Israeli women love to mix styles from all around the world, so a women dressed in traditional European design will add a colorful scarf or jewelry from India without thinking about it.
In the marketing and retailing front, Israeli merchants are a mix of western influence and local names. The three large malls in Tel Aviv (Azrieli, Dizengoff and Ramat Aviv) play a large role in the access of western fashion to the public. This includes stores who sell under the international tags and local fashion names. In the smaller stores and boutiques there are more specialized names. The new port area has a small number of specialty boutiques, specially with Italian and French fashion. The port area is trying to become the new upscale fashion shopping area. There are even roumors that the city itself in the form of regulation enforcement is helping this effort somewhat (rumors that bars are being asked to 'quiet down' and not become a center for nightlife). On Bugrashov street there are smaller shops with odd and more specialized fashion. This street you will find the newer, 'younger' names like the first Israeli Crumpler bag store. I hope this is a new start for my writing. Which started out in a desire to explain the fierce "fashon race" that is running rampant in Tel Aviv. It seems to me like what was happening in the US and Europe in the 1980's and 1990's. When the big designers lured people to buy more cloths at higher prices. Which in turn stimulated stores to open up fancier and bigger stores and eventually "boutique chains". Specialty chains that target a certain style and population (i.e. The Gap, The Limited in the US). Well, if you want to hear about other things 'in the air' in Tel Aviv, drop me a line. Thanks, Ami Read More...