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ISRAELI INDUSTRY: Sarafan, a Tel Aviv-based showroom, aims to gather the best cutting edge designers the city has to offer under one roof.
The showroom, which exhibits its collections during Paris and New York fashion weeks, has customers such as Colette in Paris, Anthropologie in the U.S., Zozo in Japan, Wok in Milan and Eclectic Life Style in Zurich. Sarafin wanted to reach consumers more directly, so it launched an e-commerce site, shop.sarafan-tlv.com. “Our goal is to create a vehicle for Tel Aviv-based designers to reach an international platform,” said Sivan Flysher, co-founder of Sarafan. “We truly believe that Tel Aviv has a unique and edgy fashion scene. We added to the mix some interesting international designers such as Henrik Vobskov and Hope Stockholm.” Flysher said it’s hard for Tel Aviv designers to reach an international audience for many of the same reasons young designers in other cities have trouble breaking out — the cost of everything from publicity to shipping to photo shoots. Also complicating matters is the fact that Tel Aviv, a relatively small market, has four fashion institutions that produce a large number of graduates each year. Since there aren’t many big companies to join, many fledgling designers strike out independently. Sarafan has taken the unusual step of assuming the shipping costs of online orders. “It’s annoying to decide to purchase something for a certain amount and then find out the total cost is much higher,” she said. “When we decided to launch Sarafan’s online shop we knew that we would bear the shipping costs.” Dresses are $189 to $336; pants, $158 to $296; tops, $78 to $512, and knitwear $253 to $285.