The shoe industry in Israel played an important role in the early years of the new state. In the 1940s immigrants from Casablanca, Marrakesh and later Russia brought a number of skilled shoemakers and cobblers to Israel. For around 40 years Israeli women were wearing fashionable, home produced footwear. With the increase of cheaper, mass produced shoes, being imported mainly from the Far East in the 80s and 90s, shoe factories in Israel were being heavily hit and soon a number closed down.
Towards the start of the new millennium, Israeli designers started to re-emerge onto the fashion scene, especially with the opening of two design schools named “Achilles” in 2005 and later “The Guild” which is based in Tel Aviv. Although the Israeli designers look to the international trends, many step outside of the box, focus on practicality and bring a unique style to their collections.
When IL Couture was founded we set a goal to encourage and support the creativity and uniqueness of the Israeli designers.
The focus point of IL Couture is affordable designer shoes, clothing and other accessories made by some of Israel’s up and coming designers. For our clients, we provide a market place that enables you to dress top to toe in haute Israeli couture.
So with this in mind, let’s meet two of the designers who are reviving the Israeli shoe revolution with a little help from IL Couture and hear what they have to say about the rebirth of their specialist area of design and their own personal journey in this field; Tamar Shalem and Noa Luria.
|Tamar Shalem||Noa Luria|
Tamar graduated from Israel’s highest fashion school “Shenkar” and Gilda – shoe design school, and has already managed to win second place in a competition for up and coming shoes designers in 2011. She loves Tel Aviv and the beach and decided to design shoes because of “that magical feeling of getting a great pair of new shoes”. Her favorite designers are: Santiago Calatrava, Alexander McQueen and Diane Von Furstenberg. She derives her inspiration from music, and says she cannot work without it. She is also inspired by organic shapes. Her collection for next summer is inspired specifically by leaves she found in nature.
Noa designs under the brand name Lucca, which originally was supposed to be the name of her son (she named him Hillel instead). She graduated from Achilles- Shoes design and production school. She has background in art and theater, which she uses to produce aesthetical, creative designs. She is a true urban spirit, and she feels that there is something enchanting and romantic in urban life and this has become an endless source of her design inspiration.
We asked Noa and Tamar what do Israeli shoe designers have to offer the global Shoe Scene. Tamar said Israeli designers have a certain casualness and simplicity that you can only find here. Life in Israel is intense, so clothes and shoes must be comfortable, easy and practical. Noa feels that Israeli designers are creative and avoid momentary trends. They bring a unique twist to their designs which a client can connect to.
Tamar defines her design as: “classic and minimalist”. She pays attention to the smallest details and produces each collection in small quantities. Her intention is to make shoes that are wearable day to night. Her clients’ age varies from 20-70. They are very different from one another, but they all have their own style and they know exactly what they want. Noa also uses the term “minimalistic” to describe her collection and she said that her ideal client is a never ending dreamer searching for a shoe that is comfortable and non-compromising.
Tamar told us about her working process: “I start each collection with an idea that is going to be the motive of this line. I draw my sketches on my lasts, and then I erase most of them. I know I have a design if I haven’t erased it after looking at it for a few days. The designs then go to the factory for a mock up that I use for fittings. After trying it on different feet, there are always changes and adjustments for the next mock up and so on”.
Both designers admit that they no longer buy shoes. Tamar simply believes that it is a privilege that she can make “any shoe she desires for herself”, while Noa wears her own designs as a “presenter” and advertiser of her handy work, although she has had her eye on a pair of shoes made by her favorite designer Celine and she is still saving towards the “bargain price of 4500 NIS” (around $1050)
We truly believe that Israel has a lot to offer in the field of shoe design and the world of design in general. We hope you will enjoy purchasing IL Couture’s top picks of Israeli fashion and you will get the chance to see how many wonderful and attractive items Israeli designers have to offer you.
As a proof, we asked both Noa and Tamar to choose their favorite designs so take a look-