While I can confidently say that I’m not a huge advocate of buying high-end designer labels in Israel, there are moments when you can find one-of-a-kind pieces at a good price. In any case, it’s always worth a try and it’s always fun to explore. So if you have a craving for luxury fashion like Tommy Hillfiger or Versace, you certainly have doors wide open to you in this country.
Kikar HaMedina (He Be’Iyar St., North Tel Aviv)
No, the streets are not paved in gold, but perhaps they should be? In any case, the plaza known as State Square is not really a square at all. It’s actually a circle (for some reason English speakers translate Kikar as square when it actually means a particular type of traffic circle found in Israel.)
Recognized as the most expensive shopping area in Tel Aviv and perhaps the entire country, Kikar HaMedina is filled with high-end accessories, designer labels, and the best (and most expensive!) of international brand names. Lacoste, Yves St. Lauren, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Prada, Tommy Hilfiger all found here as well as bridal shops and jewerly galore!
Ramat Aviv Mall (40 Einstein St., North Tel Aviv)
Despite the fact that its located in Tel Aviv’s most prestigious neighborhood, Ramat Aviv Mall doesn’t have the big designer brand names like Armani or Gucci or Ralph Lauren. It does have a few winners though–including Polo Sport, Kenneth Cole, and FCUK, which don’t have Ralph Lauren prices but they may as well. They’re about twice the cost they would be in the States, at least. You’ll also find the high-end jewelry brand H. Stern and sport shoe brand Nike. The biggest draw for me, however, is a designer department store on the second floor called Razili, which totes itself as a “unique fashion enterprise that focuses on cultivating talented Israeli designers.”“ So no Stella McCartney here but you will find the lovable and chic Mirit Weinstock and Inbal Gvili.
Mamilla Mall (11 King Solomon St., Jerusalem)
Jerusalem’s luxury shopping area, a $150 million, pedestrian only mall with an indoor and outdoor promenade is located next to its spiritual center in the Old City. Can anyone notice the irony here? Still, it’s quite the lavish location and I’m not suprised its been compared to LA’s Rodeo Drive.
While there are a slew of Israeli designers, you’ll also find Versace, Polo Ralph Lauren, H. Stern, Rolex, Nike, Nautica, Bebe, and Tommy Hilfiger at this monstrosity.
Cafe Bizarre (150 Ben Yehuda St., Tel Aviv)
Why do I love Cafe Bizarre? Besides being colorful and utterly chic (and having the sweetest owner ever!,) it’s also the only store I know of in Israel to carry Vivienne Westwood clothing!! Owner Tal Holtzman told me this herself after confessing that Vivienne Westwood was one of her inspirations for her increasing love of fashion.
Labels for Less ( 25 HaMered St., South Tel Aviv)
Deep in the heart of South Tel Aviv and close to both Neve Tzedek and the beach promenade, you’ll find a shop that overwhelms with designer labels, but not with designer prices. Here you’ll find labels like Dolce & Gabbana, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves St. Laurent, Calvin Klein, Escada, Tommy Hilfiger and many more. Purchases are limited to club members, but no matter, membership is free! All it takes is filling out a registration form on the shop’s website. This means lots and lots of designer discounts, up to 70 percent from original prices. It also means special sales, fashion shows, and a fashion lecture or two once in a while. All worth it’s weight in designer label gold!
Banker (210 Dizengoff St.)
This chic shop may be in the hoity-toity North Dizengoff section where higher-end boutique owners come out in droves, but you’ll fall in love with Banker’s cool display of indie fashion with designer names. Think American Vintage, British brands like House of Gods and Religion, and I’m pretty sure Rebecca Taylor once had dresses there. Banker was created by Keren Banker Cohen who opened her boutique in late 2006 after her first fashion shop Alma skyrocketed to Israeli fashion success. The store sells labels from Europe, Israel, and America.
For a few more ideas in Tel Aviv:
Melissa by Vivienne Westwood footwear can be found at Precious (63 Frishman) and Story (Shenkin St.)
Mint (5 Baaley Melacha St.) carries Chloe, BCBG, Miu Miu, Anna Sui, DKNY and even Chanel at reasonable prices.