Gap Will Make Its Mark on Tel Aviv

Israelis always tell me that Israel is like America’s 51st state (hey, I thought that was Puerto Rico?) but I don’t quite see it.  I don’t think Israelis dress or act like Americans at all.  The ones that say they do usually watch The Fresh Prince and wear baggy jeans.

Well, I may have to eat my words.  Straight off the heels of Swedish brand H&M (opening in March), Spanish brands Mango and Zara, Italian brand Miss Sixty, and British brand Topshop, it looks like the American retailer known as Gap Inc. has made a franchise agreement with Israel’s Elbit Trade & Retail Ltd (happened last year) and have opened and will be opening stores like Gap and Banana Republic very, very soon.

(Banana Republic? The site for preppy cardigans and silk pencil skirts? How much more American can you get?)

Gap is coming sooner then you think.  Just this past week, I noticed a huge billboard on Ibn Gvirol St. that says Gap will open in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli mall later this month. It’s already in the Mamilla Mall (same one that holds the all-American Tommy Hilfiger brand) since fall 2009.

Wonder what this means for Israeli style.  Yes, we do have other Americana stores here, I just can’t see normal Israelis sporting khaki pants, henleys, and striped tees.  Just not Israeli style to me.

Read more on the venture in my short post at IGoogledIsrael.

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3 thoughts on “Gap Will Make Its Mark on Tel Aviv

  1. Angel

    Hi Simona,

    I’m still not sure about your theory that Israeli’s dress that differently from people in the States. In the USA as in the UK, there are a lot of different people with lots of different tastes. And if anything I think that American Apparel has proved that about Israel. I can go in there get a cute cotton dress in a pastel colour, wear it with a cute belt and vintage bag and it will be my style. Someone else could wear it with wet look leggings, a studded belt and it would be their style.

    I think that in Israel there is a lot more mixing and matching, and in the collage you’ve got of womenswear the bottom right corner looks like it could be in Israel already.

    You know, we should do an experiment… I’ll mail you about it.

    • Simona

      I really don’t know, Angel. Maybe you are right. But I think what I am specifically referring to is “European” fashion versus “Americana.” Of course you can wear European in America (look at the NY club scene, Armani Exchange, Guess, etc.) but it’s less common (in my opinion) to find all-American in Israel (for obvious reasons.) And by all-American I mean polo shirts, argyle, preppy khakis. Don’t get me wrong, it IS there, but that’s what I meant when I said my style changed. While I did wear lots of European looks, I wore a lot more “Americana” in America the I would ever wear here. Here my style has become strictly European. I barely wear jeans anymore!

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