I’d like to introduce all of you to my new Israeli fashion series where I’ll be interviewing a different stylish Israeli at every post and finding out how their cool Israeli style makes them who they are.
You’ll get to hear from designers, stylists, friends, models, and just regular people on the street.
So may I present to you…Five Fashion Questions With…
My first selection is Noga Tafara.
We can all learn something from Noga Tafara, a stunning twentysomething Ethiopian beauty with big doe eyes and a petite frame.
When I meet her at Cafe Bialik on Allenby St., I eye her chic urban attire–a colorful tank with asymmetrical hemline, acid wash jeans, bright pink glossed lips, and blue gladiator flats.
She tells me she hasn’t spent more than 30nis (less than $10) on any one piece.
“I never spend too much on my clothes,” she explains with that sweet, effortless cool she is just known for, “You can look good without buy something expensive.”
I’m impressed, if not a teensy bit jealous.
Noga’s style is all her own and has been for a while, but perhaps she gets some help from best friend Hila Aharon, a stylist, who like Noga, also knows how to layer rock-and-roll outfits on a budget and who also joins us for lunch. Noga and Hila met while working at Nani, an Indian print-meets-peasant clothing store located at both 49 Moliver St. (Nahalat Binyamin) in Tel Aviv and 12 Ben Shetah St. in Yafo. (Noga has also since modeled for the brand.)
Noga has embraced the style of the store perhaps even more than the style of her own Ethiopian background, but her clothes waver somewhere between bohemian chic and hipster cool.
She’s also modeled for the shop, bringing an Ethiopian princess vibe to colorful Indian paisley print attire. The pictures in this post are directly taken from her modeling days.
Hila Aharon was Noga’s stylist for the day as she made her way through Tel Aviv in Indian prints, Ethiopian accents, and trendy, modern pieces.
How do you describe your style?
I don’t like definitions, but if you already have that set up so then I guess I would say I dress pretty street and am affected by street style.
I buy clothes in markets shop called “Zoya” in Tel Aviv on Allenby. All the items in the store are 30nis or less. I don’t find it necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on a clothes. It seems to me that it’s better to dress cool without emptying the pocket. Brands just do not talk to me. I prefer the flea market to a brand name.
How does your Ethiopian background affect your style?
My Ethiopian background does not really affect my style of dress so much. What i really love is the jewelry. I love how Ethiopians integrate them into their wardrobe. It’s very authentic. No other girl on the street would have a chance, unless she’s Ethiopian.
I really want to return to Ethiopia, maybe during a trip to Africa, to go back to my roots, see the culture, the African colors…they’re amazing and I’m sure I’d come back with lots of authentic jewelry and accessories. I love the beauty of the style there–they somehow promote the eccentric without being fixed on contemporary fashion or a certain style.
Tell us about the store Nani, where you’ve worked and modeled Indian-inspired attire.
I work in a clothing store called “Nani” – it’s beautiful Indian clothes. The store is very authentic with rich colors and a good energy.
My personal clothing style is not really influenced by the store, but the store has a lot of accessories (bracelets, necklaces, belts, hair pins, etc. …) I really love to integrate them into my style of dress. The store’s unique color gives me inspiration to step hallucinatory colors eventually look like stunning together.
Tell us about your background and what you love about fashion.
I immigrated to Israel at the age of five.
Concerning the fashion industry, I actually care a lot about art direction. I love the fashionable images out there that are broadcast as something more than mere beauty. I love photos that broadcast power, or a story behind the picture.
I dress according to periods in my life…
What’s your take on the fashion in Tel Aviv?
We have great fashion here in Israel, especially in Tel Aviv. It’s fun to walk the street and see how people dress. I just wish that the thoughts that go into people’s heads overseas when they hear about Israel wouldn’t be associated with the word terrorism, war, or occupation. I think we have a lot to offer in the fashion industry in general, We have a great country …. and a great “country style.”
Photos: Noga Tafara