The weather may be slowly getting cooler, but Israelis will always be outside in the hot sun sipping their ice coffee drinks in their short-sleeve shirts and tank tops until they can’t anymore! (Mind you, its already October and it just now started getting cool!)
That’s exactly where British-born Sharon Jerusalmy was sitting with her daughter Rachel when they came up with the bright idea that Israelis need something stylish to avoid the heat!
(As common sense as this idea sounds, not enough people have been making fashionable items that do exactly that!)
The two were sitting in a Tel Aviv coffee shop when a basic urban need revealed itself in a totally chic way: Stay cool, look hot!
“We were fanning ourselves with the menu…not a very elegant way to cool off, we thought—and decided to do something about it,” Sharon writes to me in an email.
The two both loved the hand fan, but could never understand why it wasn’t a part of daily Israeli lives. After all, the climate was always so hot.
“In fact, good quality, fashionable fans just don’t exist in Israel or even in many other countries,” Sharon added.
The solution? A designer collection called Fancy Hand Fans.
Sharon and Rachel have gone above and beyond with their FAN-cy creations! Not only does their designer line reflect Israel’s mod street fashion (with a touch of romance and femininity) but they’ve obviously done their homework—researching the fan, its history, culture, materials, and even language pertaining to fan culture.
The fan was used a form of silent communication in early 19th century Europe and its language carried over to the cherry wood and cotton creations designed by Sharon and Rachel today. They adapted the traditional language to today’s more modern lifestyle and the results (I’m single, kiss me, buy me a drink, etc.) can be found on their official website.
This past summer, they sought out the fashion trends of the season and created fans with an answer to urban chic.
Two and a half months ago they introduced their line of designer hand fans to the Israeli market and the buzz has been amazing. The fans are sold in 30+ fashion boutiques throughout Israel. Boutiques include Delicatassen, Frau Blau, and Cafe Bizarre in Tel Aviv, Sofia and Mela in Jerusalem, In & Out in Ramat Hasharon, and Gothic in Givatayim, among plenty of others!!
Their collection is aptly named Urban Romance. Each design in the line has its own name, as well.
Two of my personal favorites are the Zip It fan (shown above), which is a cool denim print with a picture of a large zipper being unzipped on it and the romantic Gothic Rose fan which is the perfect combination of urbanity and romance the group was going for.
Sharon and her husband have lived in Tel Aviv for the past 7 years and she adores the hustle and bustle of the big city.
“Tel Aviv is young and vibrant and there’s never a dull moment. People ask me who my fashion icon is and I can honestly say it’s the people of Tel Aviv–and my daughter Rachel,” Sharon says.
Sharon says she loves to mix casual and cool with elegant, which is perhaps why Urban Romance works so well for her.
It works well for us, too!
Those outside the US can buy fans from the label’s Facebook store.
You can also contact Fancy Hand Fans via:
Photos: Benny Doutsh, Hair: Amir Kal