Israeli Fashion Designer to Watch | Gal Halfonairport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

Israeli Fashion Designer to Watch | Gal Halfon

Israeli Fashion Designer to Watch | Gal Halfon
Meet the young and talented Gal Halfon. In 2011, this Tel Aviv-based designer founded her namesake brand. Ever since, her collections have been continuously evolving. The clothes are a fundamental mix of comfort and style, and Gal herself calls them ‘happy clothes’. You can shop for the designs in over 20 stores around Israel. Gal also has her own trendy Sarona address, a must-shop destination in Tel Aviv.
Gal Halfon’s Boutique Courtesy of Gal Halfon

The Culture Trip: Gal, when did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer and boutique owner?

Gal Halfon: I didn’t really know I wanted to be a fashion designer at first, but since a very young age, I found myself in design and creative activities. After finishing my army service, I decided to apply for either Bezalel or Shenkar, and decided on Shenkar because I love Tel Aviv.

Being a boutique owner was one of the steps in the business plan I made early on when starting my brand – having a your own store allows you to let the customers in so they can see the whole vision in one place, and receive the full experience.

Now, take us through a day in the life of Gal Halfon.

It’s hard to describe a day because my workdays are so dynamic and different. It starts with a list of tasks each Sunday, and then my goal is to check them all off by the end of the week.

Here’s an outline of a typical day for me:

It starts with Pilates class before I’m fully awake (otherwise it won’t happen) followed by the morning coffee and some quiet thinking time. Afterwards, there’s an ‘out-of-the-studio’ block that takes at least a few hours; this includes going to meetings with the pattern makers or with the production crew at factories in addition to testing samples.

Afterwards, I get back to the studio, have some lunch, and start my stock-round; making sure that all the stores which hold my line have inventory, receiving inventory, checking for damages, etc. Typically, I work at the studio with my team – but often enough, when I need to focus, I’ll leave them to work there and go to a quiet coffee house with my laptop. At least once a day I go to my boutique in Sarona and I make sure everything is running smoothly. Suddenly it’s already the evening, and I head home and have dinner with my fiancé.

You’ve just completed your Spring 2015 collection. Tell us more about it!

We’re just about to launch the new spring-summer collection and I’m so excited about it! I was deeply inspired by Magritte (see my blog post) and surrealism, and then I viewed the film Interstellar by Christopher Nolan and I really connected to the notion that sometimes, what you see isn’t what you get. It’s all about perception and point of view.

In more down to earth fashion terms, the collection has a defined palette of denim, cool gray, peach, white and some yellow and black. These are the same colors you’ll see repeating in my collections, but this time with a colder yet more summery twist. We have lots of denim, lots of washes, cloud patterns, and white embroidery work that reminds me of the film Heidi by Allan Dwan.

You’ll see my take on some of this season’s trends like the 1970s, athleisure/sportswear, florals, and black and white. There’s a lot of play with the silhouettes and cuts – maxi dresses, playing with the transparency of fabric and layers, asymmetry, cutouts, etc.

The surrealism I mentioned before is most noticeable in the pairings between different items – like a very naive Heidi -inspired embroidered piece with something highly geometric, urban, and sophisticated.

We shot our spring-summer catalog in the Dead Sea; the funny thing is I’m not really in love with the Dead Sea as I find it really hard to breath there… But when you drive down, there comes a point when the salt and the sea and the sand all become blurry and you’re not sure which one is which. That connected to the surrealism that inspired this collection and that’s why we made the road trip there.

Gal Halfon Spring/Summer 2015 Courtesy of Gal Halfon

What is your all-time favorite design?

I really can’t choose as it changes all the time! Right now I’m wearing the Mor shirt from the summer collection. I love it because it looks pretty much like a regular tee shirt, but when you take a closer look (or touch it) you realize it’s made from beautiful linen, with a cool geometric cut-out detail on the back.

All of your garments are produced here, in Israel. How do your buyers react to this?

It really depends. Some people only care about the bottom line — the price. However I find that people from abroad or people with a great eye for detail or design appreciate the fact that having everything produced locally means exquisite attention to detail and quality (since we have more control every step of the process). Also, it’s much more ecological and it creates jobs.

Gal Halfon Spring/Summer 2015 Courtesy of Gal Halfon

Where do you go to get inspired?

I’m one of those weird people who get inspired anywhere. It’s like in the film Begin Again by John Carney, when Mark Ruffalo’s character listens to Keira Knightly’s character’s song and suddenly life is all clear to him. Having said that, there are three places in Israel that I just love (among many others) and find inspiring:

Amphorae Winery in Kerem Maharal is magical and reminds me of Italy.

Bucke Café is my neighborhood hangout in Tel Aviv. Everything there is delicious and there are always fun people, and amazing conversations starting between total strangers.

Machne Yehuda Market in Jerusalem is just the best. The spices, the aroma, the whole thing.

Any advice for aspiring fashion designers out there?

THE most important thing is to listen to your heart and follow your dreams. That being said, be ready for lots of work and for compromise. On the way to realizing your big dream, you’ll need to give up many smaller, less important dreams – and that’s okay.

Shop Gal Halfon at http://shop.galhalfon.com/ and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

By Arden Rubens

Arden Rubens is a Miami-native fashion blogger, digital marketer, foodie, dreamer, traveler and coffee lover. Currently living in Tel Aviv, where she can often be found enjoying the city’s multi-faceted design, vibrant culture and famed eateries. Combining this with her passion for writing, she aims to give you the lowdown on what’s hot within Israel’s trendiest city. Follow her blog, and find her on Twitter and Instagram.