Meet Galit Reismann, a Tel Aviv-based fashion entrepreneur and founder of TLVstyle, a unique brand and personalized tour service that takes visitors to the city’s most innovative studios. Offering an inside scoop on the local fashion and design scene, Resimann is of the philosophy that ‘People are looking for experiences, to become insiders. I take them behind the scenes to the working spaces, to see the vibe and meet the people. That is where the magic is happening.’
Galit Reismann is a true tastemaker. From customized tours to curating content for fashion events, she endeavors to be true to the stories and the people behind the fashion. Reismann hosts journalists from all over the world and works to expose the people that deserve attention and awareness. Most of her customers are international and diverse, ranging from the fashionistas to anyone looking for inspiration.
Reismann grew up in the 1970s, when fashion in Israel was nothing to write home about. But she grew up in a style conscious home where she was dressed in the best clothing, which made her aware early in life about how to celebrate your appearance and let your beauty shine from the inside out. After a nine-year stint in the media industry, she decided to call it quits, and naturally gravitated toward fashion.
CoupleOf, the famous Israeli shoe brand, was the first to open the door to the retail business. Shortly after, Reismann landed a job as marketing and sales manager for a distributor selling bags. Much of her work there involved international clients and required travel to New York. Though the job was exciting, after being away from Tel Aviv for long periods of time, she grew homesick. ‘I missed my city,’ she says. ‘I wasn’t connected to the city in any channel.’ It was then that the idea she had dabbled with for a while, to start her own venture, became a reality.
The Culture Trip: You founded TLVstyle with ‘the idea to celebrate life here and to tell the story of Tel Aviv, through the fashion scene, through a different angle, through the faces of Israel.’ How did this idea come about?
Galit Reismann: I was lying on my bed one day. I remember facing the ceiling and I saw the city that I love. I knew if I can’t travel then I will bring the world to me… I’m going to work with the whole world in my hometown. I want to choose with whom to work. Why work with six designers, if I can work with 60 or 600? So I put everything in the ‘magimix’ and that’s how TLVstyle was born – with Tel Aviv, my love of culture, international people, fashion and local design.
What’s the next step? Where do you want to take TLVstyle?
TLVstyle has slowly reshaped itself but the core of my vision is still alive: to create a platform and a connection between the local creative community and the creative energy that we have in Tel Aviv. [I want to connect] the Israeli talent that we have here to the international community, to the international world, and to create engagement.
Which designers do you collaborate with?
I’m trying to focus on young designers. 99% are from the emerging community. I’m trying to be ‘the voice,’ and to empower the young that are looking for exposure and to grow.
What inspires you about these young designers?
Deciding to be here. To be a creator in Israel, one of the only countries in the world where the government doesn’t support such an industry, makes it a struggle. So if they decide this is their inner call, and if they’re talented and they’re doing an amazing, inspiring, international-level job, I will do everything for them. They inspire me with their braveness and risk taking.
We’re living in an area with such a lack of resources of any kind: materials, vendors, partnerships and so on, so to see people work with the lack, how it pushes their boundaries to be more innovative and show that to the world, so if they don’t have the ability now to go to a tradeshow and I can bring the world to their tiny studio in Tel Aviv, I rest my case. I created engagement. I created a dialogue. It fills me with so much joy and happiness.
Who are three designers we should look out for?
Tooshaaya, ALUMA handmade, and Medusa. I love these designers’ spirit, their personality, and their innovative products. But of course these are only a few examples of amazing Israeli designers and there are many others that people should also appreciate.
How would you describe Israel’s fashion and design scene today?
In the last five to seven years, there has been a boom of emerging designers. They are reshaping the industry. If there was boom in the textile industry before, now you see a lot of the young textile designers graduating from Shenkar, opening their own studios, and in a new way they’re creating a kind of a revival. They’re bringing back to the game the role of textile in Israel; reshaping, using new techniques, new material, sophisticated yet simple style, but with an edge.
You’ve said that there’s now an awareness to quality that wasn’t here in the 1980s and 1990s. What has contributed to this change?
In the last decade, the combination of academies like Shenkar and Bezalel, globalization plus the open skies and the media, the Internet and the social media – all of this has led to an open market. We’re now in one small village and that inspires and pushes people in a way.
How do you see the future of Israeli fashion and design?
I think we’re bringing something new to the conversation – to the sphere. Since there’s a big change in the world and we’re heading in a more personal direction, consumers are looking for the individual, the personal voice. Israelis are offering something rare and different. The ones that will be clever to combine their talent with business will succeed.
There are already some great successes here and it’s nice that people recognize that. We’re getting more awareness, it’s reshaping, growing. We don’t have huge fashion houses but you can find high-end fashion here. We can be proud – of this 60-year-old country, this Middle-Eastern country, of the challenges people face in the country – and always look forward.
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