Modest Yet Stylish: The Top Orthodox Israeli Fashion Designers

Modest Yet Stylish: The Top Orthodox Israeli Fashion Designers
Modesty is a key virtue in many religions and Judaism is no exception. When it comes to women’s clothing, certain rules need to be followed: the notion of tzniyut, or humility, requires women to cover their elbows, collarbones and knees. Married women are obliged to conceal their hair with the help of a wig or headscarf. Since only men can wear trousers, it may seem that clothing options for women are limited, however, modesty doesn’t always equate to boring. And many young orthodox fashionistas have proven just that. Borrowing the latest trends from prêt-à-porter runways and adapting them to the Halacha demands, these are the top designers reclaiming modest fashion in Israel.
Courtesy of Orit Aviezer

Orit Aviezer

Headscarves and wigs are fine, but Orit Aviezer encourages ladies to try out hats! Orit studied millinery in Toronto and then NYC, today her passion for hats has finally come to fruition. She mixes tradition with modernity, creating truly unique pieces. Some of the hats are vintage and pastel, others are provocative and patterned; Orit’s hats are the perfect statement accessory to any outfit. Designing hats is an incredibly time-consuming process, and each item needs to be meticulously crafted and embroidered by hand. Orit uses the finest materials from abroad and devotes her entire self to this complicated art form. No wonder her recent collection was chosen to be displayed at the Henri Bendel store on 5th Ave, Manhattan. If you cherish elegance and femininity, take a look at Orit Aviezer’s versatile designs.

Courtesy of Shirel Avrahami

Shirel Avrahami

After several disappointing attempts to find suitable clothes for herself, Shirel Avrahami decided to create her own clothing line. Raised with a strong religious background, she was determined to break stereotypes and prove that modesty can be fashionable too. Her online shop showcases classy shirts, cute blouses, as well as voluminous skirts and loose dresses. Shirel’s style is edgy and bold, though distinctly dignified. She realizes how challenging it is for orthodox woman to find a personal touch in their clothing. Therefore, Avrahami arranges styling sessions and chooses several outfits that compliment her clients’ individual styles. With a blog viewed by thousands, Shirel is a true source of inspiration. The way she incorporates fashion into the everyday life of pious ladies is an impressive breakthrough! Visit her website and fall in love with her positive vibes.

Courtesy of Bracha Ben Haim

Braha Ben Haim

For those that favor more reserved chic designs, Braha Ben Haim is the ideal brand. At only 18, Bracha took the Haredi fashion world by storm. She started sewing, while still at school, and by the time she had finished her ultra-orthodox seminary in Jerusalem, her hobby transformed into a successful business. As the owner of a sewing workshop, Braha primarily focuses on creating sketches, while experienced seamstresses collaborate on the sewing. Braha’s inspiration is drawn from Valentino, Dolce and Gabbana and Chanel, to name a few. Similar conservative dresses, elegant skirts and chiffon blouses are easy to spot in Bracha’s collections. Notably, she boasts both religious and secular customers. Ben Haim’s biggest advantage is the first-hand knowledge of modest girls’ preferences. Attempting to combine classic designs and light fabrics, she manages to create fabulous clothes. Discover her newest designs here.

Courtesy of Hila Yair

Hila Yair

Can bohemian street style be combined with the Halachic dogmas? The talented fashion guru Hila Yair seems to think so. Having traveled across continents, Hila returned home to share her impressions with a wide audience. Yair’s brand Sayla is all about diversity and comfort. It seems that each item reflects the designer’s many adventures abroad. A heavily embroidered shirt that is reminiscent of India, a flamboyant flowing dress alludes to the atmosphere in Jamaica, whereas her casual jersey jacket hints at the symbols of the American Dream. All in all, Hila’s designs celebrate the spirit of freedom and look best on girls with moderate religious restrictions. If you are willing to add a hip twist to your style, choose Sayla. Pair a flowery skirt with a bright tee and top it off with a glorious turban – and you are good to go! Go to Hila Yair’s official website to see the variety of unique designs.

Courtesy of Dorit Shushan

Dorit Shushan

To sum up the beauties of modest fashion, let’s pay tribute to headscarves. In fact, they are often interpreted as symbols of Jewish women. Inspired by origami, the handcraft that originates from Japan, Dorit Shushan started her Ectasia Art brand. Dorit uses origami patterns as a base for her designs. She spends a long time mixing patterns and fabrics, so that her clients will know how to tie a headscarf in a quick and easy manner. Dorit’s first and foremost desire is to make items that are comfortable to wear in hectic, everyday life. Her choice of colors and patterns is driven by popular demand. This season, pastel natural shades are in the limelight, although Dorit’s imagination has no borders. She continues to experiment with designs and come up with most extraordinary ways of tying a head-wrapping knot. Check out how she styles her turbans here!

By Lucy Oleynik

Lucy Oleynik is a graduate of Middle Eastern Studies who teaches Arabic and Hebrew to beginners. She is a polyglot with a passion for Middle Eastern music, fashion and cuisine. You can check out her blog.