region's heat, Esti crinkles the cotton,
the more natural the better.
Glima also offers another style with
a purely local look, "glimot" or caftans.
They're what got the company going
and, although in the last two years
Glima has given in to haute couture, it's
still marketing its original product. Co-
owner Avi Levy takes credit for Glima's
loose, ethnic ponchos and caftans onto
which he stamps his motifs, folkloric
silkscreened designs inspired by orien-
tal rugs, Yemenite jewelry and Han-
Although some glimot do go abroad,
Avi admits they're not a big selling item.
Esti's designs, however, are. Her long
jackets, shirts, full pants, dresses and
jumpsuits in turquoise, purple, orange
and chartreuse can be bought at
Glima's shop in the Old City and in Tel
Aviv. Her designs have also reached
the U.S. Two year ago, the fashion
house began exporting their goods.
Avi, who recently showed off Glima's
styles in Los Angeles, said reactions
were more than favorable, perhaps
because Glima's line is so well suited
to California's free lifestyle.
With the problems involved in setting
up a foreign office ahead of him, as well
as the demands of the local market
which keep him and his partner on the
job till 11 p.m. each night, Avi is in no
hurry to expand. "Considering we
started from nothing, I'm quite content
with what we have now."
Gottex may be Israel's biggest
fashion house, but there are a number
of up and coming couturiers, including
kibbutz-based industry, in whose
clothes it's also possible to cut quite a
figure. Donna Gay is one.
Like Gottex, it's a family operation.
Owned by the Fadlons, originally of
Rome, three brothers, a sister and a
sister-in-law left one of the world's
fashion capitals to set up shop on
Yavetz Street in Tel Aviv, where its
cortege of clothing houses could well
be called the fashion row of Israel.
Donna Gay's contribution to the Israel
fashion scene is European chic mixed
with the milieu of the Middle East.
The Fadlons make men's, women's
and children's clothes, although their
current collection focuses on a sporty
look for women: simple, long skirts with
short, wide tops and, for the still
popular masculine look, large jackets,
oversized trenchcoats and roomy
pants. As a tribute to both the Israeli
economy and their own vision of style,
the Fadlons buy most of their fabric in
Israel, mixing and matching outfits
made from Israeli cotton, a product
much in demand here and abroad.
Herzl Fadlon, who has run the business
since 1978, insists that "Israeli exports
must be built on local fabrics."
And they're sending their message
abroad. Although until last year their
only foreign buyers were in the Carib-
bean, their success at the 1984 Israel
Fashion Week brought them orders
from Europe, Canada and the United
States. Herzl estimates their export
business for the year at $250,000 and
is counting on more when he goes to
New York and shows Donna Gay's
designs at the Israel Export Institute.
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August 23, 1985 39