A city that lives its life on the beach, Tel Aviv knows a thing or two about swimwear — and Israeli brands are sizzling right now. Hotel pool or sandy cove, wherever you’re planning to spend the summer, here’s how to add some Tel Aviv beach culture to your look.
Established in 1956, iconic Israeli swimwear brand Gottex is all about unashamed glamour: There’s truly nothing better for posing on a sun lounger while you enjoy a high-end cruise of the Mediterranean. Sure, you can find a minimalist surplice bikini top and foldover bottom…but the Couture collection is where Gottex really shines. Think dramatic caped one-pieces, velvet and mesh creations, and, in homage to Athena, the goddess of war, this gold macrame monokini.
2. Dodo Bar Or
Former actress Dodo (Dorit) Bar Or turned to fashion design in 2014 — and international jetsetters have been sunning themselves in her Middle East-flavored swimwear and signature kaftans ever since. In cotton, or adorned with intricate embroidery, Dodo Bar Or’s pieces are made for upscale-boho vacations. You can find her current collection, printed with 70s florals, at stockists including Net-a-Porter; the Vyan cotton voile midi is a standout.
If the name sounds familiar, you might have seen the press coverage around Tel Aviv Fashion Week. Eurovision winner Netta walked the runway for Banahot in March, striking a blow for inclusivity. Founded by Israeli models Noa Beny and Neta Alchamister, who grew up wearing bikinis on the beaches of Tel Aviv and Eilat, Banahot swimwear is fun and fashion-forward. This season’s collection is packed with cheeky high-leg styles, like this cut-out one-piece in trend-led canary yellow (and there are some cute printed shorts for men, too).
Also inspired by those Mediterranean beaches, but with a more sophisticated, grown-up sensibility, is BiliBlond. Designed by Tel Aviv native Hila Weinberg, BiliBlond is building a reputation among the cool girls for its figure-flattering cuts and fabrics, and luxe detailing (check out this season’s ladder trims, gold prints and square neck bikinis). You can order from the brand’s website for international shipping, or at Coconautical.
If you like your swimwear festooned with lush florals, grapefruit and exotic birds, then Naya is for you. The brand’s appeal lies in its original, hand-drawn prints, created by its founder Netta, and you can find them on styles ranging from the classic (like this fruity one-piece) to the decidedly skimpy (the cheeky Brazilian bikini bottom). Naya has two outlets in the US, and ships internationally from the website.
6. Weekends At
What do Olympic swimmers do when they retire? In Guy Barnea’s case, they go on to found fun swimwear brands like Weekends At. The brand’s “uncommon beachwear essentials” are for guys who take the weekend seriously. So far, its prints have been inspired by the SubEquator, the Stone Age and the speed of light. The pick of the collection, though, has to be the tailored swim shorts with a Tel Aviv Bauhaus-inspired print to celebrate this ultimate beach city.