6 best Israeli swimwear brands (that you can buy in the US)

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.

1. Gottex

Gottex Star Leopard Surplice One Piece Swimsuit
Gottex Star Leopard Surplice One Piece Swimsuit, available at https://www.gottex-swimwear.com/gottex-star-leopard-surplice-one-piece-swimsuit-18sl158-002.html

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

Off-the-shoulder floral-print bikini
Dodo Bar Or off-the-shoulder floral-print bikini, available at https://www.net-a-porter.com/us/en/product/1139727/Dodo_Bar_Or/off-the-shoulder-floral-print-bikini

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.

3. Banahot

swim trunksIf 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).

4. BiliBlond

black swimsuit
Side Kim Black swimsuit, available at https://biliblond.com/collections/frontpage/products/side-kim-black-leopard

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.

5. Naya

kai one piece dreamy swimsuit
Kai One Piece – Dreamy, available at https://nayaswimwear.com/product/kai-one-piece-dreamy/

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

Aurora Green breezy swim shorts
Aurora Green Breezy Swim Shorts, available at https://weekendsat.com/products/aurora-green

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.

Susannah Cohen is a fashion journalist, e-commerce editor (specialist subjects: lingerie and diamonds) and Jewish mom. Recently relocated from London to the West Coast, she’s feeling a lot more spiritual these days.