It's impossible to talk about Israel’s fashion history without mentioning Maskit, Israel's first ever fashion house.
Luxury brand Maskit was originally founded in 1954 by Ruth Dyan and became a global phenomenon.  It's designs were sold at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, worn by top celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn and featured on the cover of Vogue. In 1995, after over 40 years of operation, the company went silent.
Today, 97 year-old Ruth Dyan in collaboration with the extremely talented 32 year-old Sharon Tal have brought the Maskit label back to life and are aiming to restore it's legacy.

 Last week I had the honor of meeting Sharon Tal at a private event here in Chicago. The event was held at the Standard Club and was produced by the Women's Division of the Jewish United Fund and the Jewish Women's Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. The event featured the new head designer of the legendary Maskit, Sharon Tal.  It included a presentation by Sharon followed by a highly successful trunk show.

It was clear to me why out of many other attempts to revive Maskit, Ruth Dyan choose Sharon. She is an extraordinary person who became my new favorite icon within the first minute of our conversation.

Sharon graduated from Shenkar, and worked with major fashion houses Lanvin and Alexander McQueen. Fueled by her passion, courage and a strong identification with her roots, Sharon set out to resurrect the Maskit name. As she shared her story with the audience, people were captivated by her mission and her vision. And on top of all this, Sharon is raising 2 little girls!

When the collection was revealed, I was blown away... it was gorgeous!  The embroidery, details, luxurious fabrics and uniqueness are like nothing I have ever seen made in Israel before. It's a ready to wear line with couture materials and techniques. Sharon's collection was inspired by the vision of a multicultural Israel. The masterful techniques which she honed as the head of embroidery at McQueen's house were well showcased as she took Maskit's original designs and fused them with modern elements.

There was a magenta gown that caught my eye right away. A woman can never have too many dresses, right?! The brilliantly designed gown compliments anyone and moves magically on the body. When you come across it, please don't miss out on the opportunity, try it on!

The Egg coat is a timeless piece that every women should own. Classy, smart and effortlessly designed in various fabrics from light silks to wool and cashmere. This piece should definitely be on your next wish list.

Especially living in a winter city, investing in a quality coat is a no brainer.  If you are looking for a chic, timeless and hand-stitched coat that will last forever, look no further and invest in Maskit's Signature Iconic Desert coat.

Sharon is starting a new era not just for Maskit but for the entire fashion industry in Israel. It is a personal satisfaction to watch this unfold. From the very onset, my mission when forming Tel Aviv Couture was to support and expose Israel's incredible fashion talent to the rest of the world. I couldn't be more inspired by Sharon.

How Sharon is handling her new life mission as well as her tips to young Israeli designers are just a few of the questions she answered in our interview below.

When Sharon saw Kate Middleton walking the aisle in a McQueen dress she got depressed... because if Sharon would still be working at Alexander McQueen's house, she would be the one making this dress! That was a turning point for Sharon as she realized she wanted to go back to work.

Sharon Tal is showcasing on Ellen Carmell, Executive Director of Jewish Women's Foundation Maskit's signature silk scarf

Volunteers from the audience modeling iconic Desert and Egg coats

Sharon Tal and Tali Kogan
Always so happy to meet a dear friend, Julie Mesznik, who attended with her mother in-law, Margot Lakonishok

Shopping and chatting with Sharon Tal

Maskit crew: Nir Tal, Sharon's husband and former CEO of Maskit, Sharon Tal and sales associate Adi

To read more about Maskit and view their full collection click here

Your next trip in Israel you must visit Maskit, located inside a restored temple villa in a beautiful, serene area of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. There is nothing else like it.

Special thank you to Women's Divisions of the Jewish United Fund and Jewish Women's foundation for allowing me to attend and cover this event for my blog.

Jonathan Cohon

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