Along with its reputation as one of the world’s best beach destinations, Israel has become known for its eye-catching swimwear design. Whether for lounging seaside in Tel Aviv or scuba-diving in Eilat, it seems there is no swim trend Israeli designers can’t pull off.
Perhaps most well-known in the Israeli swimwear world is Gottex, which has been producing swimsuits since 1949, but there are many emerging brands that are filling the market with beautiful swimwear and gaining fans on all sides of the oceans.
On Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, where shoppers from Israel and abroad go to discover new brands and boutiques, up-and-coming swimwear designers have opened up shop including Beacha, BiliBlond and Zohara Tights, among others. All are designed by women, for women.
“I build my bathing suits on real women’s’ body structures. I try them on friends of mine with different body types in order to get the best design that will flatter as many girls as possible,” Beacha founder Irit Groomi told ISRAEL21c.
When it comes to swimsuits for men, Weekends At, a popular new brand by Israeli Olympic swimmer Guy Barnea, designs fashionable men’s swimwear with the perfect fit in mind.
Here we explore some of the top emerging swimwear brands in Israel.
It’s easy to see the Mediterranean inspiration behind the swimsuit designs of Tel Aviv native Hila Weinberg at BiliBlond. Weinberg creates luxury swimwear that sculpts and flatters the body, taking cues from Israel’s mixture of ethnicities, laidback beach culture and sunny climate. The collection includes bikinis and one-pieces with thoughtful details like handmade trimming and colorful prints. There are also several reversible styles, which allow two different looks in one suit, and a small collection for kids.
Inspired by the world of dance and the simple lines of a leotard, Tutu Boutique offers solid colored swimsuits with a timeless fit and 1960s twist. Founded by Tel Aviv-based designer Nofar Dokovny, whose background is in ballet, painting and photography, the swimwear collection includes figure-friendly cuts for diverse body types.
One-piece suits with piping detail and several strap styles come in a range of colors that walk the line between classic and uncommon. The bikinis feature simple tops, some with subtle geometric details, paired with retro-inspired high-waisted bottoms.
The idea for Beacha came from designer and founder Irit Groomi’s own desire to feel comfortable, secure and feminine in a swimsuit. Most styles are one-piece and can be paired with a tie-on swimsuit belt, which wraps around the waist to flatter the body and highlight the wearer’s silhouette. The color palette of muted pastels mixed with gray and jewel tones makes the collection stand out in a market often characterized by bright, tropical prints.
You may recognize BANANHOT founders Neta Alchamister and Noa Beny, Israeli models with impressive Instagram followings (Alchamister is the #3 most followed Israeli on Instagram behind Gal Gadot and Bar Refaeli).
Alchamister and Beny launched the line in 2014 after completing their army service and quickly developed a following of women all over the world. BANANHOT swimsuits are designed and manufactured in Israel, with several styles including bikini, one-piece, and men’s.
Weekends At makes stylish yet playful swimsuits for men. The line was founded in 2017 by Olympic swimmer Guy Barnea, who represented Israel in the 2008 Olympics, along with designer and illustrator Ron Nadel and web designer Dov Adar.
With a growing selection of colorful prints, Weekends At swim shorts are available in three styles – Breezy (fitted with a drawstring), Breezier (a longer version of Breezy) and Tailored. The brand’s latest collection is titled The First Time and features patterns inspired by the Stone Age, such as witty takes on the first flame, hunting and gathering, the woolly mammoth and ancient fishing.
Best known for its line of quirky tights launched in 2010, Zohara introduced swimwear to its offerings last year. The summer 2018 collection includes a range of retro and surf-inspired silhouettes, prints and styles, from classic stripes to floral and geometric patterns. Zohara swimsuits are manufactured in Portugal from fine Italian fabrics.
Naya Swimwear founder Netta Ziv began designing her own line while studying textile printmaking at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. She launched the brand upon graduation in 2016.
Naya Swimwear’s one-of-a-kind printed bathing suits in cheeky styles and cuts are based on Ziv’s own hand-drawn and painted designs, inspired by the rich colors of nature and her travels from Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean Sea to the beaches of Hawaii, the surf of Australia, and the ashrams of India. The vibrantly patterned swimsuits are made with high-quality Italian Lyrica and can be specially fit for plus sizes.
Lilo Swim’s sophisticated swimsuit designs are worn by Israeli it-girls including model Coral Simanovich, MasterChef judge and TV personality Michal Ansky and blogger Dana Zarmon, among others. It’s no surprise that you can see Lilo tagged all over Instagram, as the founders are fashion bloggers and social-media influencers Lee and Loren Alon.
The sister design duo launched the brand in 2016, producing fashionable swimwear and accessories for their thousands of followers. The collection, which ships worldwide, includes one-pieces with plunging necklines and bikinis with belted details.