Dancers in the opening show for the Barneys New York 2014 holiday windows wore Stern Tights.
The “Women Fashion Power” exhibition last year at the London Design Museum was accompanied by a sale of Stern Tights in the museum shop.
Fashion bloggers love them and customers order them from four continents.
Ironically, the creator of the coveted collections of hand-printed luxury tights from Israel is more likely to wear jeans than hosiery.
“I wasn’t a tights person, but since I started making them I hear there aren’t products like mine out there and people want it,” says textile designer Gal Stern in a Skype interview from her Ramat Gan studio.
Stern Tights began in 2008 as her senior project at the Shenkar School of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan. The top fashion designers judging the projects told Stern her screen-printed legwear was something special. Next thing she knew, a reporter published a picture of one of her creations and she got a call from Israel’s Razili clothing boutique chain. She has been working with Razili ever since.
Within a few months of sending photos of her sheer and opaque stockings to international fashion bloggers and journalists, interest began building. “My tights took on a life of their own,” says Stern.
For a short time she had a showroom in Milan but found it more productive to work with distributors. Today she has distributors in Canada, Japan, Romania and Australia, though most of her sales are made online from her own website and Etsy. She gets many orders from the United States — especially California, New York, Texas and Chicago — and is seeking a US distributor.
Stern says she has virtually no competition in hand-printed high-fashion tights, and that’s why they show up in unexpected places, like the Barney’s show and a Japanese TV commercial.
Married with five- and three-year-old children, Stern says she was screen-printing tights as she went into labor and was handling orders from the hospital after both births. Nevertheless, she works solo and is only now hiring an intern to help with social media.
Stern was one of 24 fresh Israeli designers chosen by the Israeli Ministry of Economy and the Israel Export Institute to display their creations in the first-ever Israel pop-up store in Hong Kong last October.