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Whether you are looking to bring home some Israeli threads, itching for some inspiration, or simply want to grab a good book to mark your travels, the area surrounding ISLA has some eclectic options. At We Must Shop (30 Montefiore Street), this minimalist boutique packs a punch with designer labels exclusively imported from Japan and Korea. A bit gallery-like in its approach, they have a curated selection of on-trend styles and small batch accessories from earrings to shoes. Just nearby is Halper’s Books (87 Allenby Street), a beloved second-hand book shop with a wide-ranging offering of genres. Halper’s stocks everything from Manga to Moliere and a massive assortment of Jewish and Israeli authors. This is exactly the kind of dusty, old, alleyway bookstore you want to happen upon during your travels for a satisfying read that makes a lasting mark on your psyche. Up the street from ISLA, is the very fun Toi Lab (31 Montefiore Street), a curious and colorfully-designed space that invites onlookers from the outside, beckoning in cypherpunks, hackers, makers and artists to the space. A gallery for toys and tech, Toi Lab is designed for play and inspiration and regularly offers quirky workshops open to the public. For more shopping, head to Chelsy (22 Mikve Israel Street), a second-hand shop with impeccable taste. The mother-daughters trifecta behind Chelsy travel all over Europe and take local consignment trade-ins to fill this spacious, bi-level shop – overflowing with designer clothing at just-right prices. Set about a 15 minute walk from ISLA, it is surrounded by a quaint few streets with neighboring independent stores, restaurants and coffee shops worth the stop.
Supporting local designers is big in Tel Aviv and Israel as a whole. While designer pieces can be a bit steep in price, they are built to last. ATA (93 Allenby Street) is the very first Israeli company to design and manufacture textiles and clothing locally. It was originally founded close to a century ago, but has most recently been re-opened and re-branded, making a name for itself in modern Israeli fashion, with sustainability and locality as mainstays on its agenda. A true reboot of the ‘worker’s attire’ worn by early settlers to Israel, it showcases a series of collections that combine style and function – from unisex jumpsuits to canvas travel bags.
If you want to don an Israeli-designed and crafted piece of jewelry, Ruby Star (46 Lilienblum Street) is by far the most well-respected place to go for unexpected, tasteful and novel adornments – ranging from sword pendants cast in gold to chunky cuffs-turned-serpents molded from silver. The delicate, yet hard-hitting motifs truly sum up the Tel Avivian aesthetic; non-traditional, in-your-face, and beautiful.