We got to know Telavivie founder and chief editor Talia Ben-Tal Schnitke, chatting all things fashion, beauty and family and how she personally hand-picks every item she adds to the Telavivie collection.
Telavivie is more than just an online shopping website, it is the first of its kind, dedicated to the attractive fashion, taste and style of the beautiful Tel-Aviv, Israel. The website is focused on showcasing the best talents in fashion that Tel-Aviv has to offer.
How did Telavivie come to life and what is it all about?
Telavivie is a celebration of the unique and colorful city of Tel Aviv. We sell the best designer clothing that the city offers, along with intimate insights of the city. Why specifically Tel Aviv? Well, first and foremost simply because I have been living and working in this city for the last 52 years, during which I established strong professional ties within its vibrant fashion scene.
To track down how Telavivie came to be, it is essential to reflect on some less than pleasant events in my past. In 2009, my beloved father Jacob Schnitkes died of Alzheimer’s. Being a child, I was always afraid of his death. I never believed that when the time came I would be the one to accompany him in his last days. When it happened, it taught me a great deal about escorting the dead. That experience, along with others, made me want to open my own hospice alongside the shore in Tel-Aviv. One in which a window could be open with a view to the sea.
For me, the obvious solution to the creation of such a hospice was clear – fashion. For the last thirty years’ fashion and design have been both my passion and my meal ticket, so of course it was going to be the foundation of my future project. It may sound odd to tie fashion and death so closely. And even though both reflects the fragility of time and the transformation of form, it seems fundamentally contradictory: In Western perception, unfortunately, death still marks the opposite end of birth; Fashion, however, is a celebration of vitality, and of being born again within your skin. But at the end of the day isn’t it all about aesthetics – to live and die with dignity? For that reason, Telavivie also works in association with the non-profit- organization ‘Forget Me Not’, for the establishment of a hospice in memory of the late Jacob Schnitkes.
We see you’re friends with Ron Arad, how is he associated with Telavivie?
Ron Arad is certainly a friend of Telavivie. He was born and raised in Tel-Aviv, and recently exhibited in the city, since we are a website focusing fashion and design from Tel-Aviv, it was only natural for us to collaborate with him. Telavivie will be selling the glasses he designed very soon.
Even though TLV fashion might be relatively young, its aesthetics is pretty distinctive. One of its indicative characteristics is an eclecticism of influences, wrapped in cheeky lightness but also in a monochromatic palette, perhaps as evidence of the accelerated urban development Tel Aviv has undergone over the past two decades.
Another one would be a secular approach to elegance and a certain tendency towards practicality both are in charge for supporting the relaxed beauty TLV fashion designers produces so well. Very informal and light, due to the mostly sunny weather of course, but not only.
There’s a sense of warmness and direct attitude to the people in TLV and that is also shown in the clothes. TLV fashion might be eclectic and varied with its aesthetic influences – be it Mediterranean, Asian or European. However, there’s a certain crisp and easy-going flair to most of it. Most of the TLV clothes are also easy to wear. Its attitude is what we call a no-fuss fun clothes, which could be worn day and night. Usually slightly athletic, TLV fashion is very practical.
How do you choose designers for the website?
The process of choosing the designers for the site is quite intuitive. When I see the clothing, am I inspired? I need to feel that sort of excitement, a kind of a crush, and a want to immediately to have that outfit in my closet. I need to see, both in my eyes and in my mind, that designer’s personal statement shining through the design.
What is your personal favorite style or piece of the season?
In my eyes, trends are rules that are meant to be broken. I believe that the best trend is the kind you feel comfortable in, and which accentuates whom you are. No one else in the fashion world can dictate who you should be, and thus there is no point in trying. Don’t get me wrong; I do enjoy playing with fashion and enjoying some trends that appeal to me. However, a fashion victim is a consequence of unauthenticity, and adapting yourself to the trend, instead of the other way around.
So, if I must choose what I see as the best trend this coming fall, I want to present it from two different angles. I like the style of the 80’s with its street vibe overalls, and its vibrant neon colors. First example for that is Roni Bar’s Nylon Jumpsuit. Personally, I love jumpsuits. They are a one-piece solution for style. Also, if we take it more towards the direction of evening wear, Shahar Avnet’s dresses are the best neon colored dress you could own.
How do you define beauty?
Despite being a person who is truly connected to aesthetics, in its many forms, I believe beauty comes from the inside. I know without any doubt that true beauty is the connection between the outside and the inside. Only self-embracing and awareness will lead you towards making the best fashion and beauty choices for yourself. It is of course a cliché, but a very true one, that the person makes the garment, and not the other way around.
We loved getting to know Talia Ben-Tal Schnitke! You can find the whole Telavivie collection at Telavivie.com and you can follow them on Instagram @Telaviviefashion.