It’s a small market in these parts, which is why it’s always something of a thrill to find that the global village has discovered a particular sabra something that’s already become de rigeur, or at least well-known, in the land.
Jeweler and handbag designer Anat Gelbard has been creating her opulent, Romanesque, 22-carat gold jewelry for the last 25 years. But it took her entry into the glam world of crocodile, ostrich leather and felted wool handbags — which she decorates with silver studs, Swarovski crystals, and semi-precious beads — for Vogue Italy to sit up and take notice. In its latest issue, it hails shoulder, clutch and handbags by Gelbard that offer “an allure of wildness” with their use of “exotic hides.”
“I like anything raw and authentic,” said Gelbard, “particularly materials that feel historic.”
Gelbard was discovered by the fashion magazine during the recent Accessories Week in Paris, where people were impressed by her handiwork, she said, given that she creates all her jewelry and bags by hand. She sells in Israel, but the bags — which range from $200 to $1,000 for the crocodile variety — tend to sell best abroad, particularly in select stores in New York, Aspen, Texas, Switzerland, Italy, France and Germany.
Meanwhile, on another continent, US “The Voice” mentor Christina Aguilera recently made a big show of using hand fans — the handmade, wood-and-cotton version created by Sharon Jerushalmy of Tel Aviv’s Fancy Hand Fans.
“Christina Aguilera chose Israeli-designed hand fans to complete her total look on ‘The Voice,’” said Jerushalmy. “It’s pretty thrilling.”
Fancy Hand Fans were created by Jerushalmy and her mother. They were sitting in a Tel Aviv coffee shop on a particularly warm summer day, and came up with the idea of reviving the hand fan as an everyday fashion accessory.
Sold on design site Etsy.com, Jerushalmy said she assumed Aguilera’s stylist found the fans online.