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Plus-sizes get their own pop-up shop

Three days of fashion for larger women at a one-time event in Tel Aviv

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Gala Rachmilevitch and Michal Shaltiel, a local plus-size model, in some of the designs being sold at the upcoming Plus Size Fashion Weekend (Photo credit: Hadar Yahav)
Gala Rachmilevitch and Michal Shaltiel, a local plus-size model, in some of the designs being sold at the upcoming Plus Size Fashion Weekend (Photo credit: Hadar Yahav)

Move over Bar Refaeli. This weekend is all about plus sizes.

Stylist Gala Rachmilevitch is producing Israel’s first Plus Size Fashion Weekend, three days of a pop-up mall dedicated to everything over size 40 (US size 8), including fashion shows, clothing, workshops and lectures.

It’s an idea whose time had come, said Rachmilevitch.

Rachmilevitch, 29, said she kept hearing from customers that there’s nothing to buy in their size in Israel.

“They want to be trendy and to look good but they could never find anything,” said Rachmilevitch, who is herself plus-sized. “You walk into malls and out of 200 stores, there’s maybe one or two stores where you can find things in your size.”

Gala Rachmilevitch is a plus-size stylist, and has been looking for solutions for her plus-size customers for years (photo credit: Hadar Yahav)
Gala Rachmilevitch is a plus-size stylist, and has been looking for solutions for her plus-size customers for years (photo credit: Hadar Yahav)

After attending Plus Size fashion weekends in London for the last two years — they’re organized worldwide — she decided to produce one in Israel, aiming for sizes 40 through 58.

“It’s not just the bigger sizes, from 46 (US size 14) and up, but sizes 40 and 42 and 44,” she said. “The 40 of today is not the 40 it was at one time. Everything has gotten smaller.”

Clothing chains in Israel tend to forgo large and extra-large sizes sizes, said Rachmilevitch.

“Large customers aren’t the cool customers,” she said. “It’s a crazy industry, and the world of fashion is all about being skinny.”

The idea of the event, she said, is that plus-size women should feel it’s for them.

“I’m plus size, so I understand the need for this,” she said.

The pop-up mall, held in Tel Aviv’s Beit Ma’ariv, will include 1,000 meters dedicated to everything plus-size, from clothing and shoes (through size 43) to accessories and makeup. There will be more than 20 designers and importers of plus-size clothing, including evening gowns, casual wear, lingerie and jewelry designed for larger women.

Entry is free. Prices will range from NIS 30 to NIS 950. Thursday, December 25, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Beit Ma’ariv, 2 Carlebach Street, Tel Aviv.

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