On the Moveby Tallie Lieberman | 07.12.16
Somewhere south of Tel Aviv’s bustling Carmel Market and quaint Yemeni Quarter, a labyrinth of zigzagging alleyways leads to Neve Tzedek, a picturesque artists’ colony dotted with boutiques, galleries and studios and framed by overgrown, leafy ficus trees. A languid stroll down rustic Shabazi Street, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, inevitably leads to Mizo—a fashion landmark and the brainchild of local designer Inbal Ben-Zaken.
“You could say Mizo was born on the move,” said Ben-Zaken, a former dancer and choreographer who launched the sharp minimalist line in 2003. “Mizo beckons those with an eye for taste and quality—and not necessarily for trends.”
Signifying “flow” and “fluidity” in Japanese, Mizo draws enormous inspiration from the island nation where the designer spent time leading creative dance workshops. While it has transformed over the years from a local style ingénue to a resilient force to be reckoned with in the world of Israeli fashion, Mizo has maintained a stoic dedication to quality, comfort and attention to detail.
“I’ve been inspired by three worlds: the aesthetics of Zen, from the time I spent in Japan; urban fashion—contemporary street style; and the world of dance and stage,” said Ben-Zaken. “My creative process is very similar to my choreography—I spread out my fabrics in my studio and let my scissors play.”
The result is Mizo: light fabrics; rich textures; monochromatic but with splashes of vibrant color; a look that envelops the body without restricting it, and clean lines that remarkably emphasize the feminine physique.
Ben-Zaken’s new winter line—Diagonal—pays homage to geometric shapes. Asymmetric cuts, triangular necklines, sharp button patterns and uniform pleats reflect a common infatuation with sharp shapes.
“Every Mizo garment is designed and sewn in Israel,” said Ben-Zaken, who also launched the Capsule menswear line this winter. “Every piece we create has the potential to stand alone – to be a classic. We are in the business of creating classics—not following trends.”
Photo credit: Roni Cnaani