High on one wall of Michal (Micky) Sharoni’s boutique is a framed quote of Valentino Garavani’s that reads, “I know what women want; they want to be beautiful.”
That statement captures the essence of Sharoni’s business, a high-level import and styling service for fashion-savvy women.
At first glance, Sharoni’s store looks like many other small boutiques. Tidy racks bearing dozens of garments line the white walls. An island in the middle of the room offers look books of a handful of European fashion labels, and a small coffee table sits across from a full-length mirror. Everything one would expect from a standard, if not a bit upscale, retail environment.
But Sharoni is not about fast fashion. On the contrary.
The magic of her 30-year business, which has flourished based on word of mouth alone, stems from Sharoni’s personal charm and beliefs. She invests a lot of time and effort in choosing every item that she sells.
She believes in long-lasting clothes, in finding the right fit and style for every part of everyday.
She answers the door of her Ramat Gan boutique wearing a cropped black leather skirt and a black collared blouse and car - digan. A high ponytail allows for a good view of Sharoni’s youthful complexion, ac - cented by bold red lipstick. At 56, Sharoni has the kind of effortless elegance that women of all ages try to attain. Her look, which is playful and chic, is also perfectly age appropriate. Sharoni does not make any attempts to appear younger, thinner or taller than she is. Rather, the way she dress - es displays the creative and positive spirit behind the clothes.
“I import everything that I think a woman should wear. It’s not about trends but rather the quality of the material,” she says. “Every - thing I wear is from my collections.”
Sharoni is about to move what she calls an “old-fashioned cloth - ing salon” from Ramat Gan to Carlebach Street in Tel Aviv, a move that has required a fair amount of preparation and renovation. Before beginning to show me her winter col - lection, Sharoni discusses a few last-minute details with her contractor over the phone.
“This move is a lot of work, but it’s very exciting to be in Tel Aviv,” she says as she hangs up.
She then begins a sweep of the inventory.
From the first hanger Sharoni pulls out, it is clear that the ordinary-looking racks are anything but. Every piece of the hundreds of articles of clothing in the store is soft, beautifully sewn and seems to whisper “ Wear me.”
Along with the opportunity to purchase in Israel garments that are sold in stores such as Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, Sharoni’s boutique is part of her styling services. Visits to Sharoni’s are by appointment only, with no strings at - tached. “There is no obligation to buy anything,” she says.
For the most part, Sharoni’s loyal customers are between 40 and 60 years of age, although she occasionally receives the daughters or younger relatives of her clients.
“My customer spends a minimum of two hours and buys as much or as little as she wants. We look through the collection together and build groups of looks. Often I match new pieces with items that she bought last year or the year before. I believe that everyone needs to have a personal signature.
My customers are smart. I’m not trying to convince them; the clothes do that themselves,” she asserts.
The collection is divided into several sections according to the occasion and the brand (Sharoni imports around 10 brands from Italy, France and Germany). In the ready-to-wear department, she has hand- picked selections that include Italian Aspesi, Not Shy’s cashmere sweaters, Betty Goodman, Compagnia Italiana, office wear by Lola and, coming soon, Petit Robet.
Sharoni prides herself on providing solutions to all moments in life, from the office and dining out to weekends and special occasions.
“The women who come to me are high- level professionals who care about clothes, as well as privacy. They would never go to the mall to buy their clothes. They often have lectures to give, gallery openings or weddings and bar mitzvas that they are either attending or hosting,” she explains.
The special occasions department, which was recently added in answer to an overwhelming demand, has proven the most sensitive and the most rewarding for Sharoni.
“There is something very emotional about special occasions. The moment a woman puts on the right dress, she knows it. Everything about her posture and demeanor changes,” she says.
Sharoni doesn’t stop until the look is perfect, whether that means making alterations or adding accessories. In addition to the dress itself, she offers a variety of shawls and jackets for the more conservative event.
Tucked away in neat drawers is a collection of jewelry to go with the gowns. This season, due to a production problem, Sharoni has been left with no shoes to sell.
“I can’t even talk about it, it’s so upsetting,” she says.
The majority of her formal wear comes from German label Talbot Runhof. Sharoni makes certain to order both short and long silhouettes.
“I call these dresses ‘hi-tech’ because they do so much for the body. All you have to do is put them on, and they look amazing,” she says, holding up a knee-length fuchsia cocktail dress.
Sharoni’s styling service is free of charge; however, the clothes are rather expensive.
Sweaters range from NIS 700 to nearly NIS 2,000, while gowns start at NIS 2,500 and go up to NIS 6,000.
“You know,” says Sharoni in a low voice, “I always feel a bit nervous about the price because I know it’s expensive. But then I get such amazing feedback. The referrals, the calls the day after the big event and the loyalty of these women shows me that I’m doing something right. I believe that I do what I do best, and I leave others to do what they do best, and I really, really love what I do.”■ To schedule an appointment with Micky Sharoni, call 054-453-0361.