Style junkie: Tightening up

Decorated tights are one of this season’s must haves. Zohara is a new local brand of artistic leg wear that is slowly getting its foot in the door.

After seeing Black Swan last night, aside from pledging my everlasting admiration for Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel, my first impulse was to dress up as a ballerina and hit the streets. I knew that wearing a leotard in public was not going to work for me so I moved to the next classic element of any dancer’s wardrobe, tights.
As many ballerinas will report, finding the right pair of tights is both essential and incredibly difficult. The material, the fit and the look of each pair of tights are different, thus leaving a lot of room for error. And while a good pair of leggings can flatter the lines of your gams, there is no discomfort quite like that of a pair of tights that don’t fit right.
For the past 12 months, one brand has stood out in the Israeli leg-wear market.
Its product is both fabulous and flawlessly made. Zohara was launched in Tel Aviv’s trendy Florentin neighborhood in January 2010 and has slowly and surely gotten its Lycra-adorned foot in the door of the fashion world.
Dana Rappaport, director of Zohara, doesn’t come from the fashion world. As she walked around her small but wellorganized showroom on Rehov Yedidia Frenkel, she explained that her arrival on the tights scene was prompted by a desire to find a quality pair of tights in Israeli shops. She searched around and couldn’t find what she was looking for. So she gathered together a small group of artists and asked each one to bring her a number of sketches. She then adjusted the designs to fit the lines of the leg. Thus was born Zohara Art on Tights.
Each artist chosen by Rappaport is given total freedom to draw. “I want everyone to bring something from himor herself,” she said. “Our artists are from all over and they each have their own style. If you look closely at the tights, you can start to see patterns, to decipher which one of them designed each pair.”
At present, six women offer their art on Zohara tights. “I’m always looking for new people to design for us. Some people come to us but I always keep an eye out for new talent,” she said.
In the past year, Rappaport has gained international attention, with distributors in Israel, Europe, Singapore and Canada.
In Israel, Zohara tights can be bought at Amaro, Ronen Chen and Comme Il Faut stores. Its ever-growing gang of customers extends from the tweens into the sixties and seventies. One wall of the storeroom is covered from floor to ceiling in mannequin legs dressed in a sample of each style in the current collection.
Rappaport pointed out a pair that is popular with the young crowd, featuring a cluster of intricate mushrooms sprouting from the ankle and reaching to just below the knee-line. She then moved over to a pair of black opaque tights embossed with delicate black flowers, which are big sellers across the board.
Rappaport, the ultimate consumer of her own brand, was wearing a bright mustard pair of tights at the time. “I’m not into really bright colors,” she said.
“Red is about as crazy as we get, but you never know what the future holds.” This season, Rappaport added plain tights to the Zohara permanent collection.
Each design is sold in both a footless and full version. “There is a lot of controversy between full and footless around here,” she said. “It’s very personal. Last year, I wore only footless, this year I’m into full. For next season, we are thinking about doing a stirrup style.”
The tights are manufactured in the Far East and are on the pricey side. However, Rappaport will vouch for the quality of each pair sold and has yet to receive negative feedback about her product’s fit and feel.
“The idea is to make the tights the special thing about your outfit,” she said.
Zohara Art On Tights is located at Rehov Yedidia Frenkel 23. For more information, visit