Style Junkie: A ‘funusual’ shopping experience

The annual T: Market fashion happening gives even the weariest shoppers the opportunity to buy some new clothes.

Retro girls 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Retro girls 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There are two kinds of people in this world – people who love shopping for clothes and people who don’t. For the former, a day of shopping is the optimal example of fun. For the rest of the population, the thought of cramming oneself into a tiny fitting room and navigating between lines of pushy customers make the head spin.
And there is nothing worse than being dragged along on a buying spree when you are the second kind of citizen. However, when it comes down to it, clothes are an inescapable necessity. In some way or other, almost everyone has to shop.
For those of us who don’t like to look for a wardrobe in conventional ways, there is the biannual T: Market. The event, as described by its founder and director Yaron Danch, is “funusual.” It’s an out-of-the-ordinary happening that provides even the weariest shoppers with the chance to get their hands on some new clothes without the headaches of malls and websites.
“Our event draws in all kinds of people,” says Danch. “Beyond the quality of the clothes, which is high, the event itself pulls people in. We make sure to create a shopping experience that is different from any other. We have a line of DJs, we have food, and we have drinks. So instead of being bored to death shopping, people come to enjoy themselves and check out local designers.”
For the past eight years, Danch and his partner Sefi Golan have produced the T: Market. Since the beginning, Danch has had his feet firmly planted in Tel Aviv street life, initially as the owner of the very popular Café Barzilay. Beyond his nightly duties at the bar, Danch produced parties and events that attracted Tel Aviv’s youngsters, where he came in contact with several budding designers.
“We started the T: Market from a place of having a lot of friends who made T-shirts and didn’t have a place to sell them,” he explains. They established a twice-a-year cycle that brought in the best of Tel Aviv’s urban outfitters. In the following years, the event became a magnet for all kinds of items for men and women.
“Now it has grown to include accessories and fashion pieces, but the heart is still T-shirts,” he says.
The beauty of Danch and Golan’s business model is the sheer necessity of the product they are offering. Given Israel’s warm climate, an essential in any closet is a good T-shirt.
“Because of the short winter, people don’t want to invest their money in warm clothes. But people still want to feel that they have variety in their wardrobe,” says Danch, explaining that this is where the T: Market fits in.
Both their Rosh Hashana and Passover events boast the best of local and imported designs.
“There is a lot of play with fabrics, prints and colors in our event. And, most important, there is a sense of humor,” he says.
This edition of the T: Market will feature more than 70 labels. The booths will have a number of old favorites, as well as new labels on the scene. The T: Market will welcome back Sugar Daddy, Plastic Doll and Plasma. In addition, Danch is particularly excited to see the stands of pioneer labels Hand to Hand, Haifa-based Ghostown and StarDust.
Hand-to-Hand was formed by two French immigrants whose specialty is graphic design.
“Sebastian and Greg are all about illustration. They produced a few posters for some parties we threw a while back,” says Danch. In fact, this endeavor marks their first jaunt into the fashion world, a development that was inspired and commissioned by the T: Market. “I asked them to put their illustrations into some T-shirts, and they jumped at the opportunity. Their label is really cool,” says Danch.
Another new label at the T: Market is StarDust by Jasmin Negrin, daughter of famed designer Michal Negrin. Star- Dust is perhaps the poppier, girlier, teenier answer to her mother’s empire of bejeweled and bedazzled goods. Jasmin Negrin’s first project on her own is full of bold colors and glitter and is sure to evoke the princess hiding in every woman.
Danch is also the owner of the popular Lima Lima bar and the producer of three ongoing fashion events. Inspired by the success of the T: Market, he initiated the Dress Code, which invites 40 upscale local designers to showcase their most recent lines. He also curates the Vintage Sale, which provides a platform for 20 second-hand dealers and is hosted at Lima Lima.
His connection with nightlife has been an integral element in the ongoing success of the T: Market. “Our challenge is to keep the market connected to young people and to the street. If you don’t keep the level of these kinds of events high, they die out very naturally. I feel we have succeeded when I can see the effects of our event in the current street wear in the city.”
Entrance to the T: Market is NIS 10. The rest is up to the shopper. The T: Market will take place on April 12-14 at The Zone on 13 Harechev Street, Tel Aviv.