Tel Aviv’s mall marvel

Visitors will be pleased to find that the usual crowds and unbearable lines found at Tel Aviv’s other shopping centers rarely occur at the fashion mall.

TLV Fashion Mall (photo credit: JULIE STEIGERWALD)
TLV Fashion Mall
(photo credit: JULIE STEIGERWALD)
The grandeur of world-class luxury shopping malls is finally in fashion in Tel Aviv. The sprawling, 33,000 square meter TLV Fashion Mall in the White City’s flourishing eastern-central region is now entering its third month of operations, with visitor numbers apparently on the rise.
The commercial center situated in the triangle between Hahashmonaim, Carlebach and Menachem Begin streets is the latest trendy fixture in the area by the Gindi Group. The family-led real estate giant is also behind the construction of the nearby Sarona Towers, which overlooks the Sarona compound, a former German Templer colony turned upscale commercial and residential complex.
In the same spirit of urban redevelopment, the TLV Fashion Mall and the yet-to-be-occupied surrounding Gindi TLV residential complex are situated upon the ruins of the city’s wholesale market. The mall’s developers hail it as “the big bang of the Israeli fashion world” and “a first-of-its-kind complex in Israel, located at the very center of a renewing, vibrant, and dynamic urban area.”
As Tel Aviv’s newest mall since the late 1990s, it succeeds in appealing to the latest in contemporary architectural design and consumer goods, with a quality comparable to the upscale shopping centers of Los Angeles and Chicago.
In relation to other Israeli malls, the TLV Fashion Mall reaches a level of sophistication on par with the 20-year-old Ramat Aviv Mall and Eilat’s Ice Mall, which opened in 2012.
With commercial space for some 200 stores housing an array of haute couture, exclusive franchise branches and various popular Israeli and international mainstream labels, the TLV Fashion Mall vows to appeal to the sartorial senses of a broad range of patrons.
International retailers such as H&M, Lacoste, Armani Exchange Mango, Zara, Forever21, Massimo Dutti, Desigual, Bershka, Calvin Klein, Billabong and Stradivarius all have stores in the mall. The complex also houses an array of high-scale cosmetic brands, including the country’s first branch for Estee Lauder’s Smashbox Cosmetics, along with the likes of MAC, Bobbi Brown, Juicy Couture and Dior. Top-of-the-line accessories labels such as Michael Kors and Swarovski have also opened their doors at the grounds.
The premises includes two behemoth commercial floors of wide, gleaming corridors that will leave visitors winded after walking the entire venue. The site boasts a noticeable varnished elegance on par with Western standards. The interior design elicits descriptions such as: slick, shiny, bright and vast. Its sense of glamour is refreshingly different from the city’s commonly drab shopping areas, yet it steers clear of over-the-top pretense and pomp. The place also houses a gym and spa.
“[This mall is] a huge step up from most other malls,” says one visitor, Moyshe. “A lot of other Israeli malls are confusing and hard to navigate, but this one was pretty straightforward.”
As someone who describes himself as a person who doesn’t like to shop, Moyshe said he would likely return to the fashion mall. However, he found the food selection, or lack thereof, to be dismal. With only a handful of restaurants, including McDonalds, Aroma and Cafe Greg, along with a smoothie stand, the mall seems to have plenty of space for more food vendors.
Visitors will be pleased to find that the usual crowds and unbearable lines found at Tel Aviv’s other shopping centers, such as Dizengoff Center and Azrieli Center, rarely occur at the fashion mall. Despite the hype surrounding its opening and prime location among business centers, it maintains an air of a discrete locale tucked away in an unassuming yet up-and-coming neighborhood.