Japanese Boutique in Tel Aviv Offers Fresh of Breath Air

Sahar Shalev
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Original prints by Tsumori Chisato.Credit: Original prints by Tsumori Chisato
Sahar Shalev

A little over six months ago, Racheli Biton, owner of a well-known boutique in Zichron Yaakov, moved her shop to Tel Aviv, next door to the Japanese design store Hibino, at the corner of Yavneh and Ahad Ha’am streets. Since then, in her new shop, Tonari (Japanese for “neighbors”), she’s been offering some items from famous Japanese labels like Yamamoto and Issey Miyake, along with many items from labels that are less familiar to Israeli shoppers, such as Ne-net Tsumori Chisato, Zucca and Vlas Blomme, bringing a breath of fresh air to the local fashion landscape.

The labels at Tonari feature complex fabrics, gorgeous prints and unique cuts from the Land of the Rising Sun. The items for sale are all unique and well-suited to the climate here. Granted, they are quite expensive, but everything is of very high quality.

Biton selected all the items for both men and women, and they compose a collection of a special nature, one that is not so familiar to the Israeli customer. These are clothes with a humorous side to them, less intellectual than brands like Comme des Garcons or even Yamamoto and Issey Miyake. Such are the items by Zucca, with their unique prints, bold colors, fine linen fabrics and clever cuts, some of which can be worn in more ways than one – for example, a beautiful men’s jacket that can be turned inside out.

Other items in the shop have the same lighthearted spirit (though much thought has gone into them). The Ne-net designs have a Japanese pop feel, with illustrated characters or romantic all-over prints on items reminiscent of children’s clothes. 
Tsumori Chisato features original prints, while Vlas Blomme uses fine textiles of the sort only found in Japan.

There are also colorful stockings, shoes, purses and scarves on offer – a wonderful selection for those who want something they won’t find anywhere else, and don’t mind the high prices.

Pants – NIS 1,100-2,200; shirts – NIS 500-1,900; dresses – NIS 1,500-3,300; stockings - NIS 80-220. Tonari, 20 Yavne Street, Tel Aviv