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Conceived in 1954 by Ruth Dayan, Maskit made contemporary luxury clothing utilizing traditional embroidery techniques from Hungarian, Yemenite, Bulgarian, Bedouin, Palestinian, Druze, Lebanese and Jewish artisans.
The resulting works of art created more than jobs for immigrants; a brand was born. Maskit wasn’t just any brand, though: its designs were so luxurious and coveted that they were treasured by leading ladies (Audrey Hepburn was just one star who wore its famous Desert Coat) and their fashion-forward followers alike. Collaborations with Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Givenchy followed, as did a flagship store in New York City.
Honoring and building upon such a legacy takes talent and a respect for heritage. Fortunately, head designer Sharon Tal has both in spades. Formerly head of embroidery at Alexander McQueen, she also interned under Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. Her appreciation for tradition is matched only by her attention to detail and willingness to reinvent.
Since taking over the helm in 2014, with blessing and input from Ms. Dayan, Sharon and Maskit have launched several successful collections and shown internationally. In the process, they have managed to honor and innovate, revitalizing a brand while earning plaudits for their striking designs.
They speak their own language, are instantly recognizable, and reflect their origins more clearly than any passport stamp.
The Mediterranean is no different, and the accent is equally distinctive, from its choice of materials to its fonts of inspiration.
The climate and history of Jaffa can be felt in all of Maskit’s creations, as can the 72 cultures that comprise it and allow it to flourish.
It’s desert chic: the fabrics are soft and natural; the silhouettes, full; the colors, deep and exotic.
The craftsmanship evokes an ancient sensibility with a slight mingling of the new and unexpected woven in.
There are layers — of history and heritage — buried within the very warp and weft of the collections. If it’s an exaggeration to say that the brand has as much history as the land, it’s a slight one: Maskit boasts a story equal parts charity and charm.
Upon returning from positions in Paris, under Alber Elbaz at Lanvin and in London, as the head of embroidery at Alexander McQueen, Shenkar School of Design honors graduate Sharon Tal and her life partner, Nir Tal, collaborated with Ruth Dayan, and Lynn and Stef Wertheimer to relaunch the brand in 2013.