Fashion and function: Alef Alef makes stylish suits for modern, everyday “superwomen”

Exclusive interview | Efrat Levin and Ayelet Hermal (Fashion designers and co-owners of “Alef Alef”)

by Rotem Kles |2021年01月18日

Ayelet Hermal and Efrat Levin

Made for women, by women. This is the message at the heart of Israeli clothing brand “Alef Alef”.

The founders, Efrat Levin and Ayelet Hermal, are best friends who have been through it all. 

After working together as waitresses, the duo went on to study at Bezalel College, a top school for design in Israel. Here, they quickly came to realize that they complimented each other professionally as well. Knowing that they had something special, they decided to become business partners and created their brand “Alef Alef” fresh out of school.

This year, Alef Alef celebrates its 14th anniversary. Efrat and Ayelet attribute their success in business to their success in friendship.

“The visual communication we have built is insane. We are always on the same page without even having to talk to each other. We have a sensory connection.”

Suits for superwomen

“The fashion industry sometimes does not refer to women who are supposed to wear the clothes, it can be very beautiful but not practical,” says Efrat.

From the 2018 summer collection.

Alef Alef creates clothes that support the everyday life of modern, independent, working women of Israel – or what Efrat and Ayelet like to call “Superwomen”.

“You could say that our clients are local superwomen, and they want clothes that will serve daily needs. They want to go to work and look classy and then also go pick up the kids from kindergarten and be comfortable. And on the other hand, take the same outfit and in a slightly different twist go with it to the event.”

From the 2018 winter collection.

Another point to consider when creating functional design, says Efrat, is the weather. Israel is hot and humid, so fabric choice is essential.

“Having weather where the temperature is 30 or so degrees and the humidity is 70% humidity is a real challenge. We strive to create clothes with breathable materials and designs that are functional but also look good even on scorching hot days.״

Efrat and Ayelet themselves have experiences with unfunctional or impractical design getting in the way of work. As every day “Superwomen”, they know exactly what working women want, and only hire people with the same understanding for the needs of their customers.

“We work with a team made of only women which formed naturally.  As a team made up of employees that are our target clients, we are able to measure and consult our team members for our designs. Our working environment has a feminine strength that can also relieve the pressure of difficult days, as we relate on a personal level as well, on topics like  children and family care.”

From the 2020 winter collection.

Efrat and Ayelet’s entire business and clothing are meant for working women and moms that are active in all areas of life. This includes taking care of others while also taking care of themselves through sports, self-enrichment and enjoyment of the little things in life like food and music.

On top of making sure that their customers are completely satisfied, Alef Alef also takes amazing care of their staff. Using help from their local area in Israel, Alef Alef has made a working space with ethical working hours and wages.

“We produce locally to support our area. We know that working conditions here have fair working hours and wages. We have a very long relationship with the owners of the sewing shops, I also worked with them 15 years ago. This bond is an extremely important aspect to our brand.”

From the 2019 winter collection.

With a partnership that makes the process both ethical and efficient, Alef Alef has the perfect balance of quality and quantity to be able to directly answer their customer’s needs.

“Our business is all about understanding and relating to the needs of working women, because we ourselves are working women with the same needs.  We want women to be able to be busy and active while feeling beautiful.”

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