<Meet My Dealers> Zohar from RakShniya Vintage
Through the blog, I’ve noticed that vintage is really popular worldwide. While we mostly see vintage in the US and UK, nowadays shops are popping up everywhere from every corner of the world. While some might think this means more competition, I actually think this is great - it means receiving invaluable education about different cultures and history from various backgrounds!
When RakShniya Vintage showed up on my radar, I was surprised to find out that it’s actually Israel-based. I have a friend who’s working in Israel and he’s always updated me of the political situation there. While this post isn’t about politics, it is worth mentioning that the owner Zohar must experience different challenges in selling vintage. Not to mention that the vintage sourcing must be pretty interesting. Without further ado, scroll down and enjoy my conversation with the lovely Zohar.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Zohar Avron and I live in the beach city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Zohar means glamour or radiance in Hebrew. I’m an aspiring actress, and I also run an online vintage shop called RakShniya Vintage. I love winter and tea, I never have a steady schedule and I tend to “adopt” random animals as my pets, even if it’s from afar. For instance: The praying mantis in my plant (Alexander), the woodpecker in my building’s back yard (Hezi) and a night heron at the local pond (Tzvia).
How did you get into vintage?
I was raised believing items with a history are more valuable, whether a hand-me-down shirt or a piece of furniture from my grandparents and so I was always drawn to the unique, the one-of-a-kind. My mother owns one of the most successful and established second-hand stores in Israel for about a decade now and so second-hand, vintage and antique clothing and objects are my bread and butter. At first I started collecting vintage clothing and accessories because they fit my off-beat sense of style and most importantly my body type but after a while I noticed I was collecting more than I used and so I decided to start selling
Who is your favorite leading lady?
I think it might be Cate Blanchette. She is such a chameleon (and every single hair color looks good on her!), she acts in both film and the theatre and I think she has this timeless look and elegance about her. I can only hope to be as good as her one day.
Which celebrity (if any) inspire your style?
Even though I watch Fashion Police and am interested in what celebs are wearing to award shows and the such I find more inspiration in “normal people”. If you take a look at my pinterest fashion board you’ll see most outfits I like were of street shots. In general I’m a big fan of textures, pattern and layers.
Does your partner/do your friends wear vintage too?
My BF is a firm believer in second-hand and he highly appreciates my taste in vintage but he’s very low key and doesn’t give his clothes much importance, I’m working on it though ;) As for my friends, most like second-hand, some dabble with vintage but none are avid vintage lovers, though they all enjoy experiencing vintage through me or so they say.
Tell us about the shop
As I’ve mentioned I’ve been collecting vintage all my life. RakShniya Vintage is my own personal homage to beautiful hand selected garments and accessories from the 30s to the 90s. I make an effort to find items in all sizes and items that can be incorporated into every woman’s wardrobe. ”Rak” & “Shniya” is in Hebrew and literally means “only” & “second.” It’s a pun with two meanings – one: a phrase saying “just a second”, two: in our case (if used in the literal sense) “only second (hand).”
You are based in Israel - that’s rather unusual. What is the biggest challenge selling from Israel?
The biggest challenge has to be finding vintage. Israel is only 65 years old - the people who already lived here when Israel was declared an official state lived modestly in a society that believed in hard work and efficiancy. Clothes were meant for work and less for fancy. People who arrived in Israel after WW2 lost everything they had in Europe and had to start over with very little money. These circumstances mean finding good and interesting vintage takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s worth it because Israel has a very interesting history fashion-wise.
Surprisingly, selling vintage to Israelis is a bit of a challenge - I’m still trying to crack that nut. Most of my costumers are from around the world and thankfully the Israeli post office offers very low postage fees.
What is your shop’s specialty?
Besides having low shipping fees as I’ve just mentioned, I think size is something I put a huge emphasis on. I try to stock my shop with vintage in all sizes. There’s a misconception that vintage clothing is for XS or S only but my shop actually caters to a lot of M and L sized ladies. It’s only important for me to show as many items as I can on my body, as I am the shop’s model. Besides getting a good idea of how the garment looks on, I hope people can relate to me because I look like everyone else, I have a normal body size which I like and dislike at different times.
How do you prepare your pieces before listing?
All items are cleaned and are stored in a non-smoking house. I check for holes or missing buttons/hooks/tick-tacks and mend as needed. I photograph any important tags, especially Israeli tags as I am doing a little research about Israeli vintage companies on my tumblr and of course photograph the items in as many angles as possible. Photographing is always a challenge as I am the model, photographer, stylist and make-up/hair artist.
What is the one vintage piece you think every one must own?
Oh that’s so hard to answer. I think because vintage is so trendy in past few years some people tend to grab it without really giving much thought to what they are buying. I would recommend really thinking and identifying what you like and what suits your body type. I know my body looks best in 40s and 50s garments, I love cotton, corduroy and wool, I love patterns and textures and I’m not afraid of wearing something that might make me stand out in a crowd. What do you like? what do you shy away from? What looks best on your body? these are questions every vintage lover must ask themselves when looking and buying vintage.
What is your favorite piece in the shop right now?
It might be this summer wool LB D with a twist. I actually pulled this out of my own closet. I love the faux leopard trimming - it gives the dress that special something, a little naughty side if you may.
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