Nargassi, the Israeli designer who is redefining the concept of international menswear

LM: Did you have formal training as a designer?

NA: Yes, I’ve graduated from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Tel-Aviv, Israel.

LM: How did you start your brand?

NA: To be honest, it was completely random. I graduated from Fashion school and started working at a local commercial fashion house, one day I was approached by an artist who tried to set up an exhibition and wanted me to take part in it, I agreed and started working on some pieces. Eventually the exhibition was cancelled, but I was so blown away by the ideas I had and I couldn’t stop developing them into garments and prints. I decided to quit the job at the commercial company and develop the collection, once the first collection was out, I received a lot of positive feedback both locally and internationally.

LM: What is the philosophy behind your brand and in your personal life?

NA: Usually, my designs not follow the current trends, well, because there are new trends every day, I try to design a timeless garment that will serve the person for a long time, I very much connected to the idea of Slow Fashion, I think that brands need to slow down and produce smaller quantities, consider the environment and not take advantage of cheap labor and violate human and animal rights.

LM: How does your roots inspire your work?

NA: My design is very personal and inspired by my roots, I am an oriental gay man who grew up in a Jewish religious family, over the years I have adapted a secular lifestyle. The Jewish religion, tradition and my Moroccan – Kurdish family roots play a major role in my designs. I translate the past and present, old and new, tradition versus innovation into one homogenic garment. I will usually illustrate the inspiration through contrasts that are reflected in the material, color and shape, keeping in mind that the garment needs to be comfortable and wearable.

LM: What kind of clients your brand attracts?

NA: I find that most of my clients are people who are exposed or engaged in aesthetics in some direct or indirect ways. Usually between the ages of 20 and 50+ from all over the world, people who are involved in the fields of design, philosophy, people who are connected to spirituality and love. A client is ready to invest in a unique garment that will be used for more than one season for life!

LM: Tell us about your latest collection.

NA: NARGASSI’s Winter 2020 collection is inspired by the home of my grandparents in Jerusalem, my Moroccan roots, Traditions & superstitions, childhood memories and family celebrations. One example is the traditional Henna celebration and the traditional garments worn on these celebrations, specifically drawing inspiration from the Moroccan Kaftan, it’s square simple rectangular silhouette and the V-shaped neckline. The Hamsa, a palm shaped amulet for good luck and against evil eye, that has been a part of my life since childhood. It’s shape and symbolism are incorporated into the collection.

The collection consists of 20 colourful outfits in three colour schemes:
Black, white and nude colour.
Smoked Red and Purple
Metallic colours: Gold and Copper.

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LM: Can you tell us about your capsule collection for grooms?

NA: In the past couple of years, I was approached by some grooms that wanted to wear something different for the big day. Most of the pieces I designed for these Grooms are based on existing pieces from the past but with a new interpretation or new details. The upcoming collection will target these specific grooms. This collection is inspired by the Jewish Ultra-orthodox stream clothing, it will contain 7 to 10 looks in a color palette of White, cream, black and grey, the silhouettes will be mostly loose and oversized

LM: What’s been the biggest challenge this year?

NA: Obviously Coronavirus. It mostly affected me mentally, it’s challenging not to fall into a depression during lockdown, but I forced myself to go to the studio and work although there was not that much work, I always kept myself busy with something.

LM: How do men in Mexico can buy your clothes?

NA: Currently, online at www.elirannargassi.com and my Etsy shop elirannargassi.etsy.com

Cortesía: Nargassi
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LM: What it’s the most difficult part of having a brand?

NA: The technical part, creating the silhouettes and transforming them into a garment.

LM: Who is your Fashion Icon?

NA: I don’t really have one I look up to. I appreciate the style of Joaquin Phoenix and Timothee Chalamet, but Jake Gyllenhaal is my favorite, I totally want to dress him up.

LM: How do you like to dress when you are working?

NA: Very casually, just a tank top and some shorts, when I work, I’m usually wearing nothing but my underwear, it’s my second home so why not?

LM: Do you have a favorite lotion?

NA: Just some natural homemade Aloevera.

LM: Your favorite place in the world is?

NA: Paros, Greece

LM: Your favorite music album is?

NA: Supa Dupa Fly – Missy Elliott

Cortesía: Nargassi
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