For Eliran Nargassi, the start of his business menswear brand was random. While working in a commercial fashion house, Eliran was approached by an artist who wanted his help for an upcoming exhibition. He got to work designing, but the exhibition was canceled. Nevertheless, Eliran couldn’t let go.
“I was so blown away by the ideas I had, and I couldn’t stop developing them into garments and prints,” Eliran says. He then quit his job to devote his time to creating this collection. And in summer 2013, his brand NARGASSI was born. We discovered the work of Eliran through Maison Mode Méditerranée and were intrigued by his simple designs and his classic yet innovative pieces. Eliran says he draws inspiration from his Jewish heritage, Moroccan-Kurdish roots and secular lifestyle.
At Ichtus Magazine, our heart is to showcase the stories of creators through the Mediterranean. What inspires them? How does spirituality influence their work? We long to share these creators’ stories to inspire and celebrate the diverse creativity seen throughout the Mediterranean. We’re delighted to share Eliran’s experience along with his must-see spots in Tel Aviv, Israel.
How would you describe yourself ?
I find myself as a very simple guy living a pretty quiet life. The moments that make me happy are the moments when I leave the city and travel in nature and listen to music — usually nostalgic of all kinds. And, of course, working in my studio.
What’s your favorite piece that you’ve designed ?
I feel personally connected to the long kimono coat. This item comes back in my collections in different variations. Its silhouette is simple, and I change it each time with a different detail, cut, fabric or length. When I or my clients wrap themselves in it, there is a sense of sanctity: it gives a religious, messianic and traditional look.
He could look like a monk, prophet and even a Moroccan Kaftan.
What does a typical week look like ?
I regularly wake up early around 5:30 a.m. and start my working day at around 9 a.m. Everything else depends on orders from customers from around the world. Whenever I have some free time during chill days, I design new pieces for future collections.
At noon I have a lunch break with a good friend who also has a studio nearby. After lunch, I go back to work till around 5 p.m. I have the privilege of deciding when I want to start and finish work, but I try to keep a kind of regular routine as it balances me in every aspect.
What do you love most about your job?4
In the past three years, the thing that has given me a lot of satisfaction in my work is that grooms come to my studio asking me to design a groom’s suit for their special day. I hope that more grooms will ask me to design their wedding outfits because I enjoy the process I go through with each one of them.
What are your 5 favorite spots in Tel Aviv ?
- The lovely Neve Tzedek quarter
- Charles Clore Park next to the beach
- Meshek Barzilay, a very unique vegan restaurant that takes it to the next level with fresh and organic products
- Anita, a boutique ice cream place with the most crazy and delicious flavors
- Giv’at Ha’Aliya Beach in Jaffa. It’s offbeat and not crowded, which is why I like it
How does spirituality influence your work?
Spiritually, I put my heart into the whole creative process. I only work when I am in a positive mood because I am not able to work when I am in a bad mood. I believe that even energetically, it is not good to create when you are in a negative mood. It is simply a negative or positive energy that you put in the customer’s item.
Tell us more about where you find inspiration.
In the inspirational aspect, most of my inspiration comes from the spiritual world. My religious past, the tension between religion and secularism, gender and fantasies. In fact, my entire inner and spiritual world exists in the inspirational aspect of my designs.
I translate the past and present, old and new, tradition versus innovation into one homogenic garment. I 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.
Want to know more about mediterranean creators ?
Kristin Blake, Round Trip.