Alon Livne is here to stayby Roza Sinaysky | 14.08.15
Alon Livne is by far one of Israel’s most successful and creative fashion exports in recent years. After showing his collection at the New York Fashion Week in 2013, Livne’s gowns were worn by the likes of Beyonce, Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton to name a few.
Today, Alon’s business of evening and bridal wear is growing not only in Israel where he is proudly based, but also internationally, where his hand embroidered wedding gowns are sold in the most prestigious shops. His recent collaborations with brands like Rolls Royce, prove the theory that creativity and talent have no geographical boundaries.
I visited Alon in his beautiful Neve Tzedek atelier, where he presented his latest collection and talked about his future plans. No worries – moving anywhere outside Tel Aviv is not one of them.
RS: You moved into this space lately, tell us about how you got here.
AL: For the past four years I had a shop on Dizengof Street (a busy shopping district in Tel Aviv), and even though the shop was exclusive and sold evening gowns, it felt a little mainstream to my taste and lacked the personal feeling I was looking for. Once I realized that the service I should be giving is more personal and exclusive, I closed the shop and moved to this current location in Neve Tzedek. This space now functions as my studio, my office and where I can really dedicate my time to customers arriving by appointment only. I found the location that is the perfect space for me to create and where I can really focus on designing.
RS: Tell me about your work process with brides to be.
AL: First of all I stopped designing in masses. I now make only custom made gowns, evening and bridal. I create one bridal collection a season and then design for each client individually. When a customer arrives to my studio, we chat, I learn about her and hear what she has in mind. Together we choose the fabrics and the shape of the gown, she gives me directions and I design according to that. There are about 15 girls in average who come for an appointment every day. Each one of the girls gets mine and the studio’s full attention, and each gown is hand embroidered. The amount of work we put in to our gowns is what makes the ‘Alon Livne’ studio so unique and in demand.
RS: Tell us about your recent collaboration with Rolls Royce.
AL: Rolls Royce are launching a new car that will be their most luxurious yet – a custom made vehicle where the buyer can design every element in the car on his own. This special model will be launched soon and they have asked me to design the clothes for the advertisement campaign. They are trying to make this car a fashion statement and a lot of it will involve textiles and design like in fashion.
RS: Now that you have reached global success, some people will ask – why stay in Tel Aviv?
AL: The answer is very simple – this is my home! My family and friends are here, this is where I work and create and there’s no other place that allows me to work in such peace. What are my options? The fast-paced vibe of New York doesn’t allow me a to create in a flow, and living in Paris as a non French speaker is out of the question. I travel a lot and spend long periods away but there’s no place like home.
RS: Do you think you evolve as a designer each season?
AL: Yes. I think that up until now I told a certain story and now I have a whole new story to tell. There’s always room for development. Designers, or any kind of artists must always grow and reinvent themselves in order to stay interesting.
RS: There was a big discussion about your dresses being copied by Versace. We all saw those designs and couldn’t help but wonder what happened. Any thoughts or comments on this subject?
AL: Well, this definitely didn’t feel like a coincidence to me. When I saw the dress I immediately knew they copied my idea. I think someone from their design team probably found my images on social media and decided to make them their own. But what can I do? I won’t fight with a major fashion house, so all I can do at this point is to be flattered.
RS: So what’s next for your brand?
AL: I have two shows coming up. One bridal show in New York, which I am currently working on, and in February I am presenting my evening wear collection during the New York fashion week. There are a few other secret projects on my plate, but I will reveal details later this year. I wish that in the upcoming year I will find a new language as a designer, and while reflecting on what I’ve been doing so far, I will take one more step towards a new state of mind.
Photos by Rotel Lebel