Мой-moi Collection: Back in the USSRby Roza Sinaysky | 27.03.16
A Russian in Israel isn’t a rare breed. Ilana Buhgendler is a young Israeli designer who is inspired by these roots – and her debut collection is making a huge buzz in our “Russian” community.
Buhgendler’s brand Мой-moi Collection is a mix of simple jersey T-shirts with funny comments and logos, and some great basic pieces everyone can enjoy. This cultural connection between older times and the hip, contemporary caught our attention – so we asked Ilana to tell Telavivian Magazine more about her great new brand.
Tell us about the concept behind your brand, what is the philosophy of Мой-moi Collection?
Мой (Moi, in Russian) means “mine”.
The name derives from my desire to create something that truly expresses who I am and my creativity. My passion for fashion started when I was little. Throughout the years, I gained experience working in retail in the sportswear industry. And also from a cute little tattoo I have in Russian.
There’s a lot of thought behind the brand. A combination of elegance meets sport that comes across through minimal pieces that feel super comfortable. Suitable for staying at home, but could totally be dressed up for a fabulous night on the town. The range is built on the ideology of basic – straight, clean lines. I also offer a men’s line (yes, I haven’t forgotten about you men…).
The core of Мой-moi is its Cyrillic letters that make up various sentences in Russian; there is actually different play on words between the English, Hebrew and Russian language. The idea behind this is to simply express myself the best way I can. To give people the opportunity to fall in love with something their eyes are attracted to and not necessarily because they understand the meaning.
You are a Russian Israeli, it seems like this combination influenced your vision a lot. How do these two cultures impact you as a designer and as a person?
I was born in Israel; however the Russian culture has always been of a part of me. The combination is what actually inspires me to do something different.
As a human being, the cultural difference isn’t really something I feel, nor is it something you would notice about me per say. I don’t drift between two different worlds, I simply combine them into one. As a designer, I’m not afraid to do something that the Israeli culture won’t necessarily understand.
What is your favorite trend at the moment?
Trends aren’t really my thing. Nonetheless, as a designer they are something that drive me to a certain extent. So if I have to I would say pantones at the moment.
What magazines do you read?
The Gentlewoman, 032c, Industrie, Self-Service Magazine and Purple.
What do you like about living and creating in Tel Aviv?
As opposed to other cities, Tel Aviv is blooming with fashion. I love the fact that you can walk the streets completely over dressed and it looks totally natural. Tel Aviv has room for fashion that’s different and people are just thirsty for it.
Where do I get a Мой Collection T- shirt? Where do you sell?
My studio (between Ben Yehuda and Gorgon street) is open for appointments only and various sale events, one of which is coming up April 1st at the concierge on Dizingoff 95.
How is the Russian market different to the Israeli market?
I think the main difference between the two isn’t only expressed through their style; it’s also the awareness of value for money. Russians don’t necessarily have a problem spending a higher amount of money for a “plain” T-shirt. If they know that the quality is appropriately high, it’s an investment.
The fact that a garment is “basic” doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be of high quality or something you should invest in. This concept hasn’t really sunken into the Israeli market yet. The awareness has risen slightly in the past couple of years, but I think it’s just a matter of time before everyone really gets it.
Where would you like to see your brand? And who would you love to see it wearing it?
I’d love to see my collection hanging there all pretty in “Acne Studio” in Berlin, for instance…and that will happen, I believe.
Kinda cliché, but totally Bad Girl Riri…
Photographer: Shay Tamir & Rotem Lebel.
Models: Ilana buhgendler, Omri Rosengart.
Assistant Editor: Anna Kachur.