What is it about Israel that allows it to oﬀ er up such talented designers as Alber Elbaz and
Yigal Azrouël for the world of fashion? ough diﬃ cult to pin down precisely, the answer
probably has something to do with a special boldness that may correspond to belonging to
a culture with an aesthetic vision distinct yet at the same time not excessively remote from
that of Europe and the United States. Indeed, Israel is a country that is beginning to blos-
som in terms of design and thus is one that warrants keeping an eye on.
Born in Israel but of Moroccan origin, Yigal Azrouël is a prime example of the self-taught
designer who, through reconstructing articles of clothing, learns all the secrets of dressmak-
ing with his sewing machine. At the age of 22, he decided to move to New York in order
to fulﬁ ll his dream of triumphing in the world of fashion. Despite his lack of any speciﬁ c
training, he found work immediately as a tailor and designer of wedding gowns in a studio,
work that quickly allowed his talent to materialize. Some years later, thanks to his sharp
sense of detail and his exquisite skill with drapery and cuts, he opened his ﬁ rst showroom
and studio in New York’s garment district, where he still produces sixty percent of his
clothes. His success in this endeavor led him, three years later, to open his ﬁ rst store, also
located in the Big Apple.
His restless nature has served as a catalyst for expanding his horizons. In fall 2007, he pre-
sented a capsule collection of accessories and made his debut as a designer of men’s fashion
with the aim of redeﬁ ning clothing and the concept of sportswear for the modern man.
Photography by Erez Sabag
Classic, fresh, sexy yet sophisticated
designs were the principal players in
the Israeli designer’s Spring/Summer
2008 collection, which left no doubt
that he continues to be a master of the
cut and a custodian of detail.
Photography by Dan & Corina Lecca
Sketches courtesy of Yigal Azrouël
- What inspires you?
I’m inspired by everything that surrounds me and all of my experiences: travel, architecture, people. For the recent
Spring 2008 season, I was drawn to the saturation of 70s American beach culture and surf photography from that era.
I’ve been surﬁ ng since childhood; it’s a big part of my life and a natural connection in that way.
- What is your dream as a designer?
My dream is to create an atelier that is somehow separate from the business. Of course, I love New York, but to be able
to design somewhere a little more isolated, where you can have total serenity and concentrate on just design itself and
not worry about industry—that would be perfection.
- What has been the most important achievement of your career?
Opening my boutique in New York’s Meatpacking District and having the ability to present my design in my own
context and personal aesthetic was a great high point. It’s very important for me to have the collections represented in
their own natural setting.
- How important are trends?
I don’t follow trends.
- Fashion has always reﬂ ected a certain era. What does fashion reﬂ ect in the twenty-ﬁ rst century?
A global vision. Fashion is at the most exciting point in history, because it is limitless and inﬁ nite. It’s very individual
- What book would you recommend to every fashion designer?
The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever, by Teri Agins.
225 West 39th Street, 7th ﬂ oor
New York, NY 10018
Photography by Dan & Corina Lecca