An Old/New World: Jaffa’s Flea Market

You guys seem to enjoy the White City’s fashion sights just as much as I do: one of my most successful post in the history of was the very first article on Tel Aviv’s textile district, Nachalat Binyamin. It’s time to explore a “Whole New World” now! While visiting Jaffa’s famous flea market, Shuk HaPishpeshim you’ll experience how the magical stories of Arabian nights are coming to life.

I have a confession to make. I respect smart fashion, but my true love is not the high street: I adore secondhand stuff, or shall we call it „vintage”, as most of us does. Let’s face it, clothes and accecories all become much cooler when we label them with this trendy word, but in real life we often find our most appreciated vintage pieces in absolutely unfashionable stores – like flea markets, and jumble sales. For me markets are the perfect places to fill my heart (and my wardrobe) with colors: when I’m in London I always visit Broadway and Brick Lane markets, and wherever I travel in the World I’m checking  out the local markets. For me these are not simply shopping experiences, they also hold artistic values: no museum tells as much about a country as it’s flea markets. Jaffa’s Shuk HaPishpeshim is one of the most exciting ones I’ve ever seen: dozens of streets are filled with goods from art deco furniture to vintage garments and accessories.

The neighborhood’s speciality is design of many kind. Wondering around the market I found my way to fashion designer Sharon Brunsher’s shop, where everything I touched felt like I’m dipping into a pampering bubble bath: warm, natural, yet fancy and beautiful. Maasiya is another island of self indulging: the motto is „homey and cozy”, and all the clothes they are selling feel like pajamas, but – here comes the twist – they don’t look like that at all. If you have the chance to visit the shop, don’t miss the plate on the cashier’s counter, filled up with colorful, vintage buttons – each of them completely unique and different from anything I saw before. My last fashion stop was Madeo, „The Beauty of Recycling”. Shop owner Mirona Koren collected bags, scarfs, purses, clothes, necklaces any many more, all made of re-used and organic materials. My favorite ones were the „jewels” made out of recycled, red baloons – even Winnie The Pooh’s Eeyor would fall in love with ’em.

But Jaffa’s flea market is not only about fashion: it has incredible home décor shops as well. The most exciting one is Asufa, where the shop owner, Tomer showed me around to introduce me the youngest and bravest generation of Israeli designers. Asufa means “collections” in Hebrew, and the shop does stand up for it’s name: it’s a breathtaking set of beautiful, sexy and inventive goods. For me it’s not even a shop, it’s more of an art gallery. Just a street away you can throw yourself into the many shades of Sofi, a homestore “born from simple needs”, where I found myself adoring the rainbow colored glasses and pitchers for almost an hour. It’s easy to get lost in the never ending streets of the market, but once you’re done, treat yourself with a little something to munch. Pua Café is a local favorite with lovely vegetarian meals and “stylish grandma’s home” style. For the ones with sweet tooth Margoza Bar has amazing cakes, for the ones who love the happy marriage of great design and good the Flea Market restaurant is the right deal, and Yoezer Wine Bar is the best possible place for toasting to a successful shopping trip. Is your magic carpet ready for the ride?

Stay tuned, ‘cos next week I’m taking you to a true treasury: the studio of a young fashion designer in the very heart of Jaffa, and we’ll even have a sneak peek into her latest catalog photo shooting. Meanwhile follow me on Facebook for daily fashion updates from the White City.

All photos taken by me. Shop contacts: Sharon Brushner: 035270374,, Ma’asiya: 035187358,, Madeo: 0523541584,, Asufa: 0546286289,, Sofi: 035100566,

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