Two years ago David Gershon decided to shake up the system. Opening a new page in his life, and in a way, the life of every man in Tel Aviv – he started an online men’s fashion magazine which has become a recognizable voice in the local scene. I interviewed the guy behind Boyfriend Magazine.
When did you become interested in fashion?
When I was twelve years old I discovered fashion magazines. I fell in love with Isaac Mizrahi, Bruce Weber’s photography and of course, the 1990s supermodels – my Bar Mitzvah featured a life size painting of Cindy Crawford! I was also really influenced by collections of the time: Chanel and John Galliano Spring/Summer 1995, for example.
Did you study fashion?
Not formally. I studied writing at Columbia University, and later on I took some styling and fashion history courses. But I didn’t pursue fashion because my family was against it; they didn’t consider it to be serious.
Why did you start an online fashion magazine for men in Tel Aviv?
I found myself very frustrated as a consumer who wanted to buy more than t-shirts and jeans. In Israel there was a huge black hole where a men’s fashion industry should’ve been. I had a lot of knowledge and opinions stored up, and I felt that it was time to start a project of my own.
It’s couldn’t find pictures of you in Boyfriend.
Boyfriend isn’t about me, personally. It’s about about adding a fun, creative voice to the men’s fashion discussion in Tel Aviv. I want it to be inspirational for as many people as possible. There is, however a Boyfriend “personality” which has slowly emerged – but, If anything, it’s my courageous alter ego.
In that case, who is the “Boyfriend”?
He lives in Tel Aviv, he’s young, he’s smart, he’s fun, he has good taste, and most importantly, he isn’t afraid to experiment – to wear innovative and creative clothing without giving a fuck about what people think – unlike myself. The Boyfriend isn’t me, but you can definitely see pieces of me in him, in the clothing and accessories.
Your styling features a lot of floral prints and platform shoes on men. Is Boyfriend aimed at the gay community?
Boyfriend doesn’t really care about gender and labels, it’s trying to test those boundaries, to blur them and mess with them. Why shouldn’t a man shop in the women’s department, if he can fit in the clothes and they’re beautiful? I’m not talking about drag, either. Those labels are created by advertising companies. The ultimate “Boyfriend” outfit is neither masculine, nor feminine, according to the traditional rules.
How do you feel about men’s fashion in Israel?
Israelis don’t really have a fashion history; Israel is a very young nation of agriculture which has always been cuaght up in wars. Of course, the internet and the arrival of big chains like H&M and Topman have changed everything – people have become educated about trends, for example. It will take time but things are getting better. Men and women are learning fashion. One is born with creativity, but taste you need to learn.
BOYFRIEND collaborated with independent Israeli shoe designer Oded Arama to create a shocking yet elegant shoe for summer 2013, reflecting the theme Eternal Summer. The black suede oxford, featuring patent leather finishes and a four-inch foam rubber platform, broadcasts both severe elegance and playful chic at once. ARAMA is a modern unisex brand, based in Tel Aviv, which designs luxury handmade footwear. Get your own pair here. Follow the Boyfriend on Facebook here!