Rachel Cohen, the designer of Jaffa’s gorgeous boutique CommonRaven, has fond childhood memories of growing up in Jaffa where her parents owned a factory. “I grew up here,” said Rachel. “My studio today was actually my parent’s office when I was a child, and we’ve now been able to transform it into my design shop.”
Coming from a creative family (both of her parents are painters), Rachel has always had a deep interest in the art of fashion. “It started with sewing clothes for my Barbies when I was little,” she said. “I’ve been in love with fashion ever since, and I’m so happy that I get to continue my creativity in a space that I grew up in."
Rachel’s inspiration for her clothing comes from traditional Jewish religious wear, but with a Jaffa-sexy twist. “I’m in love with black and conservative-looking clothing, but still very feminine and tight-fitting. In the end, my pieces often look like something Sicilians would wear to a funeral.”
Her jewelry line is also greatly influenced by her parent’s factory, which produces a variety of industrial metals. “The concept of my jewelry line was to use metals that we found in the factory and transform them into handmade pieces and accessories. All of our jewelry is handmade in Tel Aviv,” said Rachel.
She also specializes in wedding dresses, which are all handmade in her Jaffa studio. Although its common for Israeli women to rent their wedding dresses, Rachel’s are exclusively for sale. “Jaffa is a great location for brides to seek out dresses. We try to meet the needs of our customers, so when they began asking me to make them wedding dresses, I was happy to do so.”
After much curiosity, Rachel finally told us why her praised studio is named CommonRaven. “In the 90s, “raven” was a nickname that critics and others called fashion designers, since the lines were often all in black, just like the bird. I wanted to bring back that term in a positive way and own it. My initials are also R and C, so it’s very personal to me as well.”
Contributed by Lena Elkins