Ariel Bar-Ziv, an entrepreneur-turned-start up businessman, opened TADDEO with his partner and professional architect, Srulik, three years ago. The underwear and sportswear “candy” shop became so popular that they have since branched out with more space in the store to feature trendy home furniture and accessories. My recent feature in Time Out Israel.
Let’s go back to three years ago. What made you decide to open up a sportswear shop in Tel Aviv?
Simply, there were no affordable men’s sportswear shops around with an emphasis on male underwear and swimwear. It’s almost like we started it for ourselves – and for the many others who wished for a shop like ours. By now, we are a concept store, with a wide range of menswear outfits for any occasion, and we even have a furniture and home accessories line.
Who are the typical TADDEO costumers? Tourists, locals, or a mix of both?
Lots of tourists, and not only because of the tax refund – even throughout the winter, and of course many, many locals. The crowd is very diverse, including women, and we love them all. We are not a typical shop. Our customers feel at home and very often come with friends who include it as their popular meeting point. We even have some couples who met here. We might have the look of a luxury store, but our hearts and our prices are down to earth. Our main goal is to serve our wonderful customers and give them the best service we can.
How does the design of a sexy new tank top become reality?
Srulik designs all the items, but there is no finished design without the feedback and recommendations from our clients. We first make samples and change them according to our customer feedback. We do the whole process in-house – design, choosing fabrics and testing them, handling production, importing, public relations and marketing – so our customers can enjoy the best price without any intermediaries. In order to keep our prices reasonable, we work with factories worldwide, and we love to work with small factories where we get to know all the workers personally. It offers a quality advantage.
You gained fame on social media as well: @taddeoswimwear is followed by tens of thousands, and social influencers fight for your pants.
Some of our shorts are very popular on the beach, many people tag us in their pics. The seven colors of versatile pants have pockets with zippers, so it’s a jolly joker for sports, partying, even for the beach. We have loads of social media followers. Photographers and models write us to collaborate and wear our designs, and stylists take them for photo shoots locally and internationally.
Do you ever get bullied for having a “gay friendly” business?
We haven’t had any significant bullying because of it – and we hope it will stay this way. We believe here that everyone should be loved. We will always be gay-friendly and even vegan-friendly; we do not use any leather at all.
What’s the next trend in men’s underwear for 2018?
Israeli men are a bit afraid of typically “sexy” underwear. Stripes go really well, everyone wants at least one pair, and people love really soft fabrics. The tight Brazilian cut is still the star, as nowadays the “sexy back” is considered to be more important than the package.
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