FEATURES Designing Fashion Inspired by Torah and Vogue

frockBy Rachel Silvera

Chaya and Simi are two brilliant and funny girls. Born and bred in Sidney (Australia), they are the daughters of a local rabbi. In a conversation with Pagine Ebraiche, they explained how they wanted to find a compromise between their two Bibles: Torah and Vogue (of course!). This is the reason why they left Sidney for New York and founded The Frock NYC, a modest clothing design studio. The Frock soon became a “fashion must” and also Vogue America wrote about it. But who are Chaya and Simi? And why did they choose to enter inside the fashion system?

How did you get started with The Frock?
We come from the sunny beaches of Sydney Australia, daughters of the local Rabbi and Rebbetzin. We grew up with a sensitivity towards spirituality and modesty. Sydney is a hub of emerging fashion designers – a mix of eclectic, androgenic styles with a surf-rider inspired, laid back appeal. We didn’t want to follow our parents’ footsteps but we also didn’t want to give up our Jewish identity. Therefore, we created The Frock that combines modesty and style.

What does tzniut mean to you? How can you explain it?
The actual word tzniut comes from a source in the Bible. The literal translation is ‘dignified’. Today the more common translation is ‘modest’. Aside from adhering to the specific guidelines of a dress-code which varies from community to community, being ‘modest’ in our opinion is also about having a certain sensitivity and sense of taste. Tziut doesn’t mean that you can’t be beautiful or confident.

Now Orthodox Jewish style is becoming an inspiration for fashion designers and journalist. Why?
The world is finally realizing that showing more doesn’t mean looking better! We are proud to be a part of the growing wave that is showing who and what being an Orthodox woman is really about.