Tznius-Ista Fashion Show Benefits Lev LaLev

Toronto Fashionistas Re-Invent the Wheel

What’s a Tznius-Ista?
Let me explain. Tznius is the Hebrew word for ‘modest’ and as most women know, a fashionista is any female who loves clothes, shoes, accessories and whose life mission is to dress as nicely as she can, inventing her own special look that she created just for herself! Take the two concepts, tznius and fashionista, and voila, Tznius-Ista was born.

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L to R, Natasha Budovitch and Francesca Abony, Tznius-Istas

Who brought Tznius-Ista in the world?
Francesca Abony and her friend Natasha Budovitch are two kind-hearted young women with an eye for fashion design. These fashion gurus connected instantly after meeting on facebook and decided to create a clothing collection that would meet the need and demand of observant girls and women. They also discussed launching a modest line via a charity fundraiser to benefit the special girls at the Rubin-Zeffren Children’s Home in Netanya. Francesca tells us that she wanted to find a very unique cause and that these orphaned and disadvantaged girls caught her eye and touched her heart while she was surfing online.

When was this blessed event born?
Last September, as the summer was waning away, Tznius-Ista entered the fashion world by beginning a lifestyle brand for observant Jewish women. Their first event was showcased through Aish HaTorah at Aish-in-the-Annex in Toronto. Tznius-Ista can be likened to a traveling fashion party – going from shul to shul and from school to school.

Why is Tznius-Ista so important?
Founders Francesca Abony and Natasha Budovitch agree that weaving the fabrics of creative style and religion can be a formidable challenge. But, when fashion is your passion, it’s a fun endeavor. As fashion enthusiasts, they’re not just geared to refresh a woman’s closet, but to change their perspectives Tznius 2and the way they feel about apparel. Francesca says, “Let’s face it: we all want to feel like a Princess, and we want the task of finding clothing to be fun…” Natasha adds, “We’re striving to help women one by one….”

How and who will Benefit?
Tznius-Ista’s goal is to offer the shopper Tznius friendly clothing that manifests a unique mix of modesty and style. They strive to provide collections from an array of designers, plus a complete lineup of different services including personal shopping, custom orders, style workshops, image/wardrobe consulting and fashion shows.
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Recently (May 30th), Tznius-Ista’s second fashion event took place at the Toronto branch of the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada. Besides their runway show, they sponsored a raffle with lots of great giveaways and a trunk show. Healthy lo-cal goodies were available to the attendees who also enjoyed some good schmoozing about the future of modest fashions. Francesca, whose mother Marina is involved in the industry, MC’d the event. She tells us that her volunteer models were religiously observant girls and women ranging in age from 18 to 45.

Tznius 4Women’s' wear designer Angela Marret commented on the show, saying, “I work with Hachnosas Kallah [that helps disadvantaged brides and grooms pay for their weddings], and I understand the need for tznius clothing, so I created some hip and beautiful skirts just for the event.” Other local designers featured were Guru, Laura Nardone, Janet Caterina, Channy Chang and Cara Houpt.

Tznius-Ista And Tzedakah
In launching their fashion business, Francesca and Natasha wanted to do a bit more than just gather a collection. It was important for them to get involved in tzedakah too. They are so proud of their new relationship with Lev La Lev. As their brand grows, they hope to expand their commitment to support girls and women in need, as well – both in their Toronto environs and globally.

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More about Francesca and Natasha
Natasha is a graduate of Ryerson University in Halifax who traveled to Israel on a Birthright trip.

Francesca currently attends real estate college in Toronto and will leave for Israel on a Birthright trip on Sun., June 20th.

Quotes from our “Tzius-Istas”
Francesca: “We want to help broaden people’s minds and open their closets. Dressing with certain restrictions can actually be very empowering.”

Natasha: “I found myself going into stores I would never otherwise go into and trying to convince myself to buy something I didn’t even like because it follows the rules. I don’t want any woman, young or old, to feel that way.”
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Into the Future for Tznius-Ista
According to the Francesca, expect a line of casual dressing that includes skirts and tops including vintage lace inspired numbers, accessories like feminine and funky head bands and scarves and a line of formal wear that will take a woman to a bar/bat mitzvah and wedding or to a fundraising banquet. And, who knows, perhaps even my suggestion of a line of embellished sweat skirts and matching hoodies ~ p-l-e-a-s-e, for the active woman who’s running errands all around town. Can’t wait for Tznius-Ista’s WEBSTORE to open!!!!!!!!!

Tznius 7The Lev LaLev team and the girls at the Rubin-Zeffren Children’s Home are very excited about Tznius-Ista’s new venture and thank Francesca and Natasha for their kind gestures in organizing a fundraising fashion show to benefit them. Kol HaKavod and Todah Rabbah!


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