Nurit Perla sells chic and funky fashion from her home

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Her two older sisters were already fashion designers, something that Nurit “tried to avoid as much as I could.  I just felt it’s too crowded in one family.”  It wasn’t until after her daughter was born that she that the urge to design and sew became too strong to deny.

"When I was 30, I realized that’s what I wanted to do.  When I started, finally, I started with children’s clothes.  My daughter was just born and I started making stuff for her and I used to dress her and people used to remark, ‘How beautiful.  Where did you get it?’  And I thought, then it wouldn’t be so crowded (with her family of designers) because I’ll specialize in children’s clothes.”

For nine years Nurit designed her children’s line and shared a shop in Israel with her sister named, “Three Sisters” after the Anton Chekov play.  Her young daughter served as the muse for her designs.

When her daughter was nine years old and her son almost six, Nurit and her husband “really wanted to create a more secure future for the children.”  They made the decision to leave Israel and move to Canada, for “a safe port.”

Although the move to Vancouver was a welcome one, Nurit felt “when I came here I was sure there was no way I could work here.  People here are a little bit….”

“Conservative?” I quickly insert.  We laugh and commiserate together and Nurit agrees, “They are a little bit conservative.  I came to Kitsilano, everybody wears lululemon and there I came with all my clothes, layers and I felt so….like I was a foreign phenomena.”

She turned out to be a welcome phenomena and one that initiated the beginning of the second phase of her designing career.  She was stopped on the street, asked where she had bought her clothes, and was then urged by a friend to begin designing and making clothes for women this time around.

When Nurit and her family moved to their current location there was room for a design and work studio and the new incarnation of Talia Design was born.  She is an unconventional designer in that she never starts with a design drawn on paper. Instead she gets her “inspiration from the material, everywhere I go.”  She makes a tour of the local fabric stores once a month and “finds fabrics that I like and I just buy it.  I never draw or plan or anything.”

Vancouver has given Nurit the space to no longer feel so crowded in her family of fashion designers and to finally give birth to the creative passion that gives her such joy.  She also reflects that moving to our little conservative corner of the world, “in a way worked in my favour because the design scene here was not like (in) Europe or Israel – so many designers!  So many creative people, it’s amazing!  The competition’s very, very strong and very…sometimes it can be ruthless.”

She started Talia Design “at good time when Vancouver had started to open up.  I think the scene is changing now.  Lots of new designers.  People are opening up.”

It’s been six years since Nurit started dressing Vancouver women and her business has grown only through word of mouth.  You won’t find Talia Design in any store and that’s the way she likes it. That way she has the freedom to set her own hours, still be a mom and wife, and make everything she designs with her own hands. 

“Sometimes I think about how it started and it was actually very flowy.  It grew with me, with my capability of doing more and it was very organic.”

The look and feel of the fabric speaks to Nurit in a way it never did to me when sewing.  But her designs and clothes speak to me in a way that Gap and Banana Republic never will.  Wearing and layering clothes from Talia Design allows my inner creativity to speak to the world, and gives me the freedom to be my own force; to be my own home-grown phenomena.

As Nurit says, “Maybe it’s good to be different – a little bit?”

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