This year has given us many trials and tests, and now that we are finally coming out of our cocoon, we want to feel like the beautiful butterflies that we are. We want to feel excited again, and a great way to feel that sense of renewal and joy in what we have accomplished is through fashion.
A brand synonymous with transformation that has been reinventing itself for eight years is Japparel. Founded by Blimie Hindy and her husband, Japparel started out selling shells from the couple’s garage and has since expanded to selling women’s and teens’ collections in three brick-and-mortar locations. These include one in Brooklyn, at 3025 Quentin Road; one in Lawrence, at 353 Central Avenue; and the newest location, in the Catskills, at 5214 Main Street, South Fallsburg. At any of these locations, or online at https://www.japparelny.com, you will see beautiful, fashionable clothes that are made according to the guidelines of modesty.
With mention of this article, Jewish Press readers will get 10% off Japparel’s new arrivals, in store only.
Michal Goldfein: What inspired you to start your brand, Japparel?
Blimie Hindy: We started it in 2013 as a small company in our home garage. The original idea for the business came from my husband, who knew how expensive shells were and wanted to give the customers a better product using good quality fabrics. Initially we were a shell company, producing shells in different colors and sizes. At the time there was a big demand for shells, and women would put shells underneath everything. We eventually started to broaden our scope, making some skirts and other items. We were retailers from our home – a true mom-and-pop store.
As time went on, some stores showed interest in our skirts. We started to wholesale some of our pieces, and a very popular item was our pleather skater skirts. We transitioned to being wholesalers and shut down our shell business. We were wholesalers for five years, and then Covid hit. Stores closed up shop, and we had to reconfigure our business model and strategy. We improved our website and started focusing more on our online retail presence. Instead of standing still we pivoted in a new direction.
What pushed you to open up your three locations?
Once we saw that people were coming out of their homes, and that they wanted to shop in person, we decided that it was time to open our first retail location in Brooklyn. It opened right before Rosh Hashanah, in time for the holidays. We got a good reaction and saw that retail was picking up again. The consumers loved the product and were so happy with the shopping experience we offered. After that, we found a beautiful space on Central Ave in Long Island and decided to go for it. Then about a month before the summer, you approached us with the idea of opening up Upstate. With the seed of an idea planted, we followed our customers to the Catskills.
As a part-time manager of the store in South Fallsburg, I get to see the beautiful clothes firsthand, and you’ve really managed to use the space to create a pleasant shopping experience.
We spruced the place up to make sure that it would represent the Japparel brand and keep our customers happy. We put up artwork, have spacious changing rooms, and always keep customer satisfaction at the forefront of our minds. At all of our locations we have very nice and helpful salesgirls who are ready to guide you and help you choose the right item.
How would you describe your aesthetic and the styles you’ve created?
Our aesthetic is that our clothes follow the trends but also always follow the modesty guidelines. We want the women who wear our clothes to feel that they are still adhering to the rules of modesty while still being fashionable.
What makes your brand unique from other brands?
Our garments are made with high-quality fabrics and high-quality production. We have a moderate price point as well, so that everyone can buy themselves and their teens something nice. Modesty doesn’t have to be unaffordable, and you should feel good in your own skin. Japparel is also made in the USA.
What can we look forward to within the next few weeks?
We are getting in new arrivals on a daily basis for the summer. In about two weeks, we’ll be getting our fall arrivals – dressy pieces for Yom Tov, transitional items that can be worn now and into the fall, and our fall/winter collection. Definitely keep checking in!
What styles can we expect for the new season?
You can expect to see luxurious sweaters, rich fabrics such as velvets, the faux leather look, and midi-length dresses that are great because they are both stylish and modest. There will be interesting sleeve details and there will be rich, beautiful colors that are more vibrant but still elegant.
You have been at the forefront of modest fashion and are always coming up with fresh ideas. What would you like to see change within the modest fashion industry?
I’ve been inundated with requests to cater more to the plus-size clientele. There is a huge demand and there are not enough clothes out there that are beautiful and are made well. You should be able to have beautifully crafted clothing, in rich fabrics, regardless of a woman’s size. We are very excited to introduce for the first time our plus-size collection, which should be coming out right before Rosh Hashanah.
What are your future goals for your brand?
To keep expanding and going in the trajectory of growth that we are on. We want to reach a broader customer base, and keep women feeling and looking beautiful. We would like to maintain our price point. Without compromising on modesty, we would like to keep dressing and helping people. Our mission is to keep putting smiles on their faces.