Lower Merion Designer Notches a Royal Hit


From Twitter to Facebook, from Ireland’s Independent to Vanity Fair, people were talking about Meghan Markle’s shirt.

Last month, the actress appeared as a presenter at the Endeavor Fund Awards in London with her fiance, Prince Harry, wearing a chic black suit and a menswear-style blouse with a bow in front. The tux was by Alexander McQueen, the shoes were by Manolo Blahnik, but it was that top that caused tongues to wag.

A headline on the Israeli fashion site From the Grapevine asked, “Who designed Meghan Markle’s blouse that everyone is talking about?” The Hollywood Reporter, among other outlets, had the answer: “She styled the look with a white Tuxe bodysuit (yes! an almost-princess in a bodysuit!) featuring a subtle pussy bow … .”

For the Philadelphia area’s Tamar Daniel, 36, all the chatter about Markle’s bodysuit was especially exciting, given that the Israeli-born designer is the founder and CEO of the company that designed and sold that top.

“People really care what Meghan wears,” said Daniel from London via email. “The wonderful thing was the royal family media office were very generous about properly crediting the brand to the media channels. It’s meant global exposure on a much larger scale than the brand had before.”

This isn’t the first time Daniel’s company has received national attention. Since its founding in 2015, Tuxe’s high-end bodysuits have been featured in many major magazines, from Vogue and InStyle to WWD and Oprah. Part of the company’s appeal, which has a strong following in the Orthodox Jewish community, is its blend of classic style with comfort. For anyone who’s ever gotten annoyed with having to constantly tuck and re-tuck a shirt while at work, Tuxe bodysuits are the solution, pairing the clean, chic lines of a sophisticated blouse with the practical assets of an immovable top.

The emphasis on fidget-free fashion was, said Daniel, an organic offshot of how she herself likes to dress.

“I can’t think straight if I’m uncomfortable,” she said. “Being able to focus on the task at hand is a basic human right — I can’t stand to think of women feeling restricted or distracted. It’s just so antiquated and ridiculous.”

Israel-born Tamar Daniel makes bodysuits for everyone from the modest Jewish woman to the English royal family. | Photo provided

Daniel is committed to thoughtfully engineering Tuxe’s products for maximum ease of wear.

“It comes from passion for women being able to perform at their highest level, with their clothing helping, not hindering that process,” she said.

Daniel, who grew up in Jerusalem and London, had an interest in design even as a young girl, when she’d get in trouble at school for sketching dresses in workbooks.

She entered the fashion world after graduating from Israel’s Shenkar College, starting out as an intern for Israeli designer Sigel Dekel then moving on to London’s Topshop and Anthropologie. But it wasn’t until after the birth of her fourth child that Daniel decided to start her own line, having noticed a vacuum in the market for tailored, quality shirts women could wear to work every day without coming untucked.

The resulting line of bodysuits has remarkable range, from champagne-colored T-shirts to heather gray long-sleeved sweaters, in styles both loose and form-fitting. Daniel and her team work hard on making Tuxe’s clothing suitable for women of all types — even those who worry they don’t have the right figure for a tucked-in shirt.

“Our items are always tested by women with different body types and sizes to hear as many perspectives as possible before putting a style into production,” she said. “I personally see that tucking in can be flattering on pretty much every body type, but of course it depends on the pieces and the styling to make it work sometimes. I don’t think tucking in is for every woman, every day. Some days I prefer to wear something free-flowing and kind of hide. But on days where you want to feel put together and empowered — yup, we’ve got you covered.”

Last summer, prior to the Markle moment, Vogue wrote an article about Tuxe headlined “Why This Chic Bodysuit Is a Hit Among Orthodox Jews and Corporate Warriors.” With plenty of long-sleeved options to choose from, Tuxe does have many fans among Orthodox Jewish women, and in fact has collaborated with The Frock NYC, a modest Jewish fashion label, and Adi Heyman, the founder of the Jewish lifestyle site Fabologie.

Daniel, who attends Lower Merion Synagogue, is naturally pleased when the pieces she designs enable the modest wardrobe creatively. But it’s more of a happy coincidence, she said, than a deliberate strategy. “I believe in separating church and state in my business, if you will.”

These days, that business is as busy as can be. The Markle publicity, Daniel said, has been a watershed moment for her company.

“Stores from all over have been reaching out — as well as other celebrity stylists. It’s like we had a booth at a trade show without the trade show!”

lspikol@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0747



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