The chosen textiles of Hed Mayner.
Padding across a floor concealed by woven bamboo mats, Gregory Abou’s bare footsteps make no sound. The Parisian ex-pat and artist has a design vision so fluid that it floats from his mind, to his eternal being and into the spaces he designs in a seemingly effortless process. Abou’s flagship locale is in the picturesque neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, known for quaint cafes, cobblestone streets and drawing international design and art patrons. A shop of sorts called, Israel Abou, named for the artist’s Hebrew name is a conceptual space with walls painted in a deep blue. The space is what Abou calls an, “experimentation of art and my style as a designer.” The three-room venue functions as a studio, a guest house and a shop with wears imported from Paris and throughout Europe, alongside original artwork, photography and design pieces created by Abou himself.
Upon entering the space, it becomes very clear that where you are is not a fine retail locale but rather a lifestyle experience that is yours to engage with. Fueled by balancing minimalism and quality, Israel Abou is an alliance of light, space, color and fabric. “There is something archaic about my things,” explains Abou,”I’m drawn to simplicity.” A deadstock French architect’s jacket from the 1950’s hangs alone on a plain hanger, it’s linen coattails casting a soft shadow on the floor, looks anything but out of date.
Propelled by a love for hosting, Abou has opened a second space in Jaffa, a duplication of his first, but this time the walls are painted in forest green. The two bedroom guest house is designed entirely by Abou and features original art works, ceramics and lighting all embodying the visionary’s signature aesthetic.