The Development of the Castro Fashion House
Castro was established in 1950, and has excelled over the years with a winning combination of fashion leadership and innovation, while maintaining the highest international standards and a close connection with our roots here in Tel Aviv and in Israel.
This is the fascinating story of a fashion company that began in a small studio apartment on Herzl Street in Tel Aviv, eventually becoming one of the pillars of the Israeli fashion industry.
Castro – Then and Now
Aharon Castro, founder of the fashion house and company president, was born in Greece and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1933. The Castro home was always full of fashion and textile. Mother Anina was a graduate of a fashion school in Greece, and upon her arrival in Israel, she founded a “dress salon” in the small family apartment on Herzl St. in Tel Aviv. “In today’s terms, Mom was a fashion designer, in the full sense of the word,” says Aharon Castro. “She employed 15 seamstresses while she herself dealt with the design and sampling of the items.”
The 1950s: The Beginning
Aharon Castro grew up in a home containing his mother’s studio, surrounded by measuring tapes, fabrics, and tailor’s chalk. Upon his discharge from the IDF, he opened a small store at the corner of Allenby and Rambam Streets in Tel Aviv. Over time, the small business expanded to the building’s basement, and turned into a small clothing factory; Aharon named it after his family – Castro.
The 1960s: Building a Brand
The beginning of the 60s for Castro brought romantic touches and fashion tidings of flower prints, bold colors, and the use of batik fabrics. Castro sold the company designs with great success in the luxury stores of the time: Matzkin, Ivanir, and Shneidman, as well as in the leading department stores, Hamashbir LaZarchan and Shekem.
In those days, Castro adopted an innovative approach for its time, according to which “one should give the customers what they want, and not what you think that they want.” The principles of being accessible to and partnering with the customers continues to guide Castro to this day.
The 1970s: Winds of Change and Expansion
Castro continued to innovate with up-to-date collections, and strengthened its special character that combines the latest international fashion and an Israeli accent. Castro’s collections were represented by the best of those years’ supermodels, including Hava Levi, Batia Disenchik, Karin Donsky, Tami Ben Ami, and others.
The 1980s: A Decade Beginning with Inflation and Ending with Prosperity
In 1985, with the slowing of inflation, Castro opened its first retail store at 190 Dizengoff Street. The store’s success convinced Castro that the direct relationship between brand and customer was the right way to solidify company growth. As a result, more stores were opened, one after another: at the corner of Allenby and Gruzenberg Streets, at 150 Dizengoff Street, opposite the Ayalon mall; the chain began experiencing accelerated growth.
The 1990s: Solidification of the Chain, IPO, Growth and Expansion
During the 90s, Castro continued its deployment of a chain with dozens of stores throughout the country. The company transitioned to a strategy of fast growth, with a noticeable emphasis on innovative marketing activities, and recruitment of outstanding designers for its collections. 1992 saw the initial public offering of Castro stock on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Castro’s big breakthrough to consumer awareness came in 1993, the year it filmed the timeless coat commercial starring Yael Abecassis and Lior Miller, and featuring the song “Creep” by the then anonymous band Radiohead.
The coat campaign precisely defined Castro’s DNA: fashionable, surprising, Israeli, and ours.
In 1998, Castro had another marketing first with the launch of Israel’s first giant billboard: over the Halacha Bridge on the Ayalon Highway, model Amit Machtinger stood 35 meters tall wearing a red Castro dress against a backdrop of the sands of Eilat.
The 2000s: A Decade of Fashion Revolution
Castro continued creating game-changing fashion revolutions into the 2000s, positioning it in line with the vanguard of global fashion. Castro fired the opening shot of the decade with a revolutionary and ground-breaking venture that completely changed the face of local fashion: the founding of the Castro Men chain in 2000, creating the first and successful Israeli chain for men’s fashion. Castro’s breakthrough in the realm of men’s fashion symbolizes today’s clear connection between the world of fashion and Israeli men. The success of Castro Men was immediate, and a short time after the opening of the first Castro Men store in the Ayalon mall, many more stores were opened, becoming the leading fashion address for today’s Israeli man.
2010 and the Future:
At the beginning of the current decade, Castro announced the opening of a new era, once again changing the face of the local fashion industry. In 2012, a new fashion line was added – elegant, sophisticated, and beautiful: the Black line.
The Black line quickly became the preferred address for Castro customers with an urban lifestyle and a precise and consolidated fashion sense. The line includes items that are classic and tailored to serve as formal business attire, items such as suits and button-down shirts and blouses, as well as a collection of evening wear for special occasions. Everything with a new design interpretation that’s youthful and up-to-date, in a broad and varied spectrum of cuts combined with unique, rich materials. The line provides for a comprehensive look, including clothing items as well as shoes and accessories.
The considerable development of the fashion house in the current decade is also symbolized by the fashion and lifestyle lines that were added to the brand, enabling Castro to provide its customers a head-to-toe fashion experience, from wardrobe to daily life: lingerie, sunglasses, bicycles, perfume, and more.
Friends of Castro
The importance of listening and dialogue between Castro and its customers was always of the first rank in Castro’s development and achievements. As an Israeli company, Castro is able to hold fruitful conversation with its customers, in a down-to-earth way, in their own language. It can tell its special story and listen constantly to the feelings in the hearts of those who favor the brand. Castro understands the Israeli audience precisely: from the range of sizes and body builds, to the local climate, mood, style sense, and language. This dialogue is what enables Castro to provide its customers with a precise Israeli response to their consumer needs.
Castro has brought about no small number of revolutions that changed the rules of the game, and the technological development in this decade has enabled it to do the same in the digital realm as well. The growth of the social network culture, and life on the Internet, has enabled the brand to deepen and broaden the dialogue and the involvement of Castro customers. Castro enables their customers to experience what’s happening within the company, involves them, so Castro can listen to the desires of their hearts, and above all – respond to them, and quickly at that.
CU Castro’s Members Club
The emphasis on a close connection with hundreds of thousands of its customers led Castro to establish CU – Castro’s members club. CU is Castro’s way of keeping in close contact with its customers, and providing them primacy and exclusivity in everything that goes on at Castro, in order to allow them to benefit even more from the brand. CU members benefit from unique and exclusive perks all year long, collect points and receive gifts, get birthday surprises, and are the first to be updated about all special events and fashion news at Castro.
Friends of Castro on the Internet
The widespread talk that Castro generates every day throughout the Internet has brought about the natural development of an entire community, a community of Castro fans. This community leads Castro’s activity in the digital realm, which is among the most impressive in the field of fashion today. This is due mainly to the broad involvement of web surfers and their lively online activity.
Castro’s Facebook Page is currently one of the largest and most active to appear in Israel, and the company also has mobile applications, a successful YouTube channel, and a popular Instagram account, which provide an exclusive glimpse into the worlds of inspiration of Castro designers, as well as of what goes on behind the scenes at the brand.
Castro also launched a digital magazine for fashion, culture, and lifestyle, which gives brand customers broad exposure to the goings-on at Castro, lets them get to know the most fashionable people, and get updates about fashion news, the latest inspirations and trends, and the hottest items every week.
Castro’s fashion show, which is held each season in Israel, has become a major event over the years, and is currently considered the biggest, brightest, and most important event in the fashion world. Castro’s ability to lead trends is also clear in the digital world, as it was the first in Israel to broadcast its show live on its Facebook page, on YouTube, and through cellular applications.
Any Time, Any Place, Castro.com is Where to Shop
Castro’s digital store enables a fashion shopping experience that is enjoyable, convenient, and safe, at any time, and any place preferred by Castro’s customers.
Through advanced technology, Castro has created a new and up-to-date experience that enables customers to get updates at any given moment about new collections that arrive daily at Castro stores, and to view Castro’s products with all their details, as well as to purchase them – at the time and place they most prefer.