Scottsdale resident launches apparel line combing Jewish pride, humor

Scottsdale resident Deborah Muller has started Jewish apparel line, Schmattees. (Submitted photo)

Hipster or Hasidic? There’s no need to chose sides when you wear a shirt from Schmattees, a new apparel line whose designs combine a little bit of cheekiness and a whole lot of chutzpah.

The new line of humorous t-shirts and sweatshirts combine Jewish culture and rituals, Yiddish expressions, eye-catching graphic design with current meme-linguistics.

Slogans such as “If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…Say It In Yiddish,” “Happy Jewish Camper,” “Slow Your Roll. Shabbat Is Coming” and “I Survived A Jewish Mother” are among several of the designs.

Schmattees is a playful take on the Yiddish word schmatta, which literally means “rags,” but has come to refer to the fashion trade, most specifically New York City’s Garment District, where tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants took their first jobs as American citizens, according to a press release.

The online apparel venture is the creation of Scottsdale resident Deborah Muller.

With a background in fashion, publishing and public relations, Ms. Muller has always had a pulse on what’s fashionable and on trend, the press release states.

Ms. Muller is currently a public consultant for several Valley Jewish organizations, including the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival and the Desert Gathering Jewish Music Fest, and local businesses.

Pride, promotion and shtick come naturally for Ms. Muller, who grew up surrounded by sunshine and Jewish people in southern California and was bat mitzvahed in Israel.

“I am so proud to be Jewish and really want to make it cool for others to proclaim that same pride in a hip, fashionable, and fun way,” Ms. Muller said in a prepared statement. “With the unfortunate rise in anti-Semitic words and actions, wearing Schmattees is a one way to do that and not show fear in your cultural and religious identity.”

Schmattees is sold online at shopschmattees.com.

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