bubuleh exists to embrace dichotomies, celebrate ancestries, and put older practices and ideas into conversation with newer ones. That’s why we’re so excited about this new limited collection; it does just that.
In Judaism, as with many other cultures and religions, there are hundreds of concepts and commandments that relate to our bodies. There are laws of modesty that equate holiness with covering up, and rules about what you should and shouldn’t wear. Then, there’s this traditional practice of laying tefillin, which we’ve always found beautiful, and quite honestly, very attractive (tefillin turn on - TTO - is a real thing…). Traditionally observant Jews lay tefillin daily, binding themselves as a reminder of their dedication to God. There are three components: the straps, the boxes, and the scrolls (which go in the boxes). One box is worn on the head, and two on the upper biceps.
We wanted to create a top inspired by these concepts, while still respecting tradition. So, we wondered, what would it be like if we associated holiness with uncovering, rather than covering? What's the value of unbinding, rather than binding? What if we create a new space, through clothing, for our individual bodies and our collective traditions to exist together?
So, we decided to showcase the upper arms where many folks traditionally place tefillin, and uncover (or unbind) that space in celebration of both the beauty of our individual bodies and our relationships to where they come from.
And we couldn’t be more happy with the result, because not only do these tops embrace this heritage in new ways, but they look fierce. What a great way to show off those arms for Spring in a fun and playful way.
Each 100% US-made, handmade unisex top showcases a different retro pattern around the symmetrical cut-outs, and you can wear the top at least two ways: either as a regular top, or as more of a shawl if you put your arms through the holes. Either way, you’re bound to look and feel great.