Artistic expression has been a passion for Gita Zeltzer throughout her entire professional life. An Israeli born theater actress and director, Gita has always believed that playfulness cultivates joy, that diversity fosters creativity, and that art should be integrated into every human experience.
When she moved with her family to Los Angeles in 1989, Gita found a new and dynamic space for her artistic expression - fashion. She began conceptualizing XCVI in the mid-1990s, when she and her husband opened a small fashion boutique on Melrose Avenue. She was inspired by the rich intersection of cultures, but she noticed a lack of range within the casual clothing marketplace. At the time, wearing casual clothing meant having to compromise on style and fit; casual wear was sloppy and stale. The market lacked the sophisticated flair that was found in the rest of the art and design world. Gita envisioned a collection of casual clothing at the intersection of lightheartedness and refined elegance.
It was in 1996 (or XCVI, in roman numerals) that Gita introduced the first season of XCVI from the back of their small storefront. The success of the line and its ability to resonate with so many types of people demanded that the team hire another designer to keep up with demand. Together with designer Lilia Gorodnitski, they manifested a shared vision: to develop wearable, breathable, moveable clothing for women who believe in style, but also believe in comfort.
For over 20 years, XCVI has stayed true to this vision, both with its design principles and in its business practice. As this volatile industry continues to evolve, with growing demand for all time low prices and fast fashion, XCVI stays rooted in the notion that fashion is first and foremost about people.
Today, XCVI is run by Gita’s daughter and son who continue their parents’ legacy of thoughtfully designing casual clothing that enrich women’s lives with joy and ease. Art is life, fashion is human. And XCVI is fashion you can live in.