Tel Aviv's fashion week kicks off 10th anniversary season online on Monday
Fashion Week Tel Aviv celebrates its 10th anniversary this coming week, with four days of shows in a digital season, as a new generation of local design talent begins to capture international attention.
The season comes after Israel normalized relations with several Gulf states in the region, leading to a massive burst of travel to Gulf states like Dubai, and heavy shopping sprees by tens of thousands of Israeli, before the country went into another lockdown.
Though few nations have vaccinated as high a proportion of their populations, the season will be entirely digital. It kicks off for four days on Monday, and includes such happening local talent as Adish, a Tel-Aviv based, Israeli-Palestinian brand that seeks to merge the cultural heritage and handcrafts of the Middle East with contemporary silhouettes. Adish, which is stocked by Dover Street Market and MyTheresa, was founded as a collaborative effort between Israeli designers Amit Luzon and Eyal Eliyahu, Palestinian-American artist Jordan Nassar, and Palestinian, Ramallah-based Qussay.
For the sixth year, Fashion Week Tel Aviv will host a slew of eight young designers supported by the national lottery, MiFal HaPais, with two group shows. With 28 shows on the busy calendar, the week will also include more established names like Vivi Bellaish, Alon Livne, Dorin Frankfurt and Kedem Sasson. All events in the season are pre-recorded, shot at the Eretz Israel Museum, known for its archeological collections.
The season also includes a collective show from students at Shenkar, the advanced engineering, design and art college. Shenkar’s fashion department can boast such notable graduates as the globally acclaimed Alber Elbaz, and the award-winning jewelry designer Michal Kadar of the Cadar brand.
Moreover, tapping into the Israeli high-tech sector, and the drive for sustainable fashion, the season is supported by Kornit, the advanced digital textile printing market leader.
So, we caught up with Motty Reif, the founder of Fashion Week Tel Aviv, who will officially open the season with ubermodel Bar Rafaeli at a Sunday evening gala, without a live audience, for his take on what makes the Tel Aviv season so special.
FashionNetwork.com: What’s been the most difficult issues about mounting a fashion week during the pandemic?
Motty Reif: Launching a fashion week during a pandemic was an amazing opportunity to do it without a live audience, which allowed the designers to think out of the box - instead of regular runway shows, each of them had to think how they wanted to showcase their collection. We shot in 29 different locations at the Eretz Israel Museum, an important cultural institution in Tel Aviv. I don’t believe I will ever go back to producing a traditional fashion runway event ever again. The result is by far more beautiful, special, interesting and each designer had the opportunity to fly.
FNW: What sets apart Fashion Week Tel Aviv from other seasons in the region, or elsewhere?
MR: I think what sets us apart is our belief in inclusivity within the fashion industry. It’s always been critical to us to contribute to important matters and agendas. The diversity we impart is the crown of Fashion Week Tel Aviv. Every age, gender, race, religion and size are included. It was a goal that I set myself a few years ago and this year we’ve had a big victory. Everyone can see his or herself during the shows.
FNW: What does Kornit Digital plan to add to the season?
MR: I see the Kornit family as a godsend. Because all the young emerging designers are fighting with the issue of production time after time. Kornit will enable them to get as creative as possible and to use Kornit’s innovative technology to produce their collections on-demand – only producing what has been sold. This change in the fashion eco-system has not only enabled sustainable on-demand production in Israel, but also around the world. It’s only the beginning and Kornit’s fashion printing technology is going to change the world. This is a historic moment for the industry.
FNW: What is Shenkar college planning?
MR: Shenkar is a design school in Israel and every year we dedicate one of the shows to their fashion students, giving them a chance to show their work during Fashion Week Tel Aviv.
FNW: How many buyers, editors or influencers do you expect to attend?
MR: Each designer has their own network of buyers, editors and influencers from around the world, however as this year has not been a live event, none have been in physical attendance.
FNW: What brands are you most excited about in next week’s season?
MR: They are all my kids. I love them all.
FNW: How did you become CEO of Fashion Week Tel Aviv?
MR: It started when I lived in LA and moved back to Tel Aviv in 2011. The idea came from wanting to show the other side of Israel. You read only about the conflicts and I wanted to show the beautiful side. I know my people and so I thought if I bring journalists to Tel Aviv and show them Israel and all its beauty we would have an audience to showcase its unique fashion talent. We brought over 100 international journalists to immerse them in our incredible creative culture.
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