Photo Credit: Andrew McIntire/TPS
Ladies from all over the world visit Israel for a tour of the unique local fashion outlets and creators emerging from the Holy Land.

By Anna Rudnitsky/TPS

About 40 fashion designers, consultants, and bloggers from the US and Canada visited Israel last week to discover its revitalized fashion industry. The trip, organized by the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project and sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, was designed to give the women a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Israeli fashion industry and to allow them to gain inspiration from both Israeli designers and from the Land of Israel.


“My goal is to build bridges between the international community and the creative community in Israel,” Galit Reismann, founder of the TLVstyle touring company and co-coordinator of the tour, told TPS. “I wanted to engage and inspire these ladies from all over the world with stories and faces and to let them discover the Israeli people and their creative spirit.”

The participants visited diverse fashion venues during their visit to Tel Aviv, such as Maskit, the first Israeli fashion house. Maskit was founded in 1954 by Ruth Dayan and shows the origins and evolution of the Israeli fashion industry. The fashion house went bankrupt in the 1990s, but was revived in 2013 by Sharon Tal, an Israeli designer who had a successful career in London yet decided to return to Israel.

The women also met young Israeli designers at Beit Manor, a historic Tel Aviv building, which allowed them to have one-on-one conversations with each other and to hear personal stories about what it is like to be a designer in Israel. They also discovered an important trend in Israeli fashion—most of the designers try to use eco-friendly materials such as surplus soy from the production of tofu, which makes for fabric of high quality.

“Once I learned that the textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, I realized that I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” said Tom Moatti-Kedem, a designer who produces clothes from biodegradable materials under the brand Toosha. “My aesthetics are organic and strive to evoke emotions from nature.”

The participants also visited a workspace for women entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv called WMN, where they met a collective of start-ups specializing in fashion. The collective included a company that produces three-dimensionally-printed clothing, an online platform for trading clothes, and a crowdfunding platform for designers that allows customers to play a part in creating new collections and to purchase items for reasonable prices.

“I want to infuse the Israeli spirit into North American women,” explained Adrienne Gold, who used to have her own fashion and beauty program on Canadian television for 20 years and then began working at the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project. “Israeli women know that strength is as important as beauty. They love beauty, but you can’t push them over.”

“They also know what it’s like to carry a rifle and to run ten kilometers with full gear so this gives them a different sense of their bodies, which is reflected in the clothes they make,” Gold contended. “Israeli clothes flow and movement and that’s what I like about them—they’re female friendly.”


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