Hot. Innovative. Cutting edge. Welcome to Tel Aviv fashion! And this week, thanks to five uber-stylish, and super-famous international fashion bloggers who visited Israel, the whole world will know that too.
The bloggers came here at the initiative of Kinetis, a non-profit, which according to Joanna Landau, its founder and executive director, aims to promote Israel as a vibrant “hub of creativity and innovation.”
The fashion gurus included:
- BryanBoy — one of the most popular fashion bloggers in the world, who also happens to be a judge on the hit US show “America’s Next Top Model”
- Daniel P. Dykes — originally from Australia, but now the editor-in-chief of the UK-based Fashionising.com website
- Ada Alti — a 23-year-old Greek fashion writer for Eau de Style and a regular contributor to some of Europe’s most popular fashion and style publications
- Rumi Neely — an LA-based blogger and photographer for Fashiontoast.com
- Robb Young — a fashion/style journalist, critic and consultant, whose writings have also appeared in The New York Times and Vogue
During their time in Israel, the fashion bloggers met with leading local designers, participated in a photo shoot, and dropped in on some of Tel Aviv’s leading boutiques and designer flagship stores.
They also attended a runway party hosted by Couture IL (which promotes Israeli fashion to the world), went on an intimate behind the scenes excursion to the beating heart of Tel Aviv’s fashion, style and design scenes, courtesy of TLVStyle, and met with Efrat Gosh, one of Israel’s leading musicians.
The bloggers even managed to bring the sexy back to Jerusalem, with a brief sojourn to the ancient capital.
And of course, it goes without saying, they also sampled the finest of Tel Aviv’s dynamic nightlife, including the bars, sexy sabras and latest music.
Combined, these fashion “super-bloggers” attract at least 10 million followers in over 200 countries. Quite literally – what they say and photograph is fashion gospel that reverberates around the world.
During their visit, they shared their experiences non-stop through every imaginable social platform: updating their blogs and facebook pages, posting photos on Instagram and tweeting all day with glowing references to Israel and Tel Aviv.
Although the fashion bloggers blogged primarily about, well, fashion, they also raved about the dynamic Tel Aviv nightlife, the beach and food, the warm Israeli hospitality, the amazing architecture, and the edgy arts and culture scene.
Quite simply, they did what no amount of op-eds or statements from Israeli government officials ever could: They helped create an emotional bond between Israel and millions of people around the world who would never have thought of it otherwise in such terms.
And now, thanks to the bloggers, Tel Aviv will also be uttered in the same breath as the fashion capitals of Milan, Paris, London and New York, while millions of people around the world will be inspired to visit Israel and compelled to buy Israeli designs.
The fashion bloggers visit follows hot on the heels (yes, pun intended) of food, music, design and yes, even “mummy bloggers,” which Kinetis (in conjunction with Vibe Israel, one of its flagship projects) has brought out for intimate and personalized tours here over the last 12 months.
And this is where Kinetis hits a home run: Through their efforts, they have helped reposition Israel away from the prism of a one-dimensional “conflict focus,” shifting the conversation to it being a vibrant hub of creativity, culture, innovation and entrepreneurship.
At the same time, they have also recognized that social media is the fastest and most effective way of conveying this message, by targeting niche audiences, with immediate global reach. Ultimately, as Landau says, what they are doing is “good for Israel, good for the Israelis and [good] for our economy as well.”
But I will leave the final word to the fashion bloggers themselves, with whom I was able to tag along to some events (in my finest couture, of course!) and ask about their thoughts on Israeli fashion and Tel Aviv in general.
Here is what they said:
- Daniel P. Dykes: “Israel is the forgotten gem of the Middle East.”
- BryanBoy: “The people are what makes Tel Aviv complete. They are so open, warm, generous.” He had earlier also tweeted to his 320,000 followers: “Tel Aviv: Best in Night Life.”
- Robb Young: “The fashion here is sexy, edgy, exciting.”
- Ada Alti: “There are just so many talented designers here.”
- Rumi Neely: “The innovation level is just insane!” At the end of the trip, Neely also posted a photo of Tel Aviv beach, with the caption: “I don’t want to leave! Here’s why.”