Milan, Paris... Holon
By ORI J. LENKINSKI
The Mediatheque Cultural Center will host Israel’s first Fashion Week this month.
When we think of the world’s fashion capitals, the list goes something like
this: Milan, Paris, London, New York – and Holon? Maybe that last one doesn’t
make it onto many people’s couture maps; however, Eyal De Leeuw and his fellow
directors of the Design Museum Holon are aiming to change that fact as soon as
possible. Earlier this year, the center put on the very successful Design Week,
which had similar goals – to gain recognition for the museum and the city as
part of the international design community.
“We are strengthening Holon
as the design capital of Israel,” said De Leeuw.
This month, the
Mediatheque Cultural Center will host Holon and Israel’s first Fashion Week. The
event will take place throughout the center with film screenings at the
Cinematheque, an international symposium and master classes at the museum and a
fashion show on the grounds. For De Leeuw, this development in the center’s
programming is a natural and needed progression.
At present, De Leeuw is
one of the most well-respected fashion experts in Israel. His website, Ha
Garconniere, which specializes in men’s fashion, has gotten the attention of
readers around the world. De Leeuw explains that the seeds for this
international craze were planted in a few e-mails, sent back and forth between
himself and HaGarconniere partner Shahar Shalev. The two were interested in the masculine side
of the industry and began to send each other links to websites that inspired
From there, they developed the blog, which is a strong voice in the
local fashion scene.
In 2010, after significant renovations, the Design
Museum Holon finally opened its doors. De Leeuw’s expertise in the area won him
an important role in the budding museum’s development. Beyond his role as
director of international relations, De Leeuw is the artistic director of
Fashion Week. As part of this job, De Leeuw is responsible for extending
invitations to designers and critics from abroad to take part in a panel in the
international conference. For the past three years, De Leeuw has organized and
facilitated the international fashion conference, which draws world-renowned
members of the industry to Holon to discuss challenges they face in their daily
work and larger questions of the future of fashion.
The topic of this
year’s conference, the meeting between digital advancement and fashion, is of
particular significance to De Leeuw, as his success is due in part to the rich
online fashion community.
“We chose a topic,” explained De Leeuw, “a
committee and I. The topic is the meeting between fashion and digital, which
connects to a return to handcraft. We are focusing on how this influences
marketing and design. We chose the guests according to the topic.”
year’s roster includes famed designer Zac Posen and acclaimed fashion writer
Stephanie LaCava. “Not everyone that we wanted to invite was free to attend; but
overall, attracting guests was not an issue. There is something about the museum
and the meeting of fashion and design. The museums pulls a lot of important
people in,” said De Leeuw.
One of the most exciting elements of Fashion
Week for De Leeuw is the film program at the Cinematheque.
the intersection of film and fashion, this initiative will host films from
around the world such as Alexandra McGuinness’s Lotus Eaters; The Tents, a
documentary about New York Fashion Week; and Eva Ionesco’s My Little
“I come from a background of film,” said De Leeuw.
meeting of fashion and film and the special symposium on fashion and film and
the workshops are going to be a big hit, I think.”
Fashion Week will run
between October 24 and 28 at the Mediatheque Cultural Center in Holon. For more
information, visit www.mediatheque.org.il.