Years ago when Maya Negri needed inspiration, she boarded a plane. Traveling was
the hobby that brought her to fashion design in the first place and continued to
be a major part of her creative world.
Though globetrotting is still a
passion of Negri’s, her search for sources of inspiration has become much more
local. In fact, it often goes only as far as her computer screen. This change in
her creative process will be a topic of discussion, along with many other issues
facing local fashion designers, at the international conference during Holon
Fashion Week later this month.
Initiated by the Design Museum of Holon
and the Holon Municipality, Holon’s first Fashion Week will take place at
various locations in the city such as the Mediatheque Cultural Center and the
Holon Cinematheque. The list of international guests includes designer Zac
Posen, fashion writer Stephanie LaCava, and owner of Stylus.com Marc Worth. The
roster of events includes the international fashion conference and a film
festival, which will focus on the synergy between film and
Though this is the first fashion week to be held in Israel, it
is the third annual fashion conference. Joining Negri on the conference
panel will be designers Dorin Frankfurt, Daniella Lehavi and Mordechai Avraham.
One of the main topics to be discussed is the meeting between handmade crafts
and digital advancement.
“When I was a student,” says Negri, “if I wanted
to look for images, for example, I had to go to the library at Shenkar [College
of Engineering and Design] and request that they order a certain
catalog. Then it would take three weeks to arrive, and finally I would
get to look it over. Nowadays I turn on my computer, and the whole world is
there. I have an entire existence online. I wake up in the morning and
immediately get connected. I read blogs and post comments on a variety of sites
that I like. I have a whole digital life that is separated from the physical.
Separated from Maya Negri, living in Tel Aviv. And there is such an abundance
Negri recently launched a new collection called M2012. This line
is what is known as a capsule collection, a popular trend in local and
international fashion and another topic that will be discussed during Fashion
Week. A capsule collection is an assortment of easy-to-wear items made
specifically for mixing and matching.
For Negri, the process of designing
M2012 was very satisfying. “My trademark is my approach to the client. Those
clients have needs, and I meet them. For this purpose, I have the Maya Negri classic line. With the capsule, I
was free to do what I wanted to do, completely disconnected from the continuity
or commercial appeal of the clothing. With the capsule, I could respond to the
plentiful inspiration I absorb on a daily basis and just design,” she
Though Negri is open to the ever-growing digital presence in the
fashion community, there are some things the computer can’t replace. “I think
the smart thing to do is find a balance. I still travel. And when I design, I
still make free-form patterns, and I still make the pieces by hand on the model.
That’s my creation. In the end it’s sculpture,” she explains.
Negri’s eyes, the introduction of fashion week provides an excellent opportunity
for local designers. At present, she says, breaking into the international
market is an almost impossible task for most young designers. “Our politics and
physical distance from the major fashion centers of the world keep us
disconnected from what’s going on.
There are some very talented people
here,” she says. “To be a young designer in Israel today is very difficult.
‘Making it’ is a huge challenge.” Indeed, this year may well be a turning
point for Israeli fashion. With both Holon and Tel Aviv hosting fashion
weeks for the first time, the incoming traffic for our local designers will
certainly open new windows of opportunity. The growing blogs, websites
and commentators hailing from the country have already laid the foundation for
Israel to become a new keystone of design and fashion.
Israel into the international fashion routes will afford the independent
designer an easier existence. “Fashion week is a huge step. Big designers
from abroad are coming to Israel for this event,” says Negri. “My hope is that
this event will make Israel a major center in the fashion world.”Holon
Fashion Week will run from October 24 to 27. For more information, visit