Celebrating swimwear

BikiFest, Israel's first swimwear festival, was held in Jerusalem and saw over 4,200 participants.

By SHANI SHAHMOON
August 26, 2015 18:05
2 minute read.
Shopping in Israel

Browsing for a bathing suit. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Israel’s first swimwear festival was held in Jerusalem last week to bring attention to a new wave in the online fashion industry.

When sitting with girlfriend Tamar Cohen and sister Talia Zuberi discussing the new trend of clothing festivals, Noam Zuberi took their joking suggestion of a swimsuit festival seriously.

With his partner, Nir David, and with the help of their marketing and advertising company, Brand Jah, the two planned BikiniFest, which saw 4,200 participants turn out.

At the free event (other than the cost of alcoholic beverages), leading online bikini manufacturers and swimwear boutique owners from around the country gathered at the First Station for a colorful two days of fashion and creativity. The format was designed to appeal to all sorts of attendees, from those interested in swimwear to makeup aficionados and to even the boyfriends or partners who tagged along.

The festival was separated into a number of zones. In the swimwear zone, designers aged 20 to 35 presented handmade, one-piece and plus-size swimsuits.

Participating designers included Bananhot, Almarie, Shani Shemar, SOL and Merav Ratzon, and many of the women and their sales associates wore their own designs.

Some of these designers couldn’t return for the second day of the event because they had sold all their apparel on the first day.

In the photo shoot zone, attendees were given a chance to see fashion through the eyes of fashion photographer Oz Schechter; those who enjoy champagne drank their bubbly on this section’s red carpet.

Aperol sponsored the cocktail zone by the peacock bar, serving creations made with the brand’s alcohol.

Il Makiage headed up the makeup zone, where women could see makeup artists putting the process to work on models, comprised of many volunteer attendees. “Moral supporters” felt at home in the boyfriend zone, which included sofas and a bar that served beer, as well as backgammon boards to entertain those men who joined their girlfriends and wives.

One of the attendees observed that the whitewashed wood décor created a “Florida/beachy vibe.” She described her time at BikiniFest as enjoyable and fun, filled with uniquely designed swim apparel, giveaways and tasty nibbles. (The Atza restaurant provided sushi, while Evian supplied free water for attendees parched by the high temperatures.) The holy city might not have been the obvious choice for such an event. When asked why they chose to hold the swimwear festival here, Zuberi replied, “We’re from Jerusalem, and we had a business here. The city was good to us, so we decided to do an event like this here instead of Tel Aviv, despite the offers. We want to attract people to come here.”


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