Business Scene

Ivanka Trump came here this week to check out the local real estate market for her father, Donald Trump.

Ivona Trump 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Ivona Trump 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
ISRAEL'S BEST product apparently is President Shimon Peres. It is doubtful that anyone else could have attracted such an illustrious group of people to Jerusalem for the Facing Tomorrow conference. Aside from dealing with the multifaceted subject in its global, Israeli and Jewish contexts, the conference is basically marketing what Peres calls "Israeli brainpower," or what Prime Minister Ehud Olmert calls "Israeli genius." Participants are being made aware of Israeli accomplishments through the Tomorrow's Spaces exhibition, which demonstrates the ingenuity of 60 entrepreneurs, and through bits and pieces of information relayed at conference sessions and special events. Numerous products and procedures adopted worldwide have had their genesis in Israel. Some of the best known are drip irrigation, phone calls via the Internet and ICQ, the instant-messaging computer program. There are also food products, such as cherry tomatoes, and the hair remover Epilady, to mention just a few. Peres has had an extraordinarily action-packed week, both physically and mentally. He has been moving at a pace that would exhaust someone half his age, and he was looking very tired just before the start of the conference. But once it got under way, he perked up considerably, judging by the buoyant spring in his step, and the radiance on his face opening night in Jerusalem and later that evening in Ramat Gan when he handed Betar Jerusalem the State Cup. The conference is also marketing Jerusalem, which is not yet universally recognized as Israel's capital. Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski reminded the visiting dignitaries on opening night that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish people. It was a great night for Lupolianski, having so many world leaders in politics, economics and academia in his city, but also to have the city's soccer team win the State Cup. ISRAEL'S PAST and present was also being marketed in New York by the Israel-design concept boutique Rosebud, which is featuring an exhibition entitled "60 yeas of fashion from Israel." Its owners, Fern and Leslie Penn, during their recent trips to Israel to purchase new merchandise, also looked for vintage items. They went to flea markets, met with collectors and managed to get sufficient collectables to exhibit. Some of the apparel, though decades old, still looks as modern as tomorrow. The vintage items include pieces from Maskit, Ata, Gottex, early embroidered blouses and fashion photographs from Rudi Weissenstein. COMING UP trumps. That was certainly the effect that the beautiful Ivanka Trump had on Israeli real estate moguls and media people this week when she met them for breakfast at the Tel Aviv Hilton, which she made her home away from home. Primarily in Israel to secure investors for one of her father's prestige projects in Florida, Trump was also checking out Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Eilat to find a potential site for a Trump Tower. Does that mean Donald Trump will be investing heavily in Israel? No such luck. Trump trades on his reputation; since he does fairly well, judging by his many projects in the US, if he lends his name to a project, not only investors line up, but also buyers. THE NUMBER of Jewish holidays on the calendar provide ample opportunities for marketing gimmicks. Although Lag Ba'omer is next week, and several firms are already dealing with more than hot potatoes, some are looking forward to Shavuot. While it's natural for food companies to market dairy products, or menus that include dairy products, fashion companies are taking a ride on the festival with so-called white collections. Kitchen designers, believe it or not, are doing the same. The DO IT chain, whose new collection is produced in collaboration with Ziv Reshef (widely known as the green chef because of his insistence on organically grown, chemically untainted fruits and vegetables), is a study in white. The collection also takes into account the need for countertop space. LINGERIE CHAIN womenonly has invested NIS 150,000 in setting up an Internet site to offer advise on the latest in women's underwear and lingerie. Visitors to the site can also registers for the chain's consumer club, which offers discounts on purchases and provides information about sales of surplus merchandise. At some future stage it will also be possible to make on-line purchases. Orly Shenhar, marketing manager for womenonly, says the chain's strategy is to foster ongoing personal contact with clients even when they don't have to come to one of the stores.