ISRAELI FASHION will go down under in September. Zelda Cawthorne, the International Project Manager for Fashion Exposed, Australia's largest and most prestigious fashion trade fair was in Israel this month as the guest of the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, which helped pave the way for her to take a close look at what is happening in Israel's fashion industry with a view to selecting the collections of somewhere between six and 12 Israeli designers for showings at the Australian fashion fair. Cawthorne, who is also a fashion journalist and fashion industry consultant, was highly impressed with the quality of design, the cut and the workmanship that she saw in Israel - "and not only by established designers." Some of the younger designers, she said, were producing excellent, cutting edge fashions, using quality fabrics and paying passionate attention to detail and finish. The creations of Israeli jewelry and accessory designers will also be shown at the fashion fair. Cawthorne declined to name those designers whose creativity will be viewed in the southernmost continent, explaining that there was no point to naming names until final contracts are signed. The Israelis will participate in runway shows in addition to gala events and some special ear-marked functions within the Jewish community of Melbourne. Aware of the fact that there are some Israeli models working in Australia, Cawthorne said she would investigate the possibility of having them model the Israeli garments. THERE'S MORE than a little Spanish lace to Zara, the trendy Spanish fashion conglomerate with branches world-wide, and prices low enough for people who are not earning high salaries but are eager to be in vogue. Jerusalem is reputedly one of the poorest cities in Israel - but the poor are obviously spending money at the Zara store in the Malha Mall. In fact they've been spending so much that Africa Israel, Zara's local franchisee, has decided to substantially increase the area of the store. Eli Kedar, who manages the Zara chain in Israel, announced this week that Zara at Malha would expand from 806 sq.m to 1,036 sq.m. The investment in the expansion project is NIS 18 million. ISRAEL BEER Breweries has invested EU2.5m. in a new upgraded production line in its Carlsberg plant in Ashkelon. Assembled by the well known German-headquartered Kornes company, the new production line enables increased production and improved packaging. IBB general manager Yaacov Zaidel says his company strives uncompromisingly for better quality through the harnessing of advanced technology. He is confident that increased production will lead to a significant increase in sales. FEARS THAT television, the Internet, DVD players and other marvels of modern technology might lure the People of the Book away from books were obviously premature. Otherwise, Steimatzky, Israel's largest and most veteran chain of bookstores, would be downsizing instead of opening new stores. Founded in Jerusalem in 1925 by Yehezkiel Steimatzky, the chain currently boasts 150 stores in 68 cities and towns. Under its current management, Steimatzky's most consistent marketing tool has been to make books more attractive price-wise, not only to sell more books, but to encourage more people to read more. Discounts are offered on list prices of books all year round, but especially during Hebrew Book Week, which for Steimatzky means the whole of the month of June. ANYONE WITH a computer bug has at one time or another frequented a BUG store. BUG sells computers, computer accessories and utilities, printers, fax machines - and of course printing paper. Demand for all these items is increasing to the extent that BUG is opening seven additional branches throughout 2007, which will bring the total number of stores in the chain to 40. Investment in the additional branches is NIS 1.3m. The new stores will be located in Modi'in, Rishon Lezion, Zichron Yaakov, Beersheba, Ashdod (2) and Karmiel. THERE'S SOMETHING different about the newest branch of McDonald's in Israel - for one thing, it's located in the country's only Arab shopping mall, which was opened recently in Umm el-Fahm. For another, it's the only McDonald's in Israel in which the logo appears in Arabic and English but not in Hebrew. Omri Padan, who heads McDonald's Israel, was on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. He won't have the same problems in Umm el-Fahm as in Jerusalem; if the meat was slaughtered according to either Jewish or Muslim law, the Muslims will eat it - and the fact that it's served in a cheeseburger, will not matter. McDonald's has 128 branches throughout the country.