Israeli model says Lebanese designer banned her from show

Arbel Kynan did not disclse the name of the designer.

Fashion  (photo credit: PR)
(photo credit: PR)
Arbel Kynan, a top Israeli fashion model, wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday that a Lebanese designer refused to have her take part in his runway show at the Haute Couture Week in Paris, which starts on January 20, because of her nationality.
“Truthfully... it’s still hard for me to digest....” Kynan wrote. She then told of how she arrived in Paris a few days ago to be photographed by a “very respectable fashion company,” and was told she would also walk the runway in next week’s show, which is a coveted job in the modeling industry.
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האמת... עדיין קשה לי לעכל... לפני כמה ימים הגעתי לפריז להצטלם לחברת אופנה מאוד נחשבת שלוקחת חלק גם בשבוע האופנה של ההוט קוטור. עוד לפני שהגעתי לפריז הם אמרו שישמחו שאקח גם חלק בתצוגה. הגעתי ליום הצילום באנרגיות אש, אני חולת עבודה! כל יום צילום מבחינתי זה לא רק עבודה לשם עשייה אלא גם הנאה. הרבה פעמים שואלים אותנו הדוגמניות מאיפה אנחנו, וגם ביום הצילום הזה שאלו אותי מאיפה אני, ואני כמובן עניתי עם חיוך גדול שאני מתל אביב. היום המשיך כמו בכל יום צילום, סיימתי כרגיל שעות לפני המצופה (אני מאוד מהירה בעבודה. ברגע שאני מבינה מה הלקוח רוצה הכל טס). עברו מספר ימים מהעבודה וממש לפני כשעה קיבלתי מייל מהסוכנות שלי לפיו הלקוח הוא לבנוני והוא לא מעוניין שאקח חלק בתצוגה כי אני גרה בתל אביב, בישראל - זה ממש תוכן המייל שקיבלתי. אני כותבת את כל זה כדי להעביר מסר: בסופו של יום כולנו בני אדם, לא משנה מה המוצא שלנו, צבע העור הגזע או מה שזה לא יהיה. תהיו בני אדם! זה הכי חשוב!

Un post condiviso da arbelkynan (@arbelkynan) in data:

“Many times, people ask us where we are from, and on the day of the shoot they asked me where I am from and, of course, I answered with a big smile that I am from Tel Aviv.” The shoot continued as usual, Kynan said, and they finished early. According to Kynan, a few days passed, and then on Tuesday, she says, “I received an email from my agency stating that the client is Lebanese and he does not want me to take part in the show, because I live in Tel Aviv, Israel – this is the content of the email I received.”
Among the messages of support Kynan received on Instagram included pleas for her to name the designer, but she did not. There are no fewer than four Lebanese designers taking part in this year’s Haute Couture Week, and although insiders in Israel’s fashion industry speculated, off the record, as to who it might be – no one could say for sure.
One of the designers is Elie Saab, who posted a photo of Gal Gadot on Instagram wearing one of his dresses to the National Board of Review Awards in New York two years ago, where she was honored for her work. He praised her as “flawless.”
This post drew outrage in Lebanon, with Lebanese journalist Heba Bitar writing on Twitter, “I love and respect Elie Saab, but is he really happy an Israeli actress wore a dress he designed?” Many others noted that Gadot is an IDF veteran, and that her breakout film, Wonder Woman, was banned from theaters throughout much of the Arab world.
Following this backlash, Saab deleted the post. In spite of that, Saab’s fragrance “Le Parfum” can be purchased in Israel via multiple websites, selling on some for more than NIS 300. The business of fashion has become globalized, particularly in recent years, and although this might seem to promise more cooperation among those in the industry, it seems some prejudices die hard.
Kynan seems philosophical about the discrimination she experienced, writing at the end of her post: “At the end of the day, we are all human, no matter what our origin, race, skin color or whatever. Be human! This is most important!”