Arrivals: A stylish aliya

As creative director for ‘Fashion TV,’ Bella Abramov chose Israel to house the broadcast center, despite its headquarters in Austria.

Bella Abramov (photo credit: Courtesy)
Bella Abramov
(photo credit: Courtesy)
‘I have a passion for fashion,” says Bella Abramov, who must have one of the most glamorous jobs in Israel, working for Fashion TV.
The Moscow-born 29-year-old lived here as a small child, and returned in November 2010 to take up her job as a creative director for the popular channel, which is broadcast from Israel.
“The broadcasting center is here, though the actual headquarters of Fashion TV are in Vienna,” explains Abramov.
“Michel Adam, the owner, is Jewish and chose Israel to be the creative center of the company, but the financial, legal and logistic sides are based in Austria.”
Why would the channel base its creative activities in Israel? “One of the main reasons is because it used an Israeli-based satellite company for broadcasting worldwide,” she says.
“Due to year-round weather conditions here, many satellite companies use Israel as their prime location for broadcasting.
It made sense for our company to work closely with the satellite company, both physically and technically. “ In 2010 she came back to visit Israel, having not been here for 15 years.
“I fell in love with the new Israel, so different from how I remembered it as a child,” she recalls. “Today, there is a young international crowd especially around Tel Aviv, and there are so many small organizations which exist to make young people feel at home here.”
She mentions the White City Shabbat group as one which made her aliya successful, since she became observant four years ago. The move to Israel strengthened her religious observance, partly because she has family here who are Orthodox and she spent time with them, celebrating Shabbat and discovering a whole new world of Judaism.
“Israel is obviously the perfect location for those who want to observe Judaism, because of things like easy access to kosher food and the work schedule from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday often free for Shabbat preparations. But all in all, since I have become religious, I don’t connect changes in my belief to changes in location – rather guidance from above.”
After she spent her kindergarten years here, the family moved to Vienna and her father went into the tea business; though a medical doctor, he would have had to requalify, and decided to instead switch careers. Bella studied at the International School in Vienna and then spent five years in London, acquiring a BA in politics and a master’s in international relations and business management.
She settled in Ramat Gan, living in the apartment which belonged to her parents, but later moved to Tel Aviv to be more a part of the scene there.
As a creative director, she manages a team of four people who produce promotional clips on what will be coming up on Fashion TV in the future. At the moment, they are busy promoting the ultra-glamorous world of Victoria’s Secret (the well-known lingerie company), and the channel is broadcasting constant clips of gorgeous models in various stages of undress.
“I take the best moments from material that has already been broadcast, give them to the team to work into the film, and write them a text,” she says. “After the film is made, I have to make sure it is done exactly as I planned, and that it will be broadcast on the right day.”
While Fashion TV is not everyone’s cup of tea, Abramov tells me it is a very popular channel; according to statistics, Asian men watch it the most.
“Of course, more women than men watch it overall,” she says. “We have a huge fanbase on Facebook, with over 2 million fans who follow us.”
There are many perks to the job, which she enjoys whenever possible.
“I can go to any fashion show all over the world,” she says. The last one she went to was in Russia, a little under a year ago.
She has just become engaged to Dimitri, who works for one of the most established banks in Europe; they plan to marry at the end of the year. They met on Facebook, and Abramov sees her future role as more of a wife and mother than a career woman.
“For me, although I love my work, I want to build a family and I don’t believe a woman can build a career like a man,” she says. “Eventually, I want to have my own business – but marriage and children will come first.”
She also loves to arrange matches for her friends, and says she has had plenty of success. “I consider it a great mitzva,” she enthuses.
Abramov has always loved style and is beautifully dressed, with a model-perfect figure right for showing off clothes.
“I think Israeli fashion has changed and is much improved,” she declares.
“It’s not surprising since many of the top designers are Jewish anyway. Many of the people who work in Fashion TV are Jewish and we are shown in many Arab countries – everyone knows this, and no one ever tries to hide our Jewish and Israeli connections.”
Who knows – maybe the Middle East conflict will be finally solved not on the battlefield of war, but on the runways of Fashion TV?