EXPERIENCING the glitz and glamour of models striding down the catwalk for fashion week in Tel Aviv, meeting some of the Jewish State’s top fashion designers and discovering the latest in the Israeli “Fash-Tech” space are all in store for two emerging Australian fashionistas.
Sydney’s Nikki Vernon and former Sydneysider Rebecca Brown, who moved to New York in 2013, were both selected for a first-of-its-kind international fashion delegation to Israel, starting on July 26.
Organised by the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP), in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, the delegation consists of 35 creative Jewish women, hailing from seven countries, who over eight days will enjoy a mix of travel, social and cultural activities interspersed with fashion-focused highlights and opportunities.
This outfit of international Jewish talent will visit fashion hot spots and boutiques in Israel’s style capital, Tel Aviv, meet jewellery and accessories designers in Jerusalem, mingle with Israeli fashion trendsetters and tour a co-working space for women entrepreneurs who specialise in fashion technologies.
Vernon got her start in fashion 20 years ago at a large manufacturer supplying Australian department stores and has since worked across design, manufacturing, marketing, photography, styling and web design in all areas of fashion, from women’s and children’s wear to maternity clothing.
For the last two years she has volunteered as a stylist for a charity that helps women to enter or re-enter the workforce, particularly newly arrived refugees. “These women really touch my heart – they walk in feeling downtrodden and sad, and walk out feeling confident and more prepared to take on their new world,” Vernon said.
“My passion has always been in fashion and dressing women to make them feel more confident.”
Vernon described the value of the JWRP’s fashion delegation to Israel as being “one of a kind”.
“I hope to learn more about our Jewish heritage and be able to pass that on to family, friends and the broader community,” she said.
Brown told The AJN while aboard a train in New York’s subway on Tuesday that she’s always loved being able to express herself through a creative lens. “And fashion has been that outlet for me since I was a young girl.
“I have worked in garment design, styling, online and print media, and I currently work as a trend editor at global fashion forecasting company, Fashion Snoops. As an observant, Modern Orthodox Jew working in the fashion world, I am most excited to meet other like-minded women in fashion who balance their religious observance with their professional life.”