Israeli Fashion Designer Daniella Lehavi Dies at 59

Lehavi was the first designer in Israel to develop personalized handbag designs.

Handbag and fashion accessory designer Daniella Lehavi has died at the age of 59, after a year-long struggle with cancer. Her funeral was held in Savyon.

Lehavi established the brand bearing her name over 20 years ago and became one of Israel’s leading designers. Her designs were acclaimed in Israel and overseas, where she displayed and sold many of her designs. Most recently, she received a prize for the best designer of accessories at an awards ceremony for fashion designers which was held at the Design Museum in Holon, as part of Israel’s fashion week.

Born in Switzerland in 1954, Lehavi came to Israel with her family in 1963. She studied in the Industrial Design department at the Bezalel Academy, returning to it later as a lecturer.

Her first designs were for brands such as MIP and Caligula, but by 1991 she had launched her own brand.

She was the first in Israel to develop a brand that offered personalized designs in handbags. At first she designed and sewed the handbags at home, distributing them to stores on her bike. Even in its early years, the brand sold in 70 stores throughout Israel.

When stores began to rapidly run out of her products, she set up a studio and opened her first store in the Basel area of Tel Aviv. After her success with handbags, Lehavi started producing shoes and other fashion accessories, a venture which also met with success.

At her request, her son Uri will continue producing her brand.

Tomer Appelbaum
Ran Golani