It can be hard to start a career in fashion design these days, what with such stiff competition, the high cost of creating haute couture and the reluctance of the average Joe to fork over a week's salary for a shirt, however unique. And then there's the cost of renting and advertising a space to show off one's finest fripperies.
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The Dizengoff Center mall in central Tel Aviv, home to dozens of mass-produced ready-to-wear chains, also gives a boost to about 50 young Israeli designers by providing space and exposure without the expense of creating a business.
The fashion fair is located at the bottom of the mall, one story below street level. Dizengoff Center spans both sides of Dizengoff Street: the fair is located between the two halves. You can reach it from any entrance to the mall but the closest is Entrance 5.
Even though the young designers are spared the cost of maintaining a store, don't think you'll find bargains. This is no flea market: Their offerings are unique and you pay for it. Prices range from reasonable to, well... But what you get is a terrific selection of personal creations suited to a very wide range of tastes.
While there is a huge range to choose from for women, and a rather smaller one for children, very few of the designers sell clothes for men. (And, most of the designers seem to be women.) But for the ladies, there is everything from shirts to blouses to trousers, dresses and skirts and shorts, lots of accessories from handmade handbags to jewelry and belts, and much more.
You can try on the clothes you select at the fair, which is equipped with perfectly adequate dressing rooms (stalls with curtains, really). The fair is also equipped with a DJ playing light pop.
Once in a while the Friday fair is devoted to themes, such as a shoe fair, the 1980s, Purim costumes and so on.
Note that in parallel with the designer fair is a food fair, also situated on the below-ground floor, which operates at the same hours. You might want to eat first before dripping sauces on your brand-new duds.
A word to the wise: The Dizengoff Center mall has a large underground parking lot, which isn't free - you pay by the hour. Here are two points for considerationL
One: By late morning on Friday it's usually full, which means you can't park there. (They simply don't let in any more cars.) On Fridays, you might consider taking a bus or taxi to the center.
Two: If you do park there, make a note of which floor and which spot. The parking lot also spans both sides of the street and is very large and maze-like. If you forget where you parked, you'll be using your brand-new duds to wipe the sweat off your face as you trek its vast space.
50 Dizengoff Street / Thursday 4 P.M. – 8 P.M., Friday 10 A.M. – 3 P.M.