Introducing Foreign Correspondent, a weekly report on style and culture from abroad. This month we travel to Tel Aviv with Eyal de Leeuw, a leading Israeli men's style blogger and head of external relations at Design Museum Holon.
Like most of my generation, I'm a man of many hats. You might say we know too little about too much, but that's the story of the multi-hyphenates. My day job is at the new, award-winning Design Museum Holon, only 20 minutes from Tel Aviv city center (or 13 minutes if you hop on the scooter with me). Since it opened in 2010 it's become a leading force in the international art and design community, exhibiting the works of both up-and-coming and established talent, like Yohji Yamamoto, whose massive show at the museum recently closed. Architect Ron Arad designed the stunning building, whose dramatic façade is made of undulating COR-TEN (weathering steel) ribbons.
Caught on camera by Tel Aviv street style photographer, The Streets Walker.
I head the external relations department, which includes fundraising, international relations, and cooperation with other institutions as well as individual artists and designers. I also directed the museum's past two international fashion events—Holon Fashion Week 2011 and 2012.
In addition to my work at Design Museum Holon, I'm the co-founder and writer of The Garçonnière, a men's fashion blog that I established in 2008 with my friend, Sahar Shalev, after we both returned home to Tel Aviv after several years abroad. We felt the need to update Israeli men and connect them with the changing world of men's fashion. Like many others at the time, Tel Avivian men, were (and still are, in fact) going through something of a re-dandyization. We created a place where w discuss men's fashion in the larger context of culture, politics, news, and trends.
With my friend and The Garçonnière co-founder, Sahar Shalev.
The title Garçonnière translates to bachelor pad in French. The idea was to create a place where men (and women) feel comfortable and intrigued. We don't only review the recent Dior Homme collection or discuss future trends in London, but we try to look at men's fashion with critical eyes and a sense of history. We see clothing as a cultural intersection of political, popular, and artistic ideas.
It's been four years since we launched, and though we're not jetting around with Scott Schuman or launching a new capsule collection with Thom Browne, we've created a lovely community of readers—both men and women. We also write a bimonthly column in the small but influential Israeli newspaper Haartez (yes, good old print!), titled "The Gentleman's Club," and we might (just might) have contributed to the new look of men on the streets of Tel Aviv. At least now when we talk about boat shoes in summer, trench coats in autumn, double-breasted suits, woven Hill-Side ties, and chambray shirts, nobody looks at us like weird fashion-aliens.
Sahar and I model coats from the Margiela x H&M collection.
And now you can all read it, too. Just a few months ago we re-launched the site in English as part of the online magazine, Tel Avivian.
If it's your job to be an active part of your city's culture, then living in a nonstop city like Tel Aviv, with its endless parties (like the Cheesecake party line or Rothschild 12), hip new bars (Har Sinai, Joz & Loz), amazing food, vibrant art scene (check out Sommer Gallery), and creative (and beautiful) people all around you, it's very easy to work without stopping, hopping from one project to another, without pausing for self reflection. And that's what happened to me until I started a new job, my very latest, adding a new and life-changing hat to my ever-growing collection—being a young dad.
My new shopping assistant.
Check back each week this month for the low down on what's new in art, culture, nightlife, and shopping in my hometown, Tel Aviv.