MICHAL HIDAS: CHANGING THE WORLD THROUGH FASHION
“Fashion is a form of communication and a way to tell a story…”
Some collections make you fall in love with their beauty, others with their story and those who inspired it. The Bridging Collection by Hidas makes you fall in love with both.
Israeli fashion designer, Michal Hidas, invited me to her very first popup shop in NYC, which happened to be during my recent trip to the Big Apple. Together with her mother Haya Hidas, we had the opportunity to chat about her newest project, Bridging Collection, and the touching story behind it.
youthful, determined ready-to-wear design
Michal is a young fashion designer from the Northern region of Israel. She studied fashion at the prestigious Istituto Marangoni Milano, and her work has been featured in cities across the globe including Jerusalem, Belgrade, Taiwan and fashion capitals Milan and New York.
At first glance, the pieces in her collection are colorful and sophisticated – as she calls it luxurious ready-to-wear. The fabrics used are lush and rich to the touch, and the exclusive prints are the product of her unexpected, remote collaboration with an anonymous architect from Gaza (more on that in a moment).
But behind the refined elegance that radiates from each piece in Michal’s collection is a brave perspective on the power of fashion and its role in society.
Michal’s fresh take on fashion is not only clear in her designs but also in the way she operates.
When we met in NYC, she took it upon herself to hand-deliver the Hidas collection pieces straight to my hotel, amidst running around getting ready for her own popup shop.
Wearing Hidas is easy. From the moment she brought me her designs, it took me just a couple minutes to easily pair and style them into gorgeous looks I’d happily wear to nearly any occassion – they’re that gorgeous yet versatile!
Check out my interview with this inspiring designer to learn more…
Interview with Michal hidas
Tali: Michal, you have an interesting story and beautiful work, as a result. Can you first tell us about the message behind your brand?
Michal: I believe that fashion is a form of communication. We use it to tell stories (some true, some fantasy) to society, those around us, our social media circles, and to ourselves.
When I design a collection, I try to confront issues that are interesting or disturbing to me, and I address issues I want to raise the awareness to.
When I wake up in the morning, I choose what I want to wear based on my mood and what vibe I want to put out into the world. Maybe we don’t consciously do this, but what we wear expresses our ideas and beliefs about ourselves and the world.
Fashion is powerful, how we use it is powerful, and we can use this power to make changes, impacting even just one person’s point of view or sharing knowledge about a certain situation.
Tali: Fashion is definitely a form of communication! What is the message you want to communicate through your collection?
Michal: There’s a passage in Genesis that talks about Abraham’s sons, Isaac and Ishmael, reuniting to bury him after his death. We felt that instead of continuing to share only one story – the story of war and death – and reuniting to bury more bodies, we could reunite to create beauty. Through a meeting of the minds, life can be born.
My Palestinian co-collaborator and I decided to create life, something happy, something extremely naive, colorful, beautiful. Each piece has many colors and complex patterns, the lines and cuts are bold and distinct yet feminine and playful.
The idea is to show how pieces of beauty and high quality can come from realities that may seem harsh or serious.
You know, to this day, I have only met my partner in person once because he cannot leave Gaza and I cannot enter Gaza, so we did everything online.
Tali: Can you tell us the story of how you met your design partner and created the current collection?
Michal: The collection came to life after I became friends with this architect from Gaza. During the war in 2014, I grew curious about what life was like for people in Gaza. I saw, firsthand, the profound effect the war had on the people of Israel, and I wanted to learn more about the experience of those on the other side.
Researching the topic was just confusing. Various Google searches in Hebrew, English, and Italian all gave me conflicting information, so I decided to randomly reach out to Palestinians on Facebook, (yes, many of them thought I was crazy at first!)…
Eventually I “met” a brilliantly talented man (whose name I cannot reveal, as public knowledge of his professional collaboration with me could endanger him and his family) who teaches architecture at the University in Gaza.
We decided to join forces to develop a collection together. We were like, instead of making war, let’s make life – art is life!
T: Do you also make the prints?
M: Yes, the prints are based on his sketches. We created them ourselves exclusively for Hidas.
T: Wow! So you’re basically changing the world through fashion.
M: [Chuckling] I’m doing my small part. We’ve begun to do collaborations with organizations that work with youth groups, we’ve already had special events and interactive workshops in Jerusalem and around the country for both Israelis and Palestinians
T: This is truly fascinating. How do people react to your clothing?
M: We worked hard to emphasize the color and the playfulness and movement of each piece so that the collection can really captivate its audience. The women who come to see the collection are immediately drawn to the beauty and the sophistication, and then they start to ask questions, like, “Wait! You designed this with a professor in Gaza? In Gaza they don’t have electricity? They have a university?”
The women who tried on my pieces or who meet me even for five minutes go crazy, like, “I can’t stop talking about your collection and the story behind it!” This is the whole point, to get them talking, to open their minds.
wearing hidas: hopeful, intelligent beauty
I absolutely loved wearing her pieces; they just gave me this feeling of sheer bliss, a feeling of hope and individual expression. Each piece moves and flows so effortlessly and transforms every outfit from basic to glamour.
It’s not often that you find beautifully executed, relevant, and wearable couture with such a clever and brave point of view behind it. Each unique piece from Hidas is a must-have for any fashion lover who appreciates intelligent beauty.
Gift a thoughtful fashionista – or yourself – with one of Michal’s masterpieces, and immediately fall in love with both her work and her passion, just like I did.
This dress/vest is amazingly versatile. Pair this couture piece of art with wardrobe staples such as denim and a turtleneck to transform your look into the freshest street style on the block.
We’ve seen amazing before, but this cape stands out in any closet. Exclusive to the Bridging collection, the cape’s custom print makes this a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that effortlessly turns your classic denim look into instant street couture.
Couture That Speaks
Bridging Collection pieces not only feel haute couture, they also carry an important message. It’s impossible not to fall in love with both the fashion and the designers behind it.
The Next Level of Look Good, Feel Good
Michal’s awesome energy shines in every Bridging Collection garment. Not only will you look amazing, but you’ll feel inspired each time you wear a Hidas original.
Short video from the interview posted here.
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO