Cindy Grosz
Cindy GroszCourtesy

Jewish media and some mainstream outlets covered various fashion shows featuring the singing of Hatikvah, like the “Illumination of Hope,” inspired by the lighting of Shabbat candles or the scarves used by religious women to cover their hair hair and adhere to the public signal to their surroundings that they are married and comply with traditional notions of propriety. But one show, from invitation to scenery and a step and repeat was dedicated to the situation in Israel since October 7, 2023.

Meet Gita Omri, a fashion designer, previously known for collections which were dedicated to size inclusivity in activewear and luxury womenswear collections, available for women of all sizes, 0-30. Until this show, Omri has been fairly silent about how the events of last fall affected her.

Until now.

Gita Omri logo
Gita Omri logoCindy Grosz

The show, entitled “…Unclassified '', was a collection dedicated to an exploration of the designer’s personal journey as an Israeli American. Having grown up in her native Israel and serving her military stint in the Air Force, she has been moved in recent months by the happenings in what was once her backyard.

“This collection is a reflection of my emotional reaction to the war in Gaza,” states Gita Omri. “I couldn’t help but reflect back on my time in the military in these troubled times.”

The military inspiration seen throughout the collection was pulled directly from Gita’s experience in the Israeli military during her mandatory service years. For her Fall Winter 2024 collection, she took the hard, utilitarian details commonly found on uniforms and contrasted that with the innate free-spirited softness of the Israeli people. Both aspects of the designer’s heritage hold equally fond spots in her personal, cultural journey.

The show began with some modern takes on classic fatigues before taking a decidedly sportwear turn into updated takes on blouses, plaid blocked skirts, ombre silk maxi dresses, layering pieces, and coats. Fabrications ran the gamut from scuba knits in pants and tops, to silk charmeuse and georgette, to yarn-dyed Melton plaid coatings, and over printed and embroidered laces, the former of which evoked camouflage in a seriously modern way.

Gita Omri’s collection for Fall Winter 2024 was no less diverse than in seasons past. Her casting, which included a range talent from a variety of backgrounds, ages, sizes, and even one who was pregnant didn’t go unnoticed by those in attendance. In fact, when she announced that her show was focused on supporting Israel and focusing on the hostages and their families, the fashion designer lost guests, models and some press from Hamas supporters.

Overall, this collection was the biggest yet and received its best reviews after the showing in downtown Manhattan. Many looks garnered significant reactions from her enthusiastic audience, but it was the jumpsuit and full-length maxi gown covered in cargo pockets of all shapes and sizes that truly were the showstoppers. The pieces were both constructed in a scuba knit printed in the season's trademark peach and khaki tones. The print was taken from a painting the designer recently completed of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Other colors in the diverse palette included mustard yellow, deep teal green, lavender, mint green, olive, and terra cotta.

Omri, currently living in New York is a mother of two. Her family has a history of philanthropy in both Israel and the United States. She told me, "We all deserve to look and feel our best regardless of our race, nationality, or size. Dignity has no size tag and fashion should reflect that. Our mission is to reintroduce fashion as a tool to enhance one’s confidence and self-esteem. With my label I seek to empower women to present themselves to the world in their true form with pride, acceptance, and authenticity.”

Follow the fashion project Fashion For Israel, incorporating both Jewish and non-Jewish fashion businesses and designers through my radio show, Cindy and Friends.

Here is a link to Cindy and Friends, heard in the Tristate area every Sunday morning 10:00 ET on 1240 AM and 95.9 FM and streaming on all major outlets: