by Sherif Awad
Annie Friedman, Swimwear Creative Designer
-Born in France in 1960 in Nancy, the Lorraine region close to the German border, I immigrated to Israel with my family in 1970 for ideological reasons, where I live and work which is basically my base of activity to this day. As a baby before I even spoke - the first thing I asked my mother was a pencil ... Yes, my creative career has started ever since! From that day, I already knew it was my way, my vocation and my DNA – Apart from my two grandmothers Marie and Rosine, my dear mother Andrea and my two beautiful daughters Shannie and Gali, my models have always been powerful women from different cultures around the world, especially in fashion, art, history and ... the unforgettable Princess Diana.
-Graduated with honours from the ORT High School Fashion Design Program in Tel Aviv - a small, intimate high school where I learned the basic skills that prepared me for my long and distinguished career in fashion and styling. Even then, as a teenager, I designed clothes for my friends and after finishing military service in the IDF in 1980, I started working for the well-known global swimwear company - Gottex, and a few months later I received an offer I couldn't refuse - a scholarship for an international fashion design program, provided it specializes in Swimwear. My French origin played a key role in choosing the exclusive ESMOD school for France. From that day on, my dreams come true and I was fortunate to start my successful career as a creative swimwear designer at leading swimwear companies.
-My designs bore my brand name and other well-known brands of swimwear companies. They have been sold all over the world in top fashion catalogs and stores, such as Victoria's Secret, Quelle, Le Printemps, La Redoute, El Corte Ingles, Spiegel, Madeleine, Macy's, Bergdorf Goodman, Newman Marcus, Alba Moda, Galleries Lafayette, and many others. My designs were also featured in the Swimwear Design's Collection of the Italian Designer, Valentino. For the last thirty years or more, I have gained many successful experiences, knowledge and expertise in swimwear. Anyone who knows or works with me knows that I do not take shortcuts; I learn and know all aspects of the process until I know it from the inside out. Every detail and issues are closely scrutinized and tailored: fashion and textile design, international purchasing and merchandise, product development, manufacturing processes, quality assurance and control, developing and working with the Far East, presentations and fashion shows, branding and management.
As an Autodidact and crazy about knowledge and technologies I always want to know more and more ...! Exploring and learning are the inspiration of my life and always the next step for me. In my opinion, the challenge of creativity becomes a topical issue! especially after all the changes in the global industry, social media exposures and search engine platforms. Technologies take a major role in design and manufacturing that require more consideration and focus.
Creativity is still a prominent advantage in the product but not only - creativity is also about the prices, the targeted market (which becomes bigger or smaller) and of course the accessibility. As a woman, I don't see any gender-related challenges in my field. I see more women designers in this field. When new works are offered to me, it's always because they want to upgrade their swimwear brand, build a more efficient and accurate collection, get great designs and sell more ...
Since my successful professional background, experience and reputation as a Swimwear Expert, this is the main decision when they offer me the job or need my point of view. I appreciate every role that comes my way and seek to be inspired and motivated for the companies or brands.
I have one life! I had no separation between personal and professional life except when my girls were young. I love and enjoy the crazy pace of unexpected life!
My dreams and projects are to continue to do what I love, design creative collection for swimwear brands around the world, and teach swimwear courses at fashion school. My goals are to transfer the vast knowledge to the benefit of those who love and want to learn it.