This article explores how and why, in the 1970s, Israeli Mizrahi men – Jews from Arab countries – used fashion (among other tools) to both rebel against Ashkenazim hegemony and reconnect with their own roots. This article first shows how, during Israel’s pre-state era, many Jewish Ashkenazim pioneers wore a very simple outfit that was associated with socialist political ideology and became the male Israeli national dress code before and after Israel’s establishment in 1948. Not all Israelis identified with it, though: in the 1970s, second-generation male Mizrahim rebelled against the ethnic and racial discrimination they suffered from Ashkenazim, and used fashion alongside other means to express their opposition. By doing so, Mizrahim paved the way for contemporary male Israeli fashion. This article clarifies how this fashion change occurred, and how it converged with political upheaval. It also discloses the links with Mizrahim Arabic heritage concerning body care.
- Arabic heritage
- Ethnic discrimination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts