Art Director, Maor Zabar, Produces “16 Tons” Inspired by Great Depression + 2020 Pandemic

Seen previously in BELLA’s fashion spread, Israeli art director Maor Zabar, produces another amazing and emotional project, portraying the distress and trauma of the 2020 pandemic.  

Maor pulled inspiration from the 1920’s Great Depression, the last time the world had witnessed a global economic crisis. In the days of the gold rush, denim was identified as a work garment. A fabric that symbolized stability, and strength.  It was worn by mainly cheap laborers, making it look shabby and worn out, yet still, never destroyable.  Nowadays, jeans are more of a staple item, worn by all different sections of the population.

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Using this inspiration, Zabar worked with his amazing team, including photographer, Shai Gabriely, to pull together this incredible project. The team added undefined rips to the denim, representing the paucity of the material. They used clothes to act as a “safety net” for the models, using layers to keep the clothes attached and tied to the hungry, powerless bodies as a result of the crisis.  The models exert a feeling of exhaustion and detachment, being held intact by their clothes.  The white background was chosen to highlight the scarcity of the models and the strength of the fabric, which is saving them.

In the past year, the world has seen illness, trauma, and desperation. However, we have also seen strength, and people coming together to help one another see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the fashion world, we always say you need a good pair of jeans, and in a way, we are all each other’s denim.


Production and Art Directing: Maor Zabar @maorzabarhats

Photography: Shai Gabriely @shaigabriely

Styling: Shauly Waksberg @shaulyw

Makeup/Hair: Ben Kader @benkader1978

Models: Danna Kushnir @kushnir_danna

Chen Bar Kalifa @chen_bar_kalifa

Nadav Zelner @zelnernadav

Cloth: Mango, Zara, Anthropologie, Sacks, Ata, H&M, Cos, Maor Zabar Hats, Vintage Private Collection


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