Lifestyle – Daily News Egypt https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Wed, 17 Jul 2019 15:16:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Jewellery in Nubian spirit https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/12/jewellery-in-nubian-spirit/ Fri, 12 Jul 2019 16:00:19 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702542 I want my jewellery to portray national heritage; some stars wore my works during Ramadan dramas: Nabil

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Born in Nubia, specifically from the village of Maria, she fell in love with Nubians and their heritage. She complemented her passion with study to design jewellery with a Nubian spirit to preserve its identity and keep pace with the changes of the era to produce a costume with a national character.

Hagar Nabil graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Decor and Interior Architecture in 2003, and received her master’s degree in decoration and a doctorate in ancient Egyptian art.

After graduating, she worked as a decorative engineer. In 2005, she went to study jewellery and learned about ancient Egyptian religion and hieroglyphics at the Faculty of Archaeology in order to understand the significance of ancient art pieces and to use them in pieces of jewellery. She received several grants from the UAE and the European Union to study the art of jewellery. Daily News Egypt interviewed Hagar Nabil, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

How were your first steps toward art?

I liked painting and art from a young age. My first wish was to join the Faculty of Fine Arts after high school. I achieved my dream and studied in the Department of Interior Decoration and Architecture.

How do you approach jewellery design after working in the field of decoration?

The study of arts is close, and the foundations of design with all the arts are fixed, and my studies of interior architecture exposed me to theatre and its decorations, which was close to the art of jewellery.

At the doctoral stage, I studied in the Department of Art History, which allowed me to see various arts. I studied Pharaonic and Islamic styles, Arabic calligraphy, the art of jewellery, and the art of ceramics. In fact, it was an opportunity to enrich my culture from every art, including the art of jewellery.

But the story began as a student, as I liked to wear pieces of my design, I put ideas and elements of the Nubian environment into them. I made them at silver shops near college in Zamalek.

What bothered me so much was that I found these pieces in the shop’s products, because I would love to wear my own pieces and my designs.

Unfortunately, there is no intellectual property right in Egypt that protects the rights of designers, and we still suffer from that.

Did the Nubian environment affect your work, be it decoration or jewellery?

I did not live in Nubia, because I belong to the old Nubia that was displaced, but I inherited it as part of the family’s legacy of the pieces of jewellery, clothes, customs, and traditions that are still our own.

I inherited the love of jewellery. Nubia is rich with its jewellery and costumes. Gold is also famous in Nubia. Nubia in Coptic language means gold, so Nubia was the place where ancient Egyptians brought gold. Hence, it was called the land of gold.

What materials did the Nubian jeweller use?

Nubian ornaments were originally gold and then gold was replaced with silver, but there are still a few, as Nubian women love gold. With the decline of economic conditions, they began to use copper tipped gold.

Did the Nubian jeweller leave many ornaments?

Unfortunately, many pieces of jewellery bearing the Nubian heritage were sold, smelted, and re-put in new gold works, and a few of them remain in museums.

How did you move into professional life?

After graduating from college, I met one of the Nubian ladies and she owned a shop selling jewellery and accessories in Zamalek. She admired my work and I started designing for her and doing the pieces in her own workshop.

My work was accepted and was popular among the ladies, and I produced for many of them.

She advised me to turn to jewellery, and indeed I studied the design of jewellery and learned more by visiting the workshops. I also identified different types stones and met the best workers in each stage of jewellery making.

I dealt with industrialists and learned at the hands of a Jewish jeweller of the highest form in his time, I learned the art of gold and silver from the beginning, from the determination of the calibre through to the casting and the formation to complete the implementation of the piece and the polishing and installation of stones.

Were you designing and making your own pieces or using the help of workers?

I stayed for a long time until the revolution dealing with a workshop and only created the designs.

I did not implement any pieces of jewellery myself, but I learned a lot from this and other people and studied every corner in the field, which enabled me to move to a new stage in my life, especially after this craftsman stopped working after the revolution.

I also suffered a lot from people stealing my designs and imitating them in the market, so I had to rely on myself and start a new training phase to implement in my own workshop.

How did you start?

I received a grant from the UAE to study the basics of jewellery, and then got courses in design at the Jewellery Technology Centre at the ministry of commerce and industry.

I also received a grant from the European Union for the design of jewellery under the name of the Prime Project to promote training among generations in Mediterranean countries.

For a year and a half, I was trained to carry out the pieces myself without any intervention from anyone. It was an important stage to gain experience in implementation and to create my own style.

After that, I owned a special workshop, and I have a factory that implements my designs and sometimes I try to implement some of them. It is important that the industrialist feels that you can dispense with them and that you have the experience to carry out any piece of jewellery.

What are these “motif” elements and Nubian forms that you use in your work?

Most of my pieces tend to carry Nubian heritage, as it was linked to the environment and life so all of its elements are composed of the triangle to express the Nile water or the pyramid. I also use the sun in two forms, one of triangles, and another made of circles. I also use Nubian art in abstract.

What pieces of Nubian jewellery did women prefer to wear in the past?

Nubian women were so proud of their jewellery that they wore a part of it during their long hard days in the field.

The bride wore the palm or the rings and bracelets connected to them with a chain covering the back of the hand, and the woman wore the “story of the Rahman” and it is one of the pieces presented to the bride for marriage, a piece of triangular gold placed on the front and worn only by married women. The groom also offers his bride in morning an anklet made of silver.

The Jagged necklace is the most important piece for the Nubian bride, consisting of six flat pieces and round gold beads, in the centre of which is the main medal. Most of the gold beads in Nubian jewellery originated in the Pharaonic era.

The Nubian woman wore the “pia” necklace, a symbol of the grand stature. The pia consists of six phalanx-shaped pendants, which together form a complete girdle engraved with prominent stars and crescents. The famous Nubian olives are placed between the necklaces.

The Nogar necklace is one of the most common pieces for Nubian women. It was used as an antidote to envy, resembling tablets decorated with five-pointed flowers.

What is the technique the people of Nubia use in making jewellery?

They use carving on metal whether for protruding designs or engraved designs, or using meals in simple forms in Nubian jewellery, which is limited to only the outer frame of the piece.

Nubian jewellers have also used stone paste in studs in pieces of jewellery instead of precious stones.

The enamel was not used in the jewellery of Nubian women, rather, I used it in pieces to keep up with modernity and is met with demand by the younger generations

What are the disadvantages of Nubian jewellery?

I cannot say disadvantages as every art has elements that govern it and its people, but I can point out that the cutting of Nubian ornaments such as folk ornaments, which are large and heavy, are no longer met with demand by women currently.

How would you address people abroad if you had to?

I see that the best thing I do in my designs is to convey the spirit of the Egyptian Nubian environment in my work, and the Egyptian environment is rich with arts, including the jewellery of the Pharaonic, Nubia, folk, Islamic, and Coptic eras.

I try to design pieces of jewellery bearing the national character and Egyptian content to reach people and foreigners admire arts that they have not grown up with.

An example is the art of Naguib Mahfouz; he started local then became global. He used language and the Arab warm heritage in his work, and it was admired.

The same goes for making jewellery, which reflects Egyptian heritage.

I travelled extensively abroad and I wore a costume of my design, and it was admired by Arab women, and some of them asked me to make them similar pieces.

Indeed, I executed some of the designs they asked me to do, and that happened in many countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

How did you face inflation and the low purchasing power of citizens recently?

I have tried a lot to reduce my profit margin, especially since the artistic aspect is more important to me than the commercial aspect. The high prices of raw materials led to the high cost of jewellery pieces.

But I also produce pieces of jewellery according to the ability of customers and I have a variety of raw materials. The implementation of the piece of gold with another metal is preferably silver or copper-plated gold.

Most of my clients prefer to wear gold-plated copper pieces.

What were the most important requests of artists you worked with?

Recently, there has been an increased demand by artists for Nubian jewellery, some of which were the beginning of my dealing with diamond-cut pieces, but they changed their minds and preferred to wear the Nubian heritage of gold and silver.

Some female celebrities have pointed out that they wore pieces of your design in Ramadan. Tell us more about that.

Heba Al-Abbasiri wore my Cobra necklace and earring from the Queen’s collection that combines the lotus and the snake. She wore it during the events of TV series “Alamet Estefham” (Question Mark). I consider her the mascot of this collection.

Wafaa Amer has also worn a Nubian earring during the events of the series of “Hekayty” (My Story) 2019. International artist Elise Lebec also wore an earring and necklace of my design.

Eman Al Sherif, Director of Corporate Responsibility at the Egyptian Banking Institute at the Central Bank of Egypt also work a necklace and ring from the collection “Al-Tali” during the World Conference of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. She received compliments by many attendees who saw her wearing the pieces, according to her.

Others who wore my work were Maha Bahnasy, Dina Nosseir, Asmaa Abou El Yazed, Sahar Noah, and others.

What is the most important collection you launched?

They were “Allah Mahaba” (God is Love), “Beit Nuby” (Nubian House), “Al Maleka” (The Queen), and “Al Tali” (Next).

The collection of the queen combines the lotus flower and the cobra, which – in the ancient Egyptian civilisation – symbolises the daughter of Ra and his eyes. Cobras were placed on the crowns of the kings of Egypt and above their brows to protect them. Cobras protected Ra from the forces of chaos and darkness.

Why have you not tried to work at major jewellery companies?

Working in big companies kills creativity and transforms the designer into an employee, and deprives the designer of his moral right to develop design ratios, to the point that he cannot put his name on his designs and people never know who the designer is.

Designers are restricted and will only be able to implement their ideas under the directions of the marketing department. Companies are always looking for “high-selling” pieces, which turns creative work into a business.

Additionally, when you work on your own you are establishing your own brand, and you have the right to risk introducing new products with ideas which differ from the market, and that gives success another taste.

What is the next step?

I am thinking of creating an jewellery exhibition with a flair of different arts, bringing together the pharaonic, Islamic, folk, and Nubian designs and so on.

What is your advice for new designers?

Studying, reading, and not rushing. Designers need more time to gain experience, as well as learning and going through many experiences.

A quick success means a quick failure.

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Manoya: A Handheld Tale of Three Friends https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/10/manoya-a-handheld-tale-of-three-friends/ Wed, 10 Jul 2019 14:00:23 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702374 "The 3 of us work together to add or remove elements from the design so the idea does not belong to only 1 of us; instead, it belongs to the 3 of us," says 1 of the co-founders

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It is often believed that a woman’s bag is where all of her biggest secrets hide. While the pockets may harbour daily gadgets, the very bottom is the exact location of honest mirrors and trusted beauty products. Furthermore, it is also where her notes often go to rest.

As many magazines have already posted one article after another about what can be found in the bags of celebrities, women still walk around carrying their own versions of essentials.

Aside from its components, the grand title of the season’s IT bag has been juggled back and forth between the world’s biggest high-end households for decades. Nevertheless, local alternatives have been making noticeable progress toward taking hold of that hall of fame.

Ever since their days in school, the three best friends have made it a habit to exchange ideas, jokes, and accessories. Between the group’s first designer bag – which they all naturally shared – to their business break through May Aly, Noha Aly, and Yasmine Abo Youssef are true partners in crime, fashion, and business.

It was an ordinary day in 2014, when the three sat together and designed a bag. Their collective interpretation of what makes a good bag design soon caught the attention of their peers and family. It was not long until the three decided to give their creative whim an official definition. 

“The attention and encouragement we received from our community encouraged us to establish our namesake line Manoya,” Noha Aly explained, adding, “When we sat together to decide upon our brand name, we agreed to use a combination of letters taken from our names, so we came up with Manoya.”

Rather than taking a premature leap into the business, the three partners chose to study their next moves and become acquainted with the world of bags before proceeding.

“We worked really hard to learn about leather manufacturing, quality, and design. We learnt how to overcome logistical and financial obstacles ahead of launching our first collection,” said Noha Aly nostalgically.

The first collection of polished leather, sleek forms, and an evident balance between tradition and futurism came out in 2017. Their well-prepared entry into the fashion scene, guaranteed a fast sprint to the top.

Manoya’s minimal sophistication and geometrical aesthetics were positively welcomed by a wide spectrum of loyal clients. Aside from the design side, Manoya’s bags have also managed to occupy a prominent positioning due to their sustainable quality and promise of long-term durability.

“All of our bags are made from 100% genuine leather. We select the best Egyptian tannery partners, whose exports of leather are renowned for their calibre,” Noha Aly stressed, adding, “We use nickel or gold-plated brass hardware in a lot of our designs.”

This commitment to deliver a special and valuable product is also reflected in Manoya’s strive to combine international fashion trends and Middle Eastern heritage. With that in mind, the three design musketeers borrow elements from all aspects of their surrounding culture and art scene.

For example, their personal admiration of geometric designs and intricate patterns, is vividly reflected in their signature designs. Simultaneously, the three designers also find certain geometrical shapes – such as the hexagon – quite versatile to be instilled in their identity.

“Each of us individually comes up with an idea and when we all agree on an idea that we want turn into reality we all have to sit together, brainstorm, and then create an initial draft of it,” Noha Aly added, further explaining, “The three of us work together to add or remove elements from the design so the idea does not belong to only one of us; instead, it belongs to the three of us.”

According to the partners, their mission is to build a durable-handbag brand that Egyptian women would be proud to wear. Meanwhile, they also want to compete with high end designers worldwide and expand Manoya so that it can be well known internationally.

“At some point we want people to look forward to every design and every new collection. We want our clients to realise that Egypt can design and produce pieces that confidently stand tête-à-tête with international leather goods,” shared Noha Aly.

More evidently, Manoya was recently selected to be one of the finalists competing in the 13th annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards in New York. Being the only Egyptian brand selected for this award, the three partners are more encouraged than ever to gear up to their upcoming collection.

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Huwa: 1st Egyptian Brand to Join Pitti Uomo https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/10/huwa-1st-egyptian-brand-to-join-pitti-uomo/ Wed, 10 Jul 2019 13:00:52 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=702373 Pitti Uomo is one of the most prominent and well-established platforms that celebrates men's clothing and accessories. Based in Florence, Italy, only the best brands are hand selected from around the world to join the festivities.

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Fashion design is a language that has managed to transcend all boundaries for many centuries. While people use fashion every day to represent their characters and personalities, designers use it as a creative tool for a higher level of expression.

With that in mind, it is no surprise that designers often flock toward prestigious events to not only showcase their work, but also to come in contact with different creative ideas from around the world.

Pitti Uomo is one of the most prominent and well-established platforms that celebrates men’s clothing and accessories. Based in Florence, Italy, only the best brands are hand selected from around the world to join the festivities.

This year, a home-grown brand managed to cement its presence in the international event. Huwa packed its oriental aesthetic and Egyptian heritage only to spread it across Florence.

Being the first Egyptian brand to participate in this event gave Huwa unprecedented recognition in the local market as well as an eye-opening experience while being surrounded by the world’s top-notch titles.     

Created back in 1972, Pitti Uomo is the global crossroads for trends, new ideas, and a well-known launch pad of innovative men’s fashion and lifestyle projects. This year, Pitti Uomo had 30,000 visitors in total, 1,770 brands, and over 18,500 buyers from 100 foreign countries.

Huwa choose to display a selection of their latest SS’19 collection, ‘Astrology’. The metaphoric collection subtly redefines the famous zodiac signs through focusing on the characteristics of each horoscope. The collection includes necklaces, lapel pins, and cufflinks. Meanwhile, the brand also showcased pieces from their previous best-selling collections: ‘Kings and Crowns and Sandstorm.

Constantly striving to create unique pieces to style men’s everyday corporate and casual attire, Huwa’s pieces accentuate a man’s sense of style.

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Mamzi SS19 plunges toward Red Sea’s coral reefs https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/07/01/mamzi-ss19-plunges-toward-red-seas-coral-reefs/ Mon, 01 Jul 2019 15:30:57 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701408 ‘I wanted to use wide array of vibrant hues, which can only be found in underwater ecosystems,’ says designer

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For a series of decades, millions of humans put the land behind them for a chance to gaze at them. Their interlaced colours and animated beauty makes them a natural miracle that cannot be rivalled. While many activists are focused on creating global awareness regarding their wellness, artists are often tempted to capture their breath-taking charm.

Coral reefs are one of the main reasons the Red Sea is an international attraction that welcomes millions of divers and submarines on an annual basis. Their intricate ecosystem is both scientifically and artistically mesmerising for a diverse audience of loyal fans. Therefore, it was no surprise for a local designer to create an ode to this natural gem.

Mariam Magdy Abdelghany was attracted to the colourful haven. Therefore, she decided to dedicate her SS19 collection to capture the vibrant colours and diverse textures of the underwater world. Mamzi’s latest collection is certainly a love letter written by Abdelghany and addressed to a vivacious universe.

Utilising a diversity of fabrics, the designer managed to mimic the miniature details of the coral reefs. From lace to fishnet, the Hues collection offers a contemporary interpretation of the theme. Meanwhile, she also did not shy away from depending on strong colours such as coral and turquoise.

Keeping that in mind, Abdelghany’s tale of faraway kingdom submerged with water was peppered with casual silhouettes, which promise an outgoing and relaxed summer season. The Hues collection includes everything from wrapped tops to flare pants. Ultimately, it embraces all of the season’s top trends. 

The designer, who has always enjoyed watching her mother tailor her childhood dresses, uses her homegrown fashion brand, Mamzi, to reflect her talent and spontaneous sources of inspiration. Abdelghany, who originally studied mass communication and art, has always nurtured a strong bond with fashion; even long before acquiring a diploma in women’s wear from The Italian Fashion Academy and deciding to pursue fashion as a professional career.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Abdelghany over her latest collection and what she plans to do next, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

What encouraged you to take the coral reefs as your source of inspiration?

My decision to use coral reefs as the theme behind the summer collection stemmed from my desire to incorporate colours from nature. I wanted to use a wide array of vibrant hues, which can only be found in underwater ecosystems.

When I decided to mix zig-zag patterns with fishnet to create beachwear items, the theme made all the sense as a result.

What messages did you aim to communicate through this collection?

I wanted the focus of this collection to be recognising that colour schemes inspired from nature are often the most beautiful, in this case coral reefs in particular.

Whom did you target with this collection?

My target for this collection is once again the loyal Mamzi clientele. Through my designs, I always try to attract women who are looking for something original that will make them stand out amid the crowd.

What is your regular process when looking for inspiration?

I have no linear process when pinpointing my sources of inspiration. I often find myself starting on one project, and in the middle, I come across something that would make me completely change direction. I believe in adapting and being flexible, because this can open up a whole world of ideas and potentially lead you to a better collection.

What materials did you use for this collection?

I generally try to rely on local materials as much as I can, and they are used in much of my pieces. In this collection specifically, I used a combination of local and imported materials. Sometimes this is the case when the material availability doesn’t coincide with the demands of a collection.

What were the biggest challenges that you faced in creating this collection?

When creating a new collection, the process from start to finish is always challenging for the designer. You start with an idea, which you then take to paper, and eventually turn into a product; which is the most gratifying feeling.

Along the way, there are always unexpected complications, and because a designer has to rely on other people to execute their designs sometimes, those complications can be magnified. You have to stay positive and trust the process and that is when you really achieve great results.

How would you define your brand?

Being original and offering unique pieces has always been at the forefront of my goals for Mamzi. A lot of young women are looking for different pieces, as opposed to the trends big retailers adopt, then drop, almost at the exact same time. I always try to look for sources of inspiration that would set my products apart from most designers, and let my customers stand out.

How does this collection reflect a new phase in the brand’s timeline?

This collection has the potential to put Mamzi in an entirely new direction. This is by far Mamzi’s biggest collection in terms of designs and variety.

What are your future plans?

Fashion is a highly competitive industry and Egyptian designers have only started to be active in recent years. My dream is to export my products abroad, along with other designers in Egypt. We have extremely talented designers, and although it is a long and difficult route, I believe that one day seeing a label that says “Made in Egypt”, will be common everywhere in the world.

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Naomi Campbell to receive Fashion Icon Award at British Fashion Awards 2019 https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/29/naomi-campbell-to-receive-fashion-icon-award-at-british-fashion-awards-2019/ Sat, 29 Jun 2019 12:00:31 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=701409 The Fashion Icon Award is one of the Special Recognition Awards that celebrates outstanding contributions to the fashion industry; therefore, Campbell is a natural choice for the recognition.

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After 30 years in the fashion industry and more than 500 cover shoots, Naomi Campbell is about to add a new prestigious award to her growing collection. Ahead of the British Fashion Awards 2019, the British Fashion Council announced that Campbell is set to receive the Fashion Icon Award, on Monday 2 December at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

Campbell will be recognised for her undeniable contribution to the fashion industry, her world-renowned career as a supermodel, as well as her philanthropist work with charities and incredible efforts for a more diverse and equal future, especially in Africa.

The Fashion Icon Award is one of the Special Recognition Awards that celebrates outstanding contributions to the fashion industry; therefore, Campbell is a natural choice for the recognition.

“We cannot think of a more deserving recipient than iconic Londoner Naomi Campbell, she has achieved exceptional work in the industry. Naomi represents female empowerment, activism, and glamour and her voice is used for great impact. We are thrilled to present The Fashion Icon Award to Naomi and acknowledge her for her remarkable contribution to the global fashion industry,” said BFC Chief Executive, Caroline Rush.

Campbell’s achievements are not solely limited to the fashion industry. Throughout her career, she has become known for using her success to help those in need through her incredible work with fundraising and charity work across the globe.

Naomi Campbell began charity work with Nelson Mandela in 1993, and in 1997 he named her “Honorary Granddaughter” for her endless activism. Moreover, in 2005, Naomi Campbell founded Fashion for Relief, a charity merging fashion and philanthropy. Born in London, Fashion for Relief was one of the first fundraisers with an aim to help people affected by the disastrous floods that hit the UK in the summer of 2007.

Her passion for female empowerment and Africa has seen her headline the 2019 Forbes Woman Africa’s Leading Women Summit and her ongoing mission to elevate and connect African designers with the global fashion community has seen her co-produce this year’s Arise Fashion Week in Lagos, Nigeria.

Campbell was the first black model to cover French Vogue in 1988, the first black model to be on the cover of American Vogue’s September issue in 1989, the first black model to appear on the cover of TIME magazine, Russian Vogue as well as the first British black model to appear on the cover of British Vogue.

With that in mind, Naomi Campbell launched the Campaign “Diversity Coalition” with the aim to address racism in the fashion industry in 2013.

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Shahira Lasheen aims for biggest star in solar system https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/11/shahira-lasheen-aims-for-biggest-star-in-solar-system-2/ Tue, 11 Jun 2019 14:57:50 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700201 "I relied on our highly-skilled team to support my vision and they tirelessly worked on the hand-embellished detailing and embroidery to bring this collection to life," says the designer

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Surrounded by a tightknit family, trusted partners, and skilled artisans, Shahira Lasheen hunches her back in concentration and moves her hand freely over the blank papers scattered across her working space.

While other designers might primarily focus on creating aesthetically beautiful clothes, Lasheen would rather unfold stories. An avid narrator, her old soul is often attracted to tales of royal tenor and graceful victories.

Even though her sources of inspiration are often diverse and unexpected, Lasheen is an advocate of unwavering family ties and royal supremacy. Therefore, it is no surprise that she chose to weave her newest collection around the gracious sun.

Lasheen’s SS19 collection is a wearable depiction of the star at the centre of the solar system. “Dieu De La Vie” turns the almighty sun into a heroin that utilises hand embroidery and dainty fabrics to tell her own story and express its leadership.

According to the designer, she was charmed by the power of the sun and naturally found herself delving into and developing the theme.

Instead of following the same creative process that other designers may often take, Lasheen decided to study all aspects of her source of inspiration.

Although this is what dictated her vision, Lasheen still managed to remain loyal to her signature silhouettes and materials.

“You will notice that a lot of the shapes and cuts are synonymous with our brand and previous collections,” she said.

Known for previously depending on literary and scientific sources of inspiration, Lasheen stuck with that as a way to interpret the grand star.

According to the designer, she analysed mathematical equations, ancient symbols, and astrological facts before sketching her couture creations.

“A lot of research went into how to best represent the theme of the sun aside from aesthetically,” said the designer with a confident smile.

Over the course of six months, Lasheen managed to turn her faraway muse into a series of couture dresses and ensembles. Varying between the warm shades of red, orange, and yellow, the dresses address strong women, who are notorious for being multitaskers, caregivers, and resolute fighters.

With the help of her team of eloquent embroiders, seamstresses, and artisans, Lasheen expressed the meeting points between the sun and her leading ladies through articulate patterns and thought-through cuts.

The designer explained “I relied on our highly-skilled team to support my vision and they tirelessly worked on the hand-embellished detailing and embroidery to bring this collection to life.”

While she turned the warmth and tenderness of the sun into soft layers of tulle, she also captured its grandeur through hand-embroidered portraits of her muse. This was all accompanied with a handful of stars and planets.

As for the silhouettes, the designer was attracted to the currently-trending trench coats and tailored suits.

Wanting to stick by current trends but also put her touch, Lasheen chose to execute these styles according to her own methods. While few of her dresses embrace the sharp cut of the trench coat, a number of ensembles champion classic tailoring and wide-legged trousers.

Furthermore, each neckline managed to focus on a different aspect of the sun and its iconic characteristics. For instance, a few are decorated with pleats as an ode to sunrays and others are embellished with ancient symbols.

“I would say that our main challenge was finishing this collection in time as the details are so intricate,” shared Lasheen.

With each of her dresses requiring hundreds of hours to ensure quality and intricacy, Lasheen leads a talented team that has become a family. Her own sister and brother are always right next to her at every step as the creative director and business developer of the fashion house.

“We have a great flow at the atelier and Shahira Lasheen is a family business, so it is a healthy environment to work in and accomplish the impossible.”

After establishing a strong base of powerful, sophisticated, and fashion-conscious women as her loyal clients, the designer is currently focused on crossing borders. According to her, this particular collection is a testament of the brand’s ability to take its righteous place on the global stage.

“We have been contacted by few major players in the international industry, therefore, we are very excited for what this means for our brand. We look forward to showcasing the best of Shahira Lasheen to the world,” shared Lasheen, from her atelier in the heart of Cairo, Egypt.

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Homegrown splash of colour by KAI Collections https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/10/shahira-lasheen-aims-for-biggest-star-in-solar-system/ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 13:17:41 +0000 https://www.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=700078 Seemingly easy in design, the swimwear category has always been relatively challenging given its needed materials and production logistics.

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While the temperature keeps on rising, the clashing blue waves become an increasingly popular trend. Even though, local brands have been witnessing a notable growth in demand, swimwear still remains mostly dominated by foreign alternatives.

Seemingly easy in design, the swimwear category has always been relatively challenging given its needed materials and production logistics.

Nevertheless, the KAI Collections is a homegrown brand that aims to take hold of the swimwear category in Egypt and beyond. The Egyptian premium brand specialises in fresh swimwear for men.

 

 

Its Instagramable designs offer a contemporary statement while maintaining high quality standards and unwavering style. Catering to both men and boys, the KAI Collections plans to become synonymous with fun under the sun.

Focused on swim shorts, the local brand targets men who are confident, daring, bold, and unique. The daily summer companion embraces a colourful rainbow of design options. From geometric patterns to summer colours and cool prints, the brand’s debut collection features 20 different designs of swim shorts that are diverse in style.

A true champion of personal style, the KAI Collections was keen to address a wide spectrum of gentlemen. Accordingly, the collection features everything from tropical fruit prints to funky camel prints, classic paisley prints and simple plain pop-coloured swim shorts.

Made for those who have every intention to stand out amongst the crowd, the KAI Collections accommodates every fashion-inspired whim. On the other hand, it also celebrates families in a rather fashion-oriented method.

This season the homegrown brand decided to pamper fathers and sons as well as become part of such an incredible bond. Therefore, the KAI Collections launched a secondary line of six matching swim shorts for all fathers and sons out there.

Since pool days and fun beach family outings are always an invitation for a new set of unforgettable memories, the brand plans to be at the heart of each picture and laughter.

With distinctive vibrant summer prints, meticulous details, and exactly the right pop of colour, this local alternative is a must-try option for swim shorts.

 

 

 

 

 

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Maison Pyramide Celebrates Summer at Harvey Nichols London https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/03/maison-pyramide-celebrates-summer-at-harvey-nichols-london/ Mon, 03 Jun 2019 16:00:25 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699783 The pop-up shop allows few of the Middle East's most promising young brands a dip into  British market.

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Set right in the heart of the coveted Harvey Nichols London, three colourful pyramids bring the east’s pride and joy to London. As a continuation of their previous work, Maison Pyramide joined forces with the British department store to set up a temporary shop in London.

The pop-up shop allows few of the Middle East’s most promising young brands a dip into  British market.

“Retail today is about engaging retail experiences and the curation of new and innovative brands to give our customers a real sense of discovery when they come to Harvey Nichols. We are delighted to work on this curation with Maison Pyramide to bring their concept to Europe for the first time,” said Laura Larbalestier, group buying director at Harvey Nichols.

Known for their constant support of local artisans, ethical fashion, and sustainable brands, Maison Pyramide was keen on selecting a handful of emerging brands from around the world for this particular experience.

“Consumer behaviour is shifting daily, we have seen through our series of temporary shops and showroom retail clients that while quite a few consumers are still keen on the luxury logo, emerging brands are offering a luxury that leading brands cannot offer: freshness,” said co-founders of Maison Pyramide, Giovanina Attieh, Nathalie Mroue, and María S Munoz.

The featured brands include a variety of international contemporary and advanced contemporary ready-to-wear, accessory and jewellery brands, such as Okhtein, Nafsika Skourti, Yosuzi and Dylanlex. Meanwhile, the store will also feature few special guests such as Joanna Laura Constantine, Reine, Nadya Dzyak, and Magnetic Midnight.

Executed in partnership with design studios K+1 and MIM Studios, who have both accumulated years of experience working alongside the late architect Zaha Hadid, the store reflects a contemporary experience. Meanwhile, The Shop is also expected to host several events, activations, and exclusive launches to further expose the brands in a vibrant atmosphere.

With that said, a share of the total proceeds of The Shop will be invested into youth educational programmes implemented by the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation in Egypt. Established by actress/model turned social entrepreneur, Sednaoui, it is dedicated to providing creative learning opportunities for children and youth within local communities in Italy and Egypt.

“I have been a fan and supporter of Maison Pyramide’s work since its inception. I am very grateful that they have decided to continue their long-standing commitment to the Funtasia Egypt educational programmes by donating proceeds from the sales of this beautiful pop up,” said Sednaoui.

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Salma Al Saady Revisits World’s Greatest Paintings https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/06/03/salma-al-saady-revisits-worlds-greatest-paintings/ Mon, 03 Jun 2019 15:00:16 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699831 "My inner teacher wants my designs to tell stories and also to encourage people to explore artists and art that might not be familiar to them," says designer

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Confined between the same old four walls, the world’s most renowned pieces of art often spend centuries bound to the same environment. The universe might change, revolt, and evolve while these testaments of human glory remain unmoved.

No matter how far these museums and galleries might be, those who admire and appreciate genuine art are always eager to cross borders and oceans just to stand right in front of their favourite paintings.

A true art enthusiast, she has always nurtured an eye for colours and striking lines. Her true interest in art has led to a life of visual expression and trained her fingers to master freedom of expression.

Salma Al Saady is a bag designer, who plans to blur the lines between various forms of art. Despite her short professional journey, Al Saady has already managed to position her young brand far from the competition. With elaborate stories behind each design, her bags are meant to appeal to art collectors.

Her newest collection, The Art Gallery, is a compilation of the world’s finest pieces of art, hand painted on genuine leather. Between mini bags and smart backpacks, the collection reinterprets iconic paintings and offers an ode to a handful of respectable artists.    

“All of the featured paintings are works of my favourite artists; but, I was always keen on adding an artistic twist.” Al Saady explained “my inner teacher wants my designs to tell stories and also to encourage people to explore artists and art that might not be familiar to them.” 

Joan Mirò’s Obra Grafica is one of the precious paintings, which the artist added to her collection in order to introduce iconic pieces of art that cannot be considered mainstream. Meanwhile, the collection also includes reinterpretations of Amedeo Modigliani’s Young Seated Woman with a Blue Dress, Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, and Vincent Van Gogh’s Vase with Five Sunflowers, among others.

According to the designer, her father’s experience as a fine artist has directly influenced her early years as well as her career choices. “I grew up reading art books and regularly visiting art galleries. When I travel, I always check fine art museums first,” shared Al Saady with enthusiasm.

With that said, she did not attempt to paint before this collection. “This was my first venture to paint so I had to read and learn the technique of each artist and practice on my own.” Al Saady added “first, I received a detailed criticism from those around me, which was extremely useful. You never want someone to tell you that you are doing great all the time; instead, you want honesty.” 

Despite her lack of experience in terms of painting, the designer was resolute to personally work on each and every bag. Her need to keep her bags unique and give her clients the luxury of donning a true piece of art, made her keen on maintaining a personal touch to each of her bags.

“Last year I made a small bag for my best friend with Klimt’s The Kiss. I was experimenting and the result was very satisfying. She is a jewellery designer, who studied fine art and pays attention to detail. She loved the bag and loved the fact that she was wearing a piece of art. That is exactly what I am trying to achieve with this collection,” said the designer with an admiring smile. 

With that said, the designer was assisted by a team of artisans, who worked on details such leatherwork and stitching at a specialised workshop while Al Saady was immersed in the painting process.

“Hassan, who is in charge of the workshop that dyes the leather, did an amazing job because we worked individually on each dye colour to achieve the perfect shades. Meanwhile, we also had to treat the leather to implement accurate depictions of the selected paintings. It required intense effort and unwavering dedication,” explained Al Saady. 

Over the course of 18 months, the designer went from developing the concept to research and finally execution. While she knew beforehand which painters to resurrect for this collection, the exact paintings were selected based on the designs.

Aside from mastering the art of painting and finding the right colour pallet, Al Saady had to overcome yet another obstacle. Due to a medical condition that affects the nerves of her hands, she was required to take long breaks and divide her hours of work intricately. Accordingly, this collection was not only an artistic experimentation and learning experience, it was also a chance for Al Saady to test her own capabilities.

The one of a kind collection consists of 20 genuine leather bags, which the designer has been on uploading in a series of posts on her social media accounts. Addressing those who seek uniqueness and fostering a true taste for art, the designer does not favour mass production. Therefore, she only creates limited pieces of each design.

According to Al Saady, since the collection’s launch, she has been receiving positive feedback. “Clients who have already purchased bags from the collection are extremely satisfied and keep sending me pictures of themselves wearing the bags around Egypt,” said Al Saady excitedly.

As for her future plans, Al Saady is already focused on her upcoming collection. While she is still working on the theme, she is already occupied with expanding her workshop and creating her own paintings.

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Jude Benhalim, Doodle Factory Support Education https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/29/jude-benhalim-doodle-factory-support-education/ Wed, 29 May 2019 15:00:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699446 The joint project, Purposeful Gifting, aims to enhance and enforce the educational paths of children at Behbeit El-Ayat. Inspired by local craftsmanship and heart-warming art, Benhalim was keen on highlighting the values of her brand through the smart utilisation of colourful doodles.

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Depicting the innocent dreams of childhood, the coveted jeweller boxes are currently as beautiful as what is hidden inside them. In time for the holy month, home-gown brand Jude Benhalim chose to join forces with the Doodle Factory in support of a great cause.

The joint project, Purposeful Gifting, aims to enhance and enforce the educational paths of children at Behbeit El-Ayat. Inspired by local craftsmanship and heart-warming art, Benhalim was keen on highlighting the values of her brand through the smart utilisation of colourful doodles.

Illustrated by children, a rainbow of doodles currently decorates Benhalim’s packaging during the month of Ramadan. Accordingly, every shopping spree from the brand is currently more valuable as it directly contributes toward the educational future of promising kids. With every purchase during the holy month, a percentage of the transaction will be dedicated to fund a child’s tuition fees for the coming academic year.

The Doodle Factory is an Egyptian brand that revolves around the free expression of children. The non-traditional brand takes children’s drawings as well as doodles and transforms them into everyday lifestyle products for consumers, thus allowing children to constantly have a fund for their medical, educational, and survival needs.

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TFI: Where Fashion Dreams Become Reality https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/29/tfi-where-fashion-dreams-become-reality/ Wed, 29 May 2019 14:00:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=699444 Amid the daily grind and following up with important orders, Saleh began to notice a pattern. While her line of work has introduced her to many local talents, it has also opened her eyes to all the obstacles they are required to overcome. 

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Harboured at the heart of any library, the self-help section would normally offer tips and information about various disciplines. From mastering numbers to knowing your way around computer software, you can dive into many specialties overnight. Nevertheless, establishing a career in the fashion industry often requires far more than a couple of books.

Whether inspired by the heliographic hidden inside the mighty pyramids or motivated by the vastness of the enchanting Arabian Desert, numerous Middle Eastern talents have managed to steal the international spotlight and plant their roots in the global fashion industry, regardless of the multiple operational and financial challenges obscuring their routes.

However, all those who made it to the surface share the same long and hectic journey. Between the lack of resources and minimal educational aid, many talents prematurely lose their way and fail to meet their well-deserved success.

Therefore, her average daily work tasks are enough to make her a real-life hero, who dedicates her efforts to support rising Arab talents. Originally a communications engineer, Noheir Saleh did not take long before choosing to follow her family’s steps. After completing her MBA from Harriot Watt as well as a handful of post-graduate courses in fashion, Saleh gravitated toward fashion in 2011, when she began managing her family’s denim factory.

Amid the daily grind and following up with important orders, Saleh began to notice a pattern. While her line of work has introduced her to many local talents, it has also opened her eyes to all the obstacles they are required to overcome. 

“Whether to find the right material, a production facility that would understand the design and does not have minimum quantity requirements, packaging, labelling, or even marketing – designers are asked to handle many difficult aspects simultaneously,” said Saleh passionately.

Accordingly, the entrepreneur chose to stop being a spectator and offer a helping hand to those struggling to keep their green brands afloat. With the aim of establishing a one-stop shop for designers to help them enter the market much faster, Saleh founded The Fashion Incubator (TFI). 

“We hope to be able to change the stereotype that deems local products poor in quality and fitting patterns. In the design and production phase, our target is to help designers produce their collections with high quality patterns, materials and trims, without a minimum quantity and at convenient prices,” Saleh announced, adding, “As for the design and marketing phase, an area where lots of designers fail to achieve, we aim to help them through our network, social media, and by opening new areas of customer exposure through deals with e-commerce websites, retail outlets, and trade shows.”

In parallel, TFI team also hopes to change the fashion calendar in the region to meet the international calendar through pressuring suppliers to showcase the materials earlier, as well as educating designers about planning and scheduling ahead. These grand goals are met through a handful of services.

“Our list of services start from the design phase up to selling the final product,” Saleh added while counting on her fingers, and elaborated, “We offer design consultancy as well as in-depth assistance with material and trim purchase, production, packaging, labelling, marketing, and sales.”

According to the founder, the TFI is not an incubator in its traditional sense as they offer their services to any designer willing to join forces, whether they are still fresh or have already managed to establish a professional brand. Therefore, TFI already works with 80+ designers including Kojak, Nanushka , Yoli & Co, Lamita Collars, and Skin sportswear.

Based between Cairo and Dubai, the TFI gives designers access to the best of both markets. “We chose Cairo to be our production base because resources are more affordable and available here, compared to the region. Meanwhile, Dubai is the Fashion hub of the MENA region. Any designer aiming to go international has to start from Dubai,” explained Saleh.

Based on their keenness to connect designers with credible launch pads, TFI showcases the work of their talents at 1422 in Dubai. The multi-designer brand is managed by the Arab Fashion Council. “After reviewing their marketing plan, we think that there is a promising future to the store,” stated Saleh.

In addition, Saleh and her team are already focused on tackling the next notorious challenges, including creating a network of suppliers which offer high-quality materials as well as opening more room for exposure.

With that said, Saleh agrees that knowledge is already growing very fast in the region. Simultaneously, designers have become more aware of international fashion trends, the identity of their brands and collections, and technical information. “This progress has helped the industry develop a lot in the past 15 years and local designers are on the rise each day,” shared the entrepreneur enthusiastically. 

Nonetheless, she still believes that the industry is in need of more education, whether for suppliers or designers. Furthermore, it is quite essential for the government to offer more attention to the industry, by for example opening opportunities for export/import of raw material, organising more trade shows, supporting local designers financially, and offering knowledge.

As for her future plans, Saleh hopes to expand TFI into a hub for all designers and creatives in the region, whether fashion, product, interior, or graphic designers, offering them the equipment and materials they need. “A hub for networking and learning, and a place where designers can turn their dreams into reality,” expressed Saleh admiringly.

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Sandbox Celebrates Ramadan at “Below Arid Lands” https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/22/sandbox-celebrates-ramadan-at-below-arid-lands/ Wed, 22 May 2019 15:00:33 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698813 Sandbox jewellery is known for its firm belief in tying design with personal growth and self-expression. In time for Ramadan, the home-grown conceptual brand chose to shed light on a new aspect of human experience.

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Synonymous with spirituality and peace, the holly month is an opportunity for fresh starts and settling emotional disputes. Whether inside the Islamic world or outside it, the 30 days often encourage clearance and spiritual progress.

Sandbox jewellery is known for its firm belief in tying design with personal growth and self-expression. In time for Ramadan, the home-grown conceptual brand chose to shed light on a new aspect of human experience.

“Below Arid Lands” is a new collection that depicts the transformative effect of this special month on millions of people around the world. The transformative designs are inspired by a mythical concept which was formed by the founder, Suhayla Al Sheikh.

Dreamt and imagined by Al Sheikh, the concept was inspired by two imaginary unearthly beings who share the knowledge of the unknown, as well as mystical magical powers. These two heroes have the ability to bind constant spiritual motion to cast a spell in the Sahara Desert. Over the course of 30 days and nights, the spell brings peace and love across the world.

According to the designer, these beings remain dynamic and fully equipped with their jewellery for the spell to work. Aside from the spiritual influence of Ramadan, the collection reflects the designer’s unique character and charm. With a smart fusion of stones and irregular shapes, Al Sheikh’s untraditional theme and charm delivers effortless extravagance for everyday wear.

This profound story was supported with intricate silver design, crushed stones, eloquent engraving, and an enchanting photoshoot. Captured amidst a vast desert, the images feature two charismatic females, who reflect passion, soft power, and self-assurance.

With that said, the collection remains loyal to the designer’s aesthetic. From stackable rings to statement earrings and layered necklaces, “Below Arid Lands” demonstrates detailed and timeless silver work, as well as an assortment of crashed natural stones.   

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Reform Joins IKEA in an African Design Mission https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/22/reform-joins-ikea-in-an-african-design-mission/ Wed, 22 May 2019 14:00:28 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698808 Being one of the world's most innovative furniture aficionados, IKEA is synonymous for minimalism and smart solutions

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Sustainability and ethical production are finally occupying centre stage in design-based industries. After years of environmentally-dangerous conducts, the world is currently embracing a new production method. With the younger generations preferring practical interiors, furnishing a home is no longer about clutter; rather it is about selecting products with a strong design personality.

Being one of the world’s most innovative furniture aficionados, IKEA is synonymous for minimalism and smart solutions. Meanwhile, IKEA is also notorious for its dependence on a large team of international designers.

Accordingly, the Swedish furniture connoisseur chose to shed light on African design. In collaboration with Design Indaba and 10 African designers, ÖVERALLT explores the contemporary African design theme. The selected designers represent five different countries and specialise in a number of design disciplines, such as fashion, textile, architecture, and furniture design.

Inspired by the need to build bridges and expand the horizons of international design, the limited-edition collection features a few products designed by the award-winning lifestyle and sustainable lifestyle brand, Reform.

The Egyptian brand created four pieces, including a fashion tote bag, a rug, and a cushion. As a continuation of their design aesthetic, the tote bag is a sustainable and ethical choice for the beach as well as the coast side. Available in two sizes, the ÖVERALLT tote is made of upcycled waste crispy packaging material; usually the result of the production of chocolate bars and chips bags.

Known to be one of the most stubborn materials to recycle, the design team at Reform found an innovative method to weave these long threads of waste on hand looms in order to create an intricate and modern product.

In parallel, the flat-woven rug also depended on the same key material; in addition to hemp material, a textile that gives a rug its tough and bristly texture. Finally, the environmentally-friendly cushion embraces an aquatic colour pallet.

With that said, the collection in general strives to advocate global unity while demolishing mistaken stereotypes. Through featuring a range of furniture and home décor, the ÖVERALLT collection aims to expand the limited perspective the global audience has about Africa and African creativity.

Each piece reveals a tale about African designers, their diverse cultural traditions, and their craftsmanship.

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Aiisha Ramadan & SADAFA Collaborate for SS’19 Arab Fashion Week https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/22/aiisha-ramadan-sadafa-collaborate-for-ss19-arab-fashion-week/ Wed, 22 May 2019 13:00:36 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698802 In time for the Arab Fashion Week, acclaimed designer Aiisha Ramadan and SADAFA chose to address the will power of redefinition and change through their latest collections. Their collaboration focused on self-expression and inner beauty.

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Embracing the notion of change as their main message, a troop of models confidently walked down the runway. Their rainbow of dresses varied between blood orange, teal blue, grass green, and pearl white. Meanwhile, their determined strut sent their dress trains flying behind them. Nevertheless, amidst this show of extravagance, their grips remained firm around boxes of luminous colours.   

In time for the Arab Fashion Week, acclaimed designer Aiisha Ramadan and SADAFA chose to address the will power of redefinition and change through their latest collections. Their collaboration focused on self-expression and inner beauty.

While the Lebanese couture designer chose light fabrics and non-conventional silhouettes to explain her message, the high-end clutch brand depended on a mixture of geometric shapes and floating lines.

Ramadan’s “Change” collection and SADAFA’s “Redefined” SS19 collection flatter and continue each other. Aside from their coordinated colour palettes, their design aesthetics also walk the same lines of fluidity and progress. The clutches perfectly matched Ramadan’s elegant and sultry pieces giving it the glamorous touch it needed.

The Egyptian accessory brand is specialised in turning dreamy mother-of-pearl into timeless clutches. Featuring a wide range of little bags, SADAFA focuses on creating heirlooms that can be passed from one generation to the next, due to its timeless design and evident Egyptian identity.

SADAFA was recently shortlisted for the Fashion Trust Arabia in Qatar due to their intricate finishing quality and innovative techniques. Jessica Kahawaty, Arwa Gouda, Injy El Mokkadem, and Tara Emad are among those who admire the brand.

On the other hand, Ramadan has already crossed boarders with her couture master pieces. Her designs were previously spotted on Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez, Aishwarya Rai, and Ariana Grande. She often celebrates diversity through modern designs and beautifully-crafted garments, which speak to feminine women across the world.

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NY Design Week features 13 Egyptian Designers including (re)New & (re)Work https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/20/ny-design-week-features-13-egyptian-designers-including-renew-rework/ Mon, 20 May 2019 13:30:26 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698565 The main aim of this pioneering endeavour is to start a conversation between local talents and their confrères around the globe. Meanwhile, it is also expected to spark commercial and creative opportunities for the participating Egyptian innovators.   

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History is often documented by words, and yet, design is always an accurate historian with the ability to fluently narrate events, aspirations, and realities. Under the title, (re)New (re)Work, a glimpse of Egypt’s wealth of colour, emotions, and artistry was brought to life. Full of hope and pride, each element stands tall aiming to represent Egypt.

For the first time, 13 Egyptian designers are determined to cross borders and prove their creative input on a global scale. With the support of the United States embassy in Cairo and due to the organising efforts of the Egyptian government, represented in the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC), Egypt is set to participate in Wanted Design Manhattan during the New York (NY) Design Week from the 18th till the 21st of May.

The main aim of this pioneering endeavour is to start a conversation between local talents and their confrères around the globe. Meanwhile, it is also expected to spark commercial and creative opportunities for the participating Egyptian innovators.   

“I am excited about the idea of bringing Egyptian and American innovators and designers together, so they can see each other’s work and hopefully be inspired and perhaps collaborate,” the US Embassy’s Minister-Counsellor for Public Affairs stated, adding, “I would love to see more Egyptian design in the US and vice versa because Egypt is a crossroads.”

With that said, the Egyptian pavilion plans to highlight the tales of each participating designer as well as the crafts they chose to display. Therefore, the selection masterfully brought together a diverse bunch of product designers. From light units to furniture, home accessories and textile – together the designers and their artisanal products advocate a comprehensive perspective of modern Egypt.

“What makes these designers different is the fact that they look at traditional crafts and materials while choosing the city as a source of inspiration. Their work aims to renew these things and create new products. Naturally, the theme aimed to translate this edge,” said Mohamed El-Shahed, the pavilion’s curator.

With a PhD from New York University’s Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, El-Shahed is a multidisciplinary scholar, who is constantly driven to portray a modern image of his country through architecture, images, and objects. He previously curated Egypt’s medal-winning pavilion at the 2018 London Design Biennale.

“My goal at the London Design Biennale was to make a ripple to reveal that Egypt does have something to offer,” El-Shahed said, adding, “The same mind frame applies here, in these kinds of big events you need to remain focused on a clear purpose or else you might end up losing your way amidst the crowd. This time, the goal is to make it as simple as possible so we can actually achieve it.”

As the curator best describes his intentions, he wants people to leave the space with the memory that Egypt was present and presented something interesting. However, on a wider scale, another essential purpose is for the designers to translate their presence into contracts since it is an event that focuses on the business of design.

In parallel, the road to NY Design Week has already been paved with numerous milestones for participating designers.

For Rasha El Gammal, this experience has already encouraged her to venture into a handful of firsts. While juggling several careers such as TV presenting, acting, writing, and theatre, design has always been her business. “One day my mother, who was a public figure, told me that if I want to follow her lead, I had to earn my money elsewhere otherwise I will never be free. Accordingly, I started my furniture business 20 years ago. Then, 10 years ago I became a retailer,” said El Gammal.

Nevertheless, this was the first time for the founder of Asfour El Nil to utilise her writing skills to advocate the furniture business. According to her, all preparations for the design week have taken her through a learning journey. “The IMC got us coaches, we had business and export workshops. I suddenly found myself taking notes, and researching. I even developed a website for the first time,” shared the designer excitedly.

The seasoned designer is set to bring her vantage point of view to the pavilion. Inspired by traditional heritage, her colourful designs aim to add a modern and relevant twist to popular Egyptian designs, motifs, and fabrics. One of her participating products is an eloquent chair, which bears an adapted illustration based on the flight of bird papyrus – currently displayed at the Egyptian museum.

In addition, metalwork artist, Yasmine Fahmy, hopes to both positively represent her country and further develop as a designer. “I would love to be able to create an artistic fusion between the two cultures. My work is always based on our Egyptian heritage and it would be interesting to absorb their perception and create a product which can combine the two ends of the world,” shared Fahmy.

As a true aficionado of Islamic art, Fahmy seeks to constantly capitalise on opportunities of redefinition. Her work focuses on representing the new traditional. Participating with a number of light units, the selected chandeliers highlight unexpected meeting points between several historical eras.

“Inspired by Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah Mosque, one of my lamps has an Islamic dome, a folkloric form, and a mixture of ancient Egyptian and Roman patterns,” explained Fahmy. 

Furthermore, Asheya’s Aisha Elwaqad is a firm believer of the synonymous relationship between tableware and traditional pottery. While her ceramic pottery tableware is inspired by nature, she also uses Egypt’s landscape as a main creative reference.   

“The main idea behind my work was inspired by the fact that chinaware nowadays is extremely expensive. Therefore, I wanted to create something more hip, affordable, and suitable for everyday use,” Elwaqad declared, adding, “Egypt is well-known for pottery; however, I did not want to recycle traditional designs. Instead, I wanted to modernise them. My work still has a strong local flair, but it has a finer quality,”

Finally, Fahmy perfectly summarises the objective of this venture as well as the participating designers when saying “if you want to make new products that have the potential to take on the world, you might as well look back to your culture and present it in a different way.”

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Rihanna Joins LVMH with New Fashion Brand https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/20/rihanna-joins-lvmh-with-new-fashion-brand/ Mon, 20 May 2019 13:05:20 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=698548 On Friday, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group, officially confirmed their upcoming venture with the star. A fashion line by Rihanna is expected to be the conglomerate's newest offering.

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More than a decade after her first big hit, Rihanna has surpassed her umbrella days with a long list of awards, record-breaking achievements, and a globally-successful makeup line. Nevertheless, the 31-year-old singer and actress still has a few milestones in mind.

On Friday, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group, officially confirmed their upcoming venture with the star. A fashion line by Rihanna is expected to be the conglomerate’s newest offering. Meanwhile, the first products are set to see the light of day in few weeks.

This seemingly simple announcement entails a handful of firsts for the company as well as the fashion industry. Rihanna will become the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH, the first woman of colour at the top of an LVMH Maison, and her line will be the first new house created by the group since Christian Lacroix in 1987.

While many pop and street stars have managed to start their own clothing lines, Rihanna is taking unprecedented steps in the world of luxury, putting her name on the same level as Dior, Givench, and Fendi. Meanwhile, this announcement reflects the group’s firm belief that someone like Rihanna currently has the same influence and recognition as coveted fashion designers. Therefore, the luxury industry might have good chances at exploring new aesthetics rather than just reinventing well-known names.

Named Fenty, the Paris-based brand will offer a range of ready-to-wear, accessories, and footwear. According to the group’s statement, it is centred on Rihanna, developed by her, and takes shape with her vision.

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Virginie Viard Embarks on a New Journey https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/11/virginie-viard-embarks-on-a-new-journey/ Sat, 11 May 2019 12:00:27 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=697706 Slowly overcoming the shock and sadness surrounding Karl Lagerfeld’s sudden death, Chanel has recently welcomed the dawn of a new era led by Virginie Viard, the house’s new creative director. As Lagerfeld’s successor, the designer presented her first solo show for the Parisian fashion house in time for the Cruise 2020 collection. Following Chanel’s traditions, …

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Slowly overcoming the shock and sadness surrounding Karl Lagerfeld’s sudden death, Chanel has recently welcomed the dawn of a new era led by Virginie Viard, the house’s new creative director. As Lagerfeld’s successor, the designer presented her first solo show for the Parisian fashion house in time for the Cruise 2020 collection. Following Chanel’s traditions, the collection was showcased at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. The prestigious venue was transformed into a Beaux Arts train station.

While the models walked down a train platform with tracks in the background, the star-studded audience occupied classic benches. “Like the promise of adventure, the main hall is traversed by railroad tracks over which one can just picture trains setting off for one of the destinations posted over kiosks and benches,” read the official press release.

The audience included a number of global celebrities and loyal clients, including Keira Knightley, Lily Rose Depp and Claudia Schiffer.

Furthermore, Viard introduced a collection that respected her iconic predecessors. Her 79 runway looks paid homage to Lagerfeld’s eye for geometrical silhouettes as well as Gabriel Chanel’s more feminine aesthetic. Varying between signature Chanel styles, tweed classics, and bold coordinated ensembles – the new collection simultaneously caters to several age groups.

Viard started her journey at the fashion house in 1987 as an intern. She was later referred as Lagerfeld’s right-hand woman. Accordingly, it was only natural for her to succeed him after his death at the age of 85.

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Deana Shaaban Salutes Women with Her Spring 2019 Collection https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/05/11/deana-shaaban-salutes-women-with-her-spring-2019-collection/ Sat, 11 May 2019 11:30:10 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=697697 The mesmerising tunes of jazz embraces women as they walk into her studio. Welcomed by coffee aroma, eloquent tulle gowns, and proud silk drapes – stepping into the world of Deana Shaaban is as smooth as sailing through a charming, yet calm ocean. Over the duration of 10 years, she has managed to remain at …

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The mesmerising tunes of jazz embraces women as they walk into her studio. Welcomed by coffee aroma, eloquent tulle gowns, and proud silk drapes – stepping into the world of Deana Shaaban is as smooth as sailing through a charming, yet calm ocean. Over the duration of 10 years, she has managed to remain at the focal point of a growing and continuously shifting industry. Between haute couture, bridal and prêt-à-porter– it is safe to claim that the designer has tried it all. However, it all led to a forced hiatus.

Away from the demanding business and biased feedback of clients, Shaaban preferred to step out of the ring of fire, reassess her motives, and then dive back in. After what seemed like a few seasons too many, the designer finally came back with a collection as light as clouds, as optimistic as teenagers, and as determined as womanhood.   

“It has been a very long journey and I believe that when it comes to art, if you do one thing obsessively for too long you end up getting burnt out. At some point, I came to realise that I have given my all to my art; and I ended up losing myself completely,” recounted the designer, adding, “I had been obsessed with a million different things within that world and how to make it work to the extent that I forgot why I was doing this to begin with.”

With a firm conviction to stop worrying about money and focus on creating art for the sake of it, Shaaban found herself retracing her earliest steps into the industry. “I started taking a lot of courses again,” said the designer, who began restricting her time at the studio to mere creation; not for clients or certain collections. “I slowly found my way back onto the right track and why I decided to pursue this journey almost 10 years ago,” shared the designer with a wide grin.

Her newest haute couture collection is an expression of that spectacular moment when a woman becomes whole. “I do not believe people truly fathom the power of their clothing; the majority still think that fashion is a mindless activity,” said the designer. However, encouraged by firm belief, Shaaban aimed to prove it to be a powerful method of expression. “This collection says I am who I am, no apologies and no compromises. Therefore, this was the most effortless collection I have ever worked on just because I let it be,” shared the designer.

Over the course of 18 months, Shaaban dedicated herself to address every woman, because each one needed her attention and support. Whether women who are lost, to those who have finally found themselves, those who are comfortable with their bodies, to those who are not; “I feel that in this collection, you will find something for everyone at every stage in their lives,” summarised the designer.

In parallel, the collection also gives equal attention to girls who are just about to become women. Based on personal experience, the designer already identifies this phase as quite challenging. “Even though it often goes unnoticed, it plays a huge part in shaping women’s personalities,” said the designer, who also catered to women who are older and about to redefine who they are.

Inspired by emotions and feelings, this collection manifests the designer’s personal notes on womanhood and what it takes to stand up for what you aspire for. Synonymous with intricacy and well-thought details, some of the dresses consumed four months in execution. The designer depended on silk, tulle, and organza as well as French and Italian lace to bring her dreamt-up deigns into reality. On the other hand, she used different kinds of beading and even incorporated fresh-water pearls to bring out her ideas loud and clear.

“Collections are often risky because clients prefer bespoke pieces that were designed specifically for them; however, I did it for me. I needed to design and create art without having to worry about external factors,” Shaaban said, proudly adding, “it actually worked out and exceeded my expectations, I have already sold 85% of the collection.”

According to Shaaban, being able to be herself and express her thoughts freely eventually helped her attract the right clientele and even celebrities, and women who appreciate the same principles and do not seek to force their own perspectives. “Mona Hala found me through a friend and contacted me while she was abroad for a dress to wear to the Cairo Film Festival. She gave me a wide range for innovation. She flew in two days before the festival, came to my studio and put on the dress before she stared at me and announced that it was exactly what she was looking for,” recounted the designer.

Known for being a woman who knows exactly what she wants in every aspect of her life, working with her was both refreshing and reassuring for the designer. In the meantime, another inspiring woman found her way to the calm studio. While planning for an upcoming premiere event, actress Injy Abou Zeid contacted Shaaban for a dress. With zero intentions to interfere with Shaaban’s design process, the end result was satisfying for both parties.

“I have been fighting for a decade to reach out to celebrities and design things for women that I could never truly connect with. However, when I finally focused on myself, I ended up meeting just the right people,” explained the designer happily. Furthermore, actress Tara Emad is also someone who slowly but surely became a muse and a true close friend of Shaaban.

As much as the designer has matured into a focused and determined artist, the industry has also taken a few turns on its way to development. As the designer best describes it, one of the greatest changes that has taken place is the courage people have garnered to just design. With the number of local designers on the rise, it is safe to assume that previous social restrains and cultural stigmas have started to dissolve in the face of creative freedom.    

“In our roots as Egyptians we are artists and craftsmen; that is who we are and what pharaohs were most brilliant at. Nevertheless, somewhere down the line someone told us that we need to solely be doctors and engineers,” said Shaaban.  According to the designer, her early steps were threatened by the fact that fashion and design were not valid options at the time. “There were only a handful of designers and it was a huge leap of faith; I had no support system,” said Shaaban at a time when design was becoming a popular and valid choice that is often supported by parents and society.

As for her future plans after finding the right route, Shaaban is encouraged to take international sprints. Following her constant desire to associate her work with women who inspire her and play positive roles in their societies, she has been busy reaching out to a number of international celebrities in search for collaboration opportunities. “I was absolutely astonished to receive positive and encouraging feedback from several of my biggest idols. I want to take this slowly and smoothly in order not to collapse back,” concluded the designer on the verge of greater accomplishments.

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Tod’s bring back Alber Elbaz to Fashion Scene https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/22/tods-bring-back-alber-elbaz-to-fashion-scene/ Mon, 22 Apr 2019 12:30:59 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=696526 The Italian leather goods aficionado, Tod’s, has recently announced what could be the biggest fashion collaboration of the current year. The factory series is set to be Alber Elbaz’s long-awaited return to the fashion scene. The former creative director of Lanvin has been away on a hiatus since his well-publicised exit from the brand in …

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The Italian leather goods aficionado, Tod’s, has recently announced what could be the biggest fashion collaboration of the current year. The factory series is set to be Alber Elbaz’s long-awaited return to the fashion scene. The former creative director of Lanvin has been away on a hiatus since his well-publicised exit from the brand in 2015.

Named after Andy Warhol’s iconic New York studio, the factory series is set to include a number of capsule collections designed by international design patrons. “It is going to be fantastic. He has such vision, he is three steps ahead,” Tod’s Group President and majority shareholder, Diego Della Valle added, “His sense of modernity is extraordinary and we are very, very happy to see him restart in fashion with us.”

This collaboration is set to give Elbaz unrestricted margin of creativity as well as access to the brand’s archives and workshops. With that said, the reveal is expected to take place in spring.

After his separation with Lanvin, Elbaz has received the Officier in the Légion D’Honneur, worked with Frédéric Malle, the founder of Editions de Parfums, to launch a number of scents, and designed an accessories collection for LeSportsac. 

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Spring Affair Returns for Second Season of Shopping, Charity https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/22/spring-affair-returns-for-second-season-of-shopping-charity/ Mon, 22 Apr 2019 12:00:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=696520 While the city buzzes with unwavering energy and the weather starts to embrace a warmer detour, the scene inside a certain Zamalek-based fashion store does not veer away from the capital’s frantic vibes. Harboured at Maison 69, the latest season of fashion fund’s seasonal fashion events returned with a new selection of local and regional …

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While the city buzzes with unwavering energy and the weather starts to embrace a warmer detour, the scene inside a certain Zamalek-based fashion store does not veer away from the capital’s frantic vibes. Harboured at Maison 69, the latest season of fashion fund’s seasonal fashion events returned with a new selection of local and regional designers. Just as the invitation promised, the Spring Affair event brought a handful of fresh and nonconventional brands under one roof.

Welcomed by the store’s regular assortment of flowers, guests got to walk through a colourful display of fine jewellery, accessories, ready-to-wear garments and haute couture. Catering to a wide diversity of women, the event did not leave any of the season’s trends out of its scope. While the fashion fund’s regular community greeted, discussed their favourite brands and heavily invested in the season’s must-have items; the designers explained their sources of inspiration, made suggestions, and created a new base of loyal clients.

According to the founder of Fashion Funds, Heba Serag Eldin, this stronger form of communication is exactly what she wanted to achieve this season. After a few seasons of successful fashion brunches, Serag Eldin was in fact aiming to create a progressive shopping experience to allow her designers the maximum possible exposure.

“We are a fashion company and every time we organise an event, we aim to introduce a new element. For the past couple of seasons, we have been focusing on merging fashion and lifestyle. However, this time we wanted to further highlight the fashion element in order to allow the designers to experiment more, and have a one-on-one conversations with the attendees,” shared the entrepreneur.

With fashion being the one and only topic of interest, Serag Eldin and her team looked past their regular venues of choice in order to obtain their goal. “Normally, many of our attendees did not use to give enough attention to the participating designers and their available merchandise; instead, they would eat, drink and socialise,” said Serag Eldin.

Nonetheless, as the founder chose to explain, this season is all about fashion. Therefore, it was natural to notice that the designers did end up selling much more. With that intention in mind, naturally, the team selected Maison 69 as their venue. According to Serag Eldin, the untraditional concept store gave her an opportunity to further play with the display and expand their creative ceiling. 

“Maison 69 has its own vibe and flair. It is a prestigious, well-established name. It was only normal for us to collaborate with them. The venue was, by definition, well-prepared to host such an event,” stated Serag Eldin.

With an inventory as big as 23 designers along with Maison 69’s summer collection, anyone who stepped into the fashion haven from the early afternoon until 10pm ended up finding exactly what was promised by the team: the season’s most articulate fashion statements courtesy of exceptional local and regional designers.

Aside from the format of the event, Fashion Funds has also managed to expand the spectrum of their designers for this season. With the intention of gathering all promising and well-established local designers under one roof, the team also added a hint of regional talent to their mix, just in time for the second season of the Spring Affair.

Bejewka and Paula Fashion House did not only make a relatively long trip from Beirut straight to the event–they also did it as a family. As mother and son, the two designers took two booths next to each other to display their latest collections.  With that said, the event also featured the latest collection from Lou, an Egyptian designer based in Dubai.

“We have many interesting designers this season. L’omdaboga is a nonconventional bag designer, who produces all of her designs in Egypt with impeccable quality. Meanwhile, 9 Crimes is quite young and unconventional,” said Serag Eldin.

Concurrently, in time for Ramadan, Dina El Missiry, Mazoura, Koukla and Nazeeka displayed a diverse range of contemporary kaftans. On the other hand, the event also featured a number of couture designers such as Sara Onsi, Malak El Ezzawy, Christine Massarany, and La Reina Gowns. As for the accessories category, the team’s choice of designers brought a balance of great quality and flamboyant designs. Manoya bags added a touch of timeless simplicity and Hayden Official revived Venus through jewellery, belts, and bags.

Accordingly, the event still walks the same lines of the previous seasons in terms of its charity aspect. With increased sales, a percentage of the revenues will be dedicated to those in need. “I spoke to the Helm Foundation, and we are set to meet after the event to discuss options to utilise the money,” stated Serag Eldin.

After a number of successful seasons, Serag Eldin is proud of the event’s consistency and the strong rapport she has managed to build with the designers. On the other hand, she wishes to see more Egyptian designers, who take their branding and finishing seriously. “There needs to be a lot of education to guide up-and-coming designers,” said Serag Eldin.

    

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Boyfriend Champions Minimal, Gender Fluid Basics https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/21/boyfriend-champions-minimal-gender-fluid-basics/ Sun, 21 Apr 2019 11:00:30 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=696386 With a warm smile and attentive attitude, he welcomes his guests. It is not hard to see why his aesthetic has been favoured by various top publications over the past six years. His low-key confidence is reflected by his seemingly simple attire. While his turtle neck sweater and classic rounded glasses can suggest his eagerness …

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With a warm smile and attentive attitude, he welcomes his guests. It is not hard to see why his aesthetic has been favoured by various top publications over the past six years. His low-key confidence is reflected by his seemingly simple attire. While his turtle neck sweater and classic rounded glasses can suggest his eagerness to hold on to timeless jewels, his stack of dainty tattoos offers a different perspective.

Amine Jreissaty is a 35-year old Lebanese creative director, stylist, and most recently a designer, who is notorious for his minimalistic take on cutting-edge trends. His artistic vision has encouraged many leading brands and publications to travel all the way to his hometown in Beirut to work with him. With an eye for gender-fluid glam and understated sophistication, his heroes are free of time and place restrictions; instead, they are an artistic statement who champion freedom.

After curating an inciting portfolio of iconic styling projects, Jreissaty finally embarked on a long-delayed design journey less than two years ago. His ready to wear brand, Boyfriend, was recently short-listed for the debut season of Fashion trust Arabia (FTA). Being one of 25 exceptional regional talents that were judged by the world’s top fashion experts, helped Boyfriend jump to the forefront. Even though Jreissaty did not win the big prize, he identifies the opportunity as a life-changing experience.   

When asked about his early beginnings, the fashion visionary suggests that it was a long journey which led him to where he stands today. So many routes ended up colliding and leading him toward fashion; starting with his parents, who appreciated beautiful things to his travels which helped him nurture an eye for eccentricity.

With that said, Jreissaty did not study fashion at the beginning. Instead, he started with business hospitality in order to enter the luxury domain before specialising in fashion design, where he learnt everything about pattern making, cutting, production, etc. Nevertheless, his career started when he took a styling job for Marie Claire Arabia, before becoming a freelancer for six years.

“Growing up, I knew that I wanted to work in the fashion field. However, it is a generic world that has so many different options aside from design.” Jreissaty said, adding, “I chose styling because it does not adhere to a certain routine. It gives you the space to interpret your vision within different contexts, bodies, and stories. Your imagination can truly run wild; it offers variety and creative freedom.”

Inspired by his raw talent to mix, match, and layer clothes, Jreissaty soon enough cultivated an eye for a certain silhouette, something which later led him to his own brand. “My brand is basically a styling course because it is made of items that you can layer on top of each other in order to wear them in so many different ways.” Jreissaty explained, elaborating, “Boyfriend is a very minimal brand, made of basics that both genders already have in their closets. It is minimal in the cuts that I use; meanwhile, it is subliminal in the way I tend to add details to these basics to make them versatile and wearable in many different ways.”

As part of his desire to empower his clients of both genders to wear the same piece of clothes multiple times, all of his designs aim to make people forget that they are wearing the same shirt once again because it can look absolutely different each and every time due to simple styling tricks. “In this region, it was very important for me to make people realise that a basic piece is just as trendy as any trendy alternative. People here tend to buy flashy items for a fortune then end up wearing it very few times before it either goes out of style or they grow bored of it.” The designer explained, adding “On the contrary, I want people to see that basics could be worn over and over.”

Accordingly, the designer tends to tell everyone who will listen that each person has the ability to make a piece look good and never the other way around. Made mainly of white shirts, blazers, trench coats, kimonos, and similar basics, the designer’s previous three capsule collections add to each other – ultimately creating one full story.   

“These are items everyone will continue to wear for decades to come. These are not pieces that you will forget or grow tired of. I mean what can possibly be a better investment than a white shirt, I can own hundreds of them,” said the designer with enthusiasm.

With that said, the designer recounts his time at the FTA as a surreal experience. “Getting there and standing alone in the booth with my designs to have a huge number of industry pioneers check my work with genuine interest, surprise, and enthusiasm was an unforgettable experience. Each of these experts had his own file and they knew exactly who each one of us was. They gave us advice about how to move forward, what to enhance, and what to capitalise on,” shared the designer.

The non-profit initiative aims to find, fund, and nurture fashion talents around the Arab world. With a strong executive committee of regional experts, the shortlisted designers get an unparalleled chance to benefit from their experience. Meanwhile, the jury includes 45 top-notch international designers, models, and journalists.

“From the executive committee to the judges and the prominent journalists attending, they all had private talks with each one of us to help us see ways to further develop our brands. Whether it is a designer who has been in the industry for 20 years or someone like me that has only been active for the past year and a half, it was an exceptional event that was nothing less than surreal,” said the designer with a warm smile.

At the end of the star-studded celebration, the FTA winners were Krikor Jabotian for the couture category, Roni Helou for the ready-to-wear, Zyne for footwear, Sabry Marouf for handbags, and the Mukhi Sisters for jewellery. However, all those shortlisted for the prize already acknowledge the opportunity as a life changing one.

As for what the future might bring to his brand, the designer plans to maintain his consistency and upgrade his resources to reach a bigger audience. “I still do not have a team, I started Boyfriend in parallel with my other job as a stylist, and I did not expect it to garner such feedback in a short period of time. I was honestly not prepared for such feedback.” Jreissaty declaring, adding, “I only give the brand 20% of my time, so I am absolutely surprised and proud of what it has reached in less than two years.”

The brand is currently available only in Beirut. However, with strong demand everywhere around the region, from Dubai to Kuwait, Egypt, and Qatar – the designer hopes to cross borders soon.

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Louis Vuitton removes Michael Jackson-inspired pieces from fall 2019 collection https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/01/louis-vuitton-removes-michael-jackson-inspired-pieces-from-fall-2019-collection/ Mon, 01 Apr 2019 11:30:50 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=694636 When Virgil Abloh decided to base his latest menswear collection on Michael Jackson in January, he intended for his nostalgic source of inspiration to address a large segment of young costumers. Much like his generation, Abloh was fascinated by Jackson’s legacy. Accordingly, he captured the signer’s most iconic moments through his work for the Louis …

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When Virgil Abloh decided to base his latest menswear collection on Michael Jackson in January, he intended for his nostalgic source of inspiration to address a large segment of young costumers. Much like his generation, Abloh was fascinated by Jackson’s legacy. Accordingly, he captured the signer’s most iconic moments through his work for the Louis Vuitton fall 2019 collection.

The collection included loafers with white socks, encrusted graphic t-shirts and sequined gloves. Meanwhile, his show was choreographed to resemble one of MJ’s video clips.

Nevertheless, after receiving tremendous acclaim from critics and fans, the designer’s luck turned around when the new documentary Finding Neverland became the hottest new trend. The HBO documentary features the real stories of men, who shared an intimate relationship with the pop star during their childhood. According to their testimonies, their interaction with MJ surpassed average fan-idol encounters to include sexual abuse. 

Due to the sex allegations targeted at the late singer, Abloh and Louis Vuitton were compelled to cancel all the pieces directly inspired by the singer from the collection by not sending them into production.

“I am aware that in light of this documentary the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence, or infringement against any human rights,” Abloh told Women’s Wear Daily.

“My intention for this show was to refer to Michael Jackson as a pop culture artist. It referred only to his public life that we all know and to his legacy that has influenced a whole generation of artists and designers,” Abloh asserted.

On the other hand, the brand has highlighted the fact that the team was unaware of the allegations and the documentary, when they launched the collection. “We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling and disturbing,” the brand’s CEO, Michael Burke, said, adding, “child safety and welfare is of utmost importance to Louis Vuitton. We are fully committed to advocating this cause.”

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By the Sea, MEFF 3 brings regional fashion talent to beach https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/04/01/by-the-sea-meff-3-brings-regional-fashion-talent-to-beach/ Mon, 01 Apr 2019 11:00:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=694638 For the third year in a row, a combination of fashion experts from around the region came together for a glamorous day. From the Levant all the way to Morocco, they all fluently parleyed with fabrics and embroidery. In order to truly celebrate the warmer season ahead, the Middle East Fashion Festival (MEFF) brought a …

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For the third year in a row, a combination of fashion experts from around the region came together for a glamorous day. From the Levant all the way to Morocco, they all fluently parleyed with fabrics and embroidery. In order to truly celebrate the warmer season ahead, the Middle East Fashion Festival (MEFF) brought a number of designers and aficionados to the charming coastline of Hurghada.

Hosted by City Gate M65, the event featured a bazaar area which offered a variety of merchandise as luxurious as diamonds and gold. Meanwhile, an elevated runway promised a glittering night ahead. On the other hand, a mixture of local and foreign fashion experts flocked toward their seats on either side of the runway.

After much anticipation, the show started with a number of speeches and honours before the models started strutting down the runway. Tunisian-Egyptian designer, Sarah Tayel inaugurated the show with a myriad of dreamy couture dresses. Between silver and canary yellow, the dresses agreed on trailing details and hints of illuminating embellishments. The show later proceeded to reveal the rest of the rainbow. The summer collection hopped from fuchsia to aqua blue and coral. Furthermore, it also included navy blue and black. 

The designer’s preference of light fabrics such as chiffon and lycra helped her to deliver fairytale charm. One of the most memorable looks was a detailed black jumpsuit trailed by a beaded chiffon cape. 

Tayel’s bridal models paved the way to Brand House’s collection of sophisticated and untraditional menswear. Designed by Hassan El Mansy, the collection experimented with rich fabrics such as velvet, combined with subtle details such as double chains and stacked brooches.

With that said, El Mansy was also quite keen on breaking the borders of traditional cuts. Designed to fit like a glove, the suits varied between monochrome three pieces to those that blurred the lines between blazers and tailcoats.

Syrian designer Omar Mahfouz followed with his couture brand, Joudi Bella. His opening look was nothing less than a maximalist silver dress with feather trimmings. Bella’s collection was both intricate and constantly over the top. Therefore, it was no surprise that his brides were as lavish as queens. Precise busts, oversized skirts, hand-embroidered sequins and extra-long trails composed his winning formula.

Finally, Agista took control of the runway with a distinct collection. Starting with swimwear then proceeding all the way to the eveningwear category, the designer was after elegance. For her beach looks, Agista designed retro swimsuits, which she chose to compliment with tulle cover-ups. One of the most memorable looks featured a white one-piece swimsuit paired with a flattering cover-up, which cultivated true Marilyn Monroe vibes.

As for the cocktail collection, it varied between playful short dresses with swaying fringes and dazzling options with a dash of bling. At last, the evening collection included swooping dresses with magical silhouettes fit for a true Cinderella.

Unfortunately, an unexpected change of weather brought an abrupt end to the amusing night. Due to the hostile wind and sand, the show was prematurely stopped.

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Middle East Fashion Festival kicks off showcasing Hurghada’s charm https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/30/middle-east-fashion-festival-kicks-off-showcasing-hurghadas-charm/ Sat, 30 Mar 2019 12:31:12 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=694401 On the largest open theatre in the Red Sea, with the presence of Egypt, Syria and Tunisia and after the great success of its first and second editions, the Middle East Fashion Festival (MEFF) presents its third edition for the first time in Hurghada. The MEFF is to be held from 28 – 30 March …

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On the largest open theatre in the Red Sea, with the presence of Egypt, Syria and Tunisia and after the great success of its first and second editions, the Middle East Fashion Festival (MEFF) presents its third edition for the first time in Hurghada.

The MEFF is to be held from 28 – 30 March on the largest open theater in City GATE M65, in Hurghada, minutes from El Gouna.

This comes after the big success and excellence of the MEFF in its first and second editions, making it among the most important fashion events in the Arab world and the Middle East.

Waleed Khalil, the president of the MEFF, and the owner of the organising company, has confirmed that organising the festival in such place is considered a qualitative move to promote tourism and investment.

He pointed out that the festival is held under the auspices of the Red Sea Governor, Major General Staff Officer Ahmed Abdullah; the Head of the Red Sea Ports Authority, Major General Ayman Saleh, and the businessperson Sameh Shalaby, who is responsible of City Gate M65 management.

Shalaby explained that Hurghada is an integrated tourism and an economic city, and presenting an international festival for fashion in it is a great opportunity to promote tourism and encourage investments.

Many countries will also participate in the festival, where each designer will be representing his/her country. The participating designers will display a collection of their own fashion for spring and summer of 2019.

Participants are to include the Tunisian Sarah Tayel, the Egyptian Mirna Egiza, and Mayada Charps, as well as the Syrian designer Omar Mahfouz, providing fashion lines for summer 2019 for women.

Moreover, Brand House will present the fashion line for the summer 2019 for men, in addition to the makeup expert, Morshed and the beauty expert Heba Gomaa, to provide the latest fashion trends for 2019.

Marwa Talaat, former Miss Egypt and the professional model, will direct the shows for the festival.

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Dior Dubai Show brings circus to desert https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/24/dior-dubai-show-brings-circus-to-desert/ https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/24/dior-dubai-show-brings-circus-to-desert/#respond Sun, 24 Mar 2019 11:30:03 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693805 The Dior magic parade finally stepped foot in the Middle East amidst contradicting feedback. Occupying Safa Park in Dubai, the Parisian fashion house brought its colourful circus tent to the opposite side of the world. While a number of regional influencers were spotted amidst the crowd dressed in Dior from head to toe, many loyal …

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The Dior magic parade finally stepped foot in the Middle East amidst contradicting feedback. Occupying Safa Park in Dubai, the Parisian fashion house brought its colourful circus tent to the opposite side of the world. While a number of regional influencers were spotted amidst the crowd dressed in Dior from head to toe, many loyal clients were keen to express their disappointment online.

While the brand has already introduced their ready to wear fall/winter 2020 collection back in February in Paris for their middle-eastern debut, they chose to once again visit the couture collection, which was initially introduced in January for the current spring/summer season. Even though, the creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, introduced 15 new designs, made especially for the region, loyal clients seemed to hope for more.

Saudi blogger and entrepreneur, Marriam Mossalli, who is recognised by Business of Fashion as one of the 500 most influential fashion experts around the world, was quick to discuss the redundancy of this particular show on her Instagram account. Many of her 51,000 followers replied with comments about their disappointment as they anticipated to see more clients than influencers amidst the crowd as well as more exclusive designs. 

According to Chiuri, the 15 exclusive items were inspired by Christian Dior’s rich archive. Nevertheless, they also highlight the designer’s flair for feminism as she chose to reinterpret those classic designs to suit a modern woman. The items varied between colourful pleated skirts that glimmered under the spotlights as well as picturesque mini dresses that were embellished with clown collars. All ensembles were accessorised with netted face veils and skullcaps, which maintained the circus theme.

With that said, the makeup delivered absolute mastery and attracted praise. Peter Philips, who is the creative and image director for Dior’s makeup line flew all the way from Paris with the circus in order to recreate the same beauty looks. Philips subtly managed to turn his models into edgy clowns with old and graphic black eyeliner. Furthermore, with the hair turned into slick ponytails, he also went further with sparkling “clown tears”.

Despite the earlier promises of a show that is a replica of the original Parisian spectacle, the acrobats were missing from the Dubai evening. Meanwhile, celebrities such as Yousra, Nelly Karim, and Mona Zaki enjoyed a nostalgic atmosphere inside the gigantic tent. Seated in a central centre, all guests were able to absorb the walking designs up and close.

According to the brand’s history, the circus theme is not a foreign element to Dior as Christian Dior was known to be a big fan of Cirque d’Hiver. Meanwhile, the brand’s very first female creative director, Chiuri, describes the circus as the most magical venue.

   

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Up-fuse, Farahzada El Shihy create ‘The Ripples’ https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/24/up-fuse-farahzada-el-shihy-create-the-ripples/ https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/24/up-fuse-farahzada-el-shihy-create-the-ripples/#respond Sun, 24 Mar 2019 10:30:33 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693803 Farahzada turns any waste into coveted accessories

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Plastic waste is a global dilemma which multiple entities are trying to control. With marine life suffering the most from unrecycled waste, many already advocate cutting down universal plastic production. Nonetheless, handling the current amount of unprocessed plastic remains to be a threat to nature everywhere.

Today, the civilized world produces nearly 300m tonnes of plastic every year, half of it is for single use. More importantly, more than 8m tonnes of plastic is dumped into oceans annually. Furthermore, a study recently suggested that the total amount of plastic ever produced around the world is 8,300m metric tonnes. While tycoon brands, such as Burberry, have already promised to gradually eliminate plastic from its operations in the near future, other innovators are taking a more pro-active approach. 

Up-fuse is not only a conscious fashion brand which advocates a wearable solution to the environmental dilemma, but it also introduces contemporary fashion statements. Known for their upcycled handbags and eco-friendly products, the team behind Up-fuse joined forces with one of the country’s most known young artists to create a colourful capsule collection.

“We have been following Farahzada El Shihy’s work for a while,” said Yara Yassin, Up-fuse’s co-founder and design director. “She has a very different and unique work aesthetic, which really adds to what Up-fuse does. Therefore, we decided to approach her as an emerging designer in the scene.”

Known for her minimal illustrations and tribal references, El Shihy was a natural choice for the brand’s debut collaboration. The artist was encouraged to bring her unmistakable aesthetic to the ecological collaboration. Together, the two local talents brought The Ripple Collection to life. Made of plastic waste and decorated with doodles, the outcome is young, practical, and effortless.

With El Shihy’s ability to turn any average medium into magical art and Up-fuse’s ability to turn waste into coveted accessories, The Ripple Collection provides a wide range of sustainable bags, from a shoes bag to a gym bag, a shopping bag and a waterproof laundry bag.

“El Shihy is a young talented artist. We believe that it is always good to work with designers from other fields and backgrounds. Also, her illustrative art designs have added uniqueness to an up-cycled bag that is not only functional, but also trendy and in style,” explained Yassin.

Mainly depending on a black colour pallet, the collection embraces hints of vibrant colours. Yellow, pink, and blue attracts a fresh clientele, who is searching for daily fashion companions. Meanwhile, El Shihy’s illustrations take the centre stage.

According to Yassin, the main design elements in this collection come from Up-fuse’s brand book, inspired from up-cycled material together with El Shihy’s tribal effect. Made entirely out of plastic bags, the collection advocates reducing waste as well as nurturing a more conscious attitude toward pollution. “Around 2,500 plastic bags were used in producing The Ripples collection. On the other hand, the collection is produced by 10 female artists; four of whom are Syrian migrants,” shared Yassin. With that said, Up-fuse has already managed to turn 18,000 plastic bags into fashion-forward accessories during the past year.”

In parallel, the fashion brand has also supported 50 women by giving them a sustainable source of income. Due to their commitment to their community, the founders of Up-fuse are determined to identify, train, and hire women in need. Their workshop mainly consists of females who financially support their households.

Founded by Yassin and Rania Rafie, then later joined by Lama El Khawanky, Up-fuse embraces sustainability as a core value. Together, the three leading ladies combine their mixture of expertise to balance environment-friendly innovation and fashion.

As true pioneers, the founders were the first to introduce upcycled fashion to the local market. While the initial reaction might have been apparent reluctance, the founders can already sense the difference. “The local perception of upcycled fashion is still growing, but we are very optimistic with The Ripples collection to change the perception of just functional upcycled bags to fashionable and in style upcycled bags,” shared Yassin.

Accordingly, the brand is currently considering multiple expansion plans. First, they plan to collaborate with more artists in the near future in order to further support emerging talents as well as add a new look and feel to their products. Second, they are also contemplating the possibility of expanding into jewellery soon.

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Celebrate her Youth: An Initiative to Grow Bolder https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/16/celebrate-her-youth-an-initiative-to-grow-bolder/ https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/16/celebrate-her-youth-an-initiative-to-grow-bolder/#respond Sat, 16 Mar 2019 11:00:57 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692957 With March being the month of women in general, and mothers in particular, many international brands are already lining up to salute females. Whether through special designs or with dedicated campaigns, local designers jumped on the wagon with few memorable shoots. Nonetheless, jewellery designer Jude Benhalim stood out amidst the trend by choosing to shift …

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With March being the month of women in general, and mothers in particular, many international brands are already lining up to salute females. Whether through special designs or with dedicated campaigns, local designers jumped on the wagon with few memorable shoots. Nonetheless, jewellery designer Jude Benhalim stood out amidst the trend by choosing to shift the narrative and celebrate mothers in an extraordinary manner.

Synonymous with edgy and young jewellery, the designer chose to shed light on women through defying stereotypical age boundaries. With the aim of making mothers feel young and fashionable, Benhalim championed the notion of growing bold rather than old.

Her Mother’s Day campaign features a number of mothers who are fierce and glamorous. From the avant-garde styling to the unexpected combination of colours, Benhalim’s leading ladies are an example of embracing beauty at any given age. Under the name, “Celebrate her Youth”, the campaign is an open call for women to wear what they want and not what the society labels as age-appropriate. With that said, the designer’s statement work of hand-carved calligraphy and coloured resin stones occupies centre stage.

Shot by Amina Zaher, the editorial shoot elaborately evokes the brand’s attitude as effortlessly carried out by a number of mothers and grandmothers. Aside from the grand goal, the campaign also positions Jude Benhalim as a jewellery brand for all ages. According to the designer, her jewellery is meant to empower, embody, and embolden all women. Walking the same lines of her brand’s ethos, Benhalim believes that as women grow bolder, they tend to grow more comfortable in their own skins, and eventually flourish more confidently with a stronger sense of self-identity.

Benhalim started her brand at the young age of 17 with the assistance of her mother and partner, Rana Al Azm. Together, they are always enthusiastic to address and empower women to savour life and follow their dreams.

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Jaidaa Jewellery: synchronised design medley https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/16/jaidaa-jewellery-synchronised-design-medley/ https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/16/jaidaa-jewellery-synchronised-design-medley/#respond Sat, 16 Mar 2019 10:00:05 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692960 Stepping into their showroom feels like crossing the threshold of a cosy house, where cookies are plenty and coffee is always hot. In every direction stands a testament of their attention to detail. While the silver shines vividly, rubies demand attention. Lined up next to each other, each design tells a fraction of their story. …

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Stepping into their showroom feels like crossing the threshold of a cosy house, where cookies are plenty and coffee is always hot. In every direction stands a testament of their attention to detail. While the silver shines vividly, rubies demand attention. Lined up next to each other, each design tells a fraction of their story. Between their lifelong friendship and their 20-year journey in the world of jewellery, Iman and Eva are true artists, who choose silver as their main medium.

For 20 years, Jaidaa Jewellery has been synonymous with articulate artistry. The brand’s wide range of silverware includes statement jewellery, contemporary must-haves, and even tableware. Iman Farouk started the journey with her partner Eva as an answer to her talent. Together, the two designers have managed to turn their casual free time into a thriving brand; meanwhile, they have also developed a growing base of loyal clients. The two founders are always keen on personally welcoming their clients. Over the years, they have even established a personal relationship with all of their clients.

In time for the brand’s anniversary, the founders could not help but look back at their early steps and contemplate how a random encounter managed to change their lives.

“I come from a family that highly appreciates nature. Accordingly, I am constantly inspired by flowers and plants. However, through my studies, I was forced to leave my passion behind and follow a more traditional direction,” Farouk said.

Despite being university friends, the two designers drifted apart post-graduation until they met again at the doorstep of their children’s school. “It was our children’s first day of school and just like that we rekindled our friendship in mere seconds and even our children became classmates,” Farouk declared, adding, “Soon enough we started to feel boredom seeping into our lives as the children grew older and started to slowly, but surely, depend on themselves. At the time, jewellery design was the only thing we could do while being able to care for our households.”

Starting with a few scattered designs here and there, the partners decided to give the brand a name that was far from theirs. Accordingly, they agreed on a distinctive Arabic name; Jaidaa. “It means a slim neck in classical Arabic. This eloquent meaning goes with the idea of a beautiful woman wearing a stunning necklace,” explained Farouk. 

Together, the two designers complement each other’s aesthetic. Presenting two polar opposites is the founders’ secret formula to target a wider range of women. According to Farouk, they certainly complete each other; even their areas of specialty complement each other. “We were both naturally talented and both of our mothers were equally as talented before us. Therefore, we did not hesitate and started designing right away,” said Farouk cheerfully.

Despite what they were capable of creating due to their natural talent, they still knew that they needed to study in order to perfect their skills. After searching for educational centres, the Design Studio by Azza Fahmy came up as a suitable choice given its positive atmosphere and reputable teaching staff.

“Until this very day, every time they announce a new suitable course for us, we immediately apply for it. The teachers are quite cooperative and helpful; they even continue to help us long after we finish the courses. They are always reachable for guidance,” said Farouk.

Most recently, the two designers attended a class at the Design Studio by Azza Fahmy about the various art movements that have taken place throughout history. Inspired by the information that they learnt, they chose to focus on minimalism and art deco for their latest collection.

In time for their 20th anniversary, the brand plans to target a new segment of young clients; therefore, they utilised straight lines and minimal shapes. “Nowadays less is more, favouring simpler concepts is currently a global trend. Therefore, it was a natural choice for us to delve into the art deco school. In parallel, they were also inspired by the oriental tanoura. Accordingly, they reinterpreted its circular shape into minimal jewellery that could be worn every day.

With that said, Jaidaa also offers timeless silver tableware that equally attracts different age groups. “We currently have a collaboration with Ghada Nawara, a leading caterer. Meanwhile, we are set to attend a specialised exhibition at the Egyptian embassy in France for the third time,” announced Farouk proudly.

According to Farouk, the local market still appreciates silverware. Young housewives are just as enthusiastic about tableware as their mothers before them. “No woman would say no to upgrading her silver collection, even if by just adding a new plate,” said Farouk with a giggle.

As for their near-future plans, the best friends plan to study more as they believe that it is never too late to grow further. “I am a grandmother and I plan to go further and grow my brand more. In parallel, we plan to offer more diversity in order to address various age groups,” shared Farouk with an enthusiastic grin.

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Namshi Announces Expansion into Egypt https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/namshi-announces-expansion-into-egypt/ https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/namshi-announces-expansion-into-egypt/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 13:00:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692153 With e-commerce being the most promising business on the rise around the region, a new tycoon has announced its intention to enter the Egyptian market. Ever since its inception in 2011, Namshi has been one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the region. Specialised in mid-market goods from fashion to beauty and home ware, Namshi …

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With e-commerce being the most promising business on the rise around the region, a new tycoon has announced its intention to enter the Egyptian market. Ever since its inception in 2011, Namshi has been one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the region. Specialised in mid-market goods from fashion to beauty and home ware, Namshi reportedly generated $230m last year, a 16% increase from 2017.

Emaar Malls recently completely acquired the platform after buying the remaining 49% stake for $129.5m. With the new plans, the company also highlighted its intention to establish a warehouse and logistical base in Saudi Arabia in order to have direct access to its expanding base of customers. The new warehouse is set to enhance customer service as well as cut down on shipping timeline and costs.

This announcement follows Noon’s expansion into the local market earlier this year; another leading regional e-commerce platform. Along with Amazon, they currently represent 30% of the region’s e-commerce market. According to a report from Bain and Company, the region’s e-commerce market is currently worth of $8.3bn, with a 30% per year growth rate.

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Mikiel Benyamin: Egyptian Stylist Taking Hollywood by Storm https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/mikiel-benyamin-egyptian-stylist-taking-hollywood-by-storm/ https://ww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/mikiel-benyamin-egyptian-stylist-taking-hollywood-by-storm/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 12:00:03 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692152 In the midst of the chaos, when day light is masterfully brought to the heart of night and greenery is planted indoors, the cameras point to one joint direction while hundreds of crew members buzz around energetically. To produce a five-minute music video, the industry’s top professionals come together to materialise fantasy in record-breaking timeframes. …

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In the midst of the chaos, when day light is masterfully brought to the heart of night and greenery is planted indoors, the cameras point to one joint direction while hundreds of crew members buzz around energetically. To produce a five-minute music video, the industry’s top professionals come together to materialise fantasy in record-breaking timeframes. Accordingly, it is hard to believe that a certain 23-year-old has managed to uproot himself from his hometown in Egypt in order to plant himself in the glamorous world of Hollywood.

Mikiel Benyamin is an Egyptian celebrity stylist, who has already managed to work with the likes of Cardi B, Bella Thorne, and Sza, among many others. His work has been part of the most viral video clips as well as Hollywood’s top red-carpet events. His journey might be concise in terms of the number of years he has spent in the industry; nevertheless, his rapidly-growing portfolio has already positioned him at the top tier.

Benyamin was born and raised in Cairo until the age of 11, when he travelled to the United States with his father. According to him, the abrupt move was anything but easy, especially at the beginning. For a young boy, leaving his family and friends behind was a complicated sacrifice that he had to endure.

“Leaving everything behind was not easy. On the other hand, I spoke more Arabic than English; accordingly, keeping up a conversation was very hard at the beginning,” Benyamin added, “However, I was only 11, so it was easier for me to adapt unlike my dad.”

While having to cope with his new surroundings, Benyamin soon found himself leaning toward the fashion world. At the age of 17, he started to juggle the idea of a fashion career. Even though working in the fashion industry has always been his dream, he never truly knew what to do. “I wanted to make clothes or be a stylist; but, was that even a real job? At the time, I didn’t know. For a while, I tried to understand whether it was a hobby or a job, if I can do it for a living and if I could be paid for it,” said the currently acclaimed stylist.

Motivated by his lifelong tendency to dress up and look different, he decided to put his head into it and figure it out. Therefore, his earliest step was accompanying a friend who already worked as a professional stylist. As her assistant, Benyamin got introduced to a wide world of possibilities.

“I learned a lot by just working along her side. Then I started working for other stylists and each week brought a different job with it. Soon enough, I found myself working and growing along the way,” stated Benyamin. From working with editorial stylists to accompanying a stylist while he worked with the biggest rappers in the US, such as Rihanna – the young Egyptian boy finally found himself at the heart of the global entertainment scene.

“A bit by bit, it became bigger and bigger – it took me a while to realise that I have managed to curate a strong portfolio in almost no time,” said Benyamin with an honest grin. According to the stylist, his first big break was no less than styling the award-winning rapper Cardi B.

In a time when she was still trying to win over the general public, she did not have access to any reputable designers. Therefore, he was the first to contact her and offer his services. She instantly put her faith in him and together they went on to break the stigma that used to follow her name.

“I have always thought that I was blessed to live in America during that period of my life. I had the right passion for the opportunities found around each corner in the US.” Benyamin added candidly “Fashion is what I love. There is so much competition and not enough guidance on how to get where you want, so I always thought of myself lucky to make it at such a young age and almost straight out of Egypt.”

While he always contemplates before taking any new step about what would make his family proud, his mantra is to constantly remain as unique as possible. When he first started, he already knew that there were so many different stylists; but, he already believed that they were mainly focused on chic aesthetic. “I thought to myself, how can I make this different, should I work with artists that are talked about more or select those who are not known for their fashion choices then turn them into fashion mavens? I thought in different ways that would help me get people’s attention,” said the stylist to the stars.

However, all of these questions evaporated when he secured the most-sought after video clip of the year. Bodak Yellow by Cardi B repositioned the rapper and broke several records. It was also dubbed as the music video of the year given its viewership online. “I think Bodak Yellow was definitely a restart point to my career. It was like okay, I worked for free as an assistant for so long and now here you are working on the biggest music video in America,” said Banyamin proudly.

Despite the fact that he is constantly surrounded by stars and has access to the most coveted venues and events, Benyamin believes that his job is anything but glamorous. On the contrary, he repeatedly reinforces that in reality being a stylist is a hectic job, which requires hours of non-stop work. “Once you decide to become a professional stylist, you have to dedicate your life to your clients; it is no longer yours. For example, your clients might call you at two in the morning asking for something and you would have to leave your bed, go get them what they need and make them happy,” shared the stylist.

With that said, he is quite proud of working with all of his clients. As he certainly believes that he was lucky to work with each of his female clients because each of them had a different life and experience. From Cardi B to Bella Thorn, sweetie, Sza, Normani and Shantal Jeffery, he is very happy that he got to work with such a wide range of talent.”I could have never thought that I would reach some of them and I have and it still amazes me,” said Benyamin passionately.

Leaving his country at a young age with his dad has brought Benyamin closer to his father and his country. “My dad is a doctor and he has never asked me to choose a certain path. At the beginning, he could not fathom why I would voluntarily do the donkey work for free. To this day, he still does not really understand my hours or the details of my job but he is quite supportive and proud,” said Benyamin with a warm smile.

On the other hand, the stylist is currently keen on visiting Egypt every year in order to remain in touch with his family and friends as well as catch up on the events that take place all year round. In spite of having his entire life in the US, he still feels at home in Egypt.

“I actually keep up with news and events taking place in Egypt. I love few of the local designers, which I am currently quite connected with. I love Kojak and Okhtein for example. And I would certainly love to collaborate with them. It would be fantastic to give big moments to Egyptian designers,” said the stylist, who would love to target noteworthy red carpets or award shows to connect his two worlds in front of global cameras.

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