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Cairo Fashion Designers: Made in Egypt

Cairo Fashion Designers: Made in Egypt
written by
Clarissa Pharr

Cairo’s
apparel-inclined residents know well that Egypt’s capital is practically
bursting at the seams with bright new talent in the business of making you look
fresh and fabulous. Said talent comes out to play in a growing list of new
names and labels in the fashion industry, from the bold-patterned looks of
Amina K. to the sparkling vintage-inspired gowns of Malak Ezzawy.

Fashion enthusiasts
know that like-minded looks sweep the streets of the Capital with an
epidemic-like vengeance. Still, Cairo holds a wealth of individual styles,
fashion secrets and edgy accessories. With new names appearing every season, we
have our pick of gritty street fashions, adorable accessories and everything in
between. Here are our favourite names in Cairo’s local labels and home-grown
talent.

Dina Said is
responsible for Nana’s Closet, the
vintage-themed clothing line that has on occasion produced shows in
collaboration with Bishette Bags. Collections are often a hybrid of 1920s
accents and late 1980s silhouettes (Said is not afraid to use dramatic shoulder
pads to make a statement); in a look that embraces a poised sense of women’s
fashion. Other couture delicacies include silk brocade high-waisted trousers,
jumpsuits refined enough for the opera, and cocktail dresses with jewelled,
single-shoulder and tuxedo-inspired accents.

Amina K. has earned a
name for herself in fashion for her re-inventive take on Egypt’s rustic textile
culture, with a decidedly haut and modern edge. The popular designer is known
for loud patchwork fabrics crafted into feminine designs for garments and
accessories. A look that is boho-chic with distinctly Egyptian accents has made
Amina K. a popular name in Cairo design culture. Furthermore, she expanded into
the eye-wear trade with a 2010 contract with Baraka Optics, where she reproduced
retro sunglass frames to pair with her colourful outfits, chunky
leather-and-cloth belts, peasant blouses and miniskirts.

Malak El Ezzawy deserves
mention for fulfilling our princess-bride dreams with layers of tulle, sequins
that sparkle like diamonds. As a young girl with a family fashion show legacy,
El Ezzawy swiftly climbed the local fashion ranks with her floor-sweeping
elegant gowns that embrace the classic silhouette with some playful touches,
such as oversized flower prints and asymmetrical hemlines. The label produces a
junior-sized line to go with its more sophisticated evening wear for Cairo
women.

El Horreya: Designs for Freedom produces everything from neon-print blouses and shrugs to handsome
leather handbags using traditional Egyptian prints and materials; be it the
colourful flower print, fringe coins, or earth tone leathers. We love the label
for its celebration of Egypt’s cultural legacy by bringing it into the world of
modern street fashion. El Horreya is especially beloved for its expressive
scarves, bohemian maxi-dresses and accessories, as well as individualised takes on
classics items such as dress shirts and trousers. Look out for their leather clutches, shoe collections and home accessories.

Bishette Bags proudly
represents the bags and accessories branch of Cairo’s fashion culture. Known
for hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind creations, Bishette has garnered a faithful
following. From curious tuxedo-inspired box clutches to sparkling faux
jewel-encrusted chokers, Bishette will outfit any lady with a few bold statements.
Choose from gathered silk clutches with cut glass-encrusted clasps,
plaid-covered box bags with over-long straps, bright polka dots, and the
Michael Jackson-inspired royal red box clutch. Single edition collections keep
supplies modest and sometimes available upon request. 

While many of these
names have been gracing the boutiques in Cairo for quite some time now, new
talent and new names always seem to be appearing, making us proud to wear Cairo
designs and show off our local talent.

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